About The Tudor SecretThe era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and above all, spies.
Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the King’s brilliant, enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil—who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.
A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
Read an Excerpt!There are moments that define our existence, moments that, if we recognize them, become pivotal turning points in our life. Like pearls on a strand, the accumulation of such moments will in time become the essence of our life, providing solace when our end draws near.
For me, meeting Elizabeth Tudor was one of those moments.
The first I noticed was that she was not beautiful. Her chin was too narrow for the oval of her face, her long thin nose emphasizing the high curve of her cheeks and proud brow. Her mouth was disproportionately wide and her lips too thin, as if she savored secrets. And she was too pale and slim, like a fey creature of indeterminate sex.
Then I met her stare. Her eyes were fathomless, over-wide pupils limning her gold irises, like twin suns in eclipse. I had seen eyes like hers before, years ago, when a traveling menagerie entertained us at Dudley Castle. Then, too, I had been captured by their dormant power.
She had the eyes of a lion.
“Lord Robert’s squire?” she said to Cecil. “How can it be? I’ve never seen him before.”
“I’m new to court, Your Grace,” I answered. “Your dog is foreign, is he not?”
She shot me a terse look; she’d not given me leave to speak. “He is Italian. You are familiar with the breed?”
“I had occasion to learn many things during my time in the Dudley stables.”
“Is that so?” She tilted her head. “Hold out your hand.”
I hesitated for a moment before warily extending my wrist. She loosened her grip on the chain. The hound thrust his muzzle at me. I almost recoiled as I felt his breath on my skin. He sniffed. To my relief, he licked my skin and retreated.
“You have a way with animals,” Elizabeth said. “Urian rarely takes to strangers.” She motioned me to my feet. “What is your name?”
“Brendan Prescott, Your Grace.”
About the Author:
C.W. Gortner is the author of the acclaimed historical novels The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half-Spanish by birth, he divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala.
The Tudor Secret is the first book in Gortner’s The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles series.
You can visit the author online at www.cwgortner.com or his blog at http://historicalboys.blogspot.com/.
I love the Tudors!! What can I say? This is a period in history that is so intriqing to me. The politics, the machinations of the court, King Henry and all those wives, his children ,Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth. The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner, is the first book in the trilogy 'The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles'. It starts when sickly King Edward is on the throne and Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth are hidden away for their protection from the Dudley family. Enter Brendan Prescott , an orphan reared in the Dudley family, as a stable boy who has grown up with the Dudley sons. The elder Dudleys decide to send Brendan along with Lord Robert Dudley to court as his squire. No sooner does Brendan arrive at court, he is sent on an errand for Lord Robert. Thus starts Brendan's adventure into the world of the Tudor Court and the corrupt Dudley family as a spy. As a side story Brendan is an orphan and would like to know who his parents were, but he finds that his birth is part of the mystery that the Dudley's perpetuated. Mr. Gortner wrote this book with a twist, the 'what if' premise. He showed us what could have happened with circumstances different . Don't want to give anything away here, so you will have to get the book and read it yourself. I will tell you though that there are lots of villians in this tale. I have now read three of Mr.Gortner's books, The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and now The Tudor Secret and really enjoyed them. The author seems to have a passion for this historical era and it shows in his detailed writing, but this one is a bit different in that it has an element of suspense and even murder. I do look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
I received this book for review from Pump Up Your Books and was not monetarily compensated for my review.