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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner


The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner
Book 3 in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
ARC, E-book, 304 pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
October 21, 2014
★★★★ ½☆

goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction - Thriller

Source: Received for review from publisher as part of HFVBT tour

“Winter, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by strife and her ability to rule uncertain.

Summoned from exile abroad at the new queen's behest, Brendan Prescott arrives in London to face his shattered past. He soon finds himself pitted in deadly rivalry with his life-long foe, Robert Dudley, but when a poison attempt overshadows the queen’s coronation, Elizabeth privately dispatches Brendan on a far more dangerous assignation: to find her favored lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, who has vanished in Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival at the crumbling sea-side manor that may hold the key to Lady Parry's disappearance, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he becomes the quarry of an elusive stranger with a vendetta— one that could expose both his own buried identity and a long-hidden revelation that will bring about Elizabeth's doom.

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the prisons of the Tower, Brendan must risk everything to unravel a vendetta that strikes at the very core of his world, including his loyalty to his queen.”

The first two books in the Elizabeth I Spymaster series I ate right up – amazing as they were. I took The Tudor Vendetta with me on my recent vacation and finished the whole thing on the flight! Yes, it is that good (the flight wasn’t that long)! While the third book might wrap up the trilogy (please write some more stories for Brendan!) it blazes ahead at the same speed as its predecessors to a satisfying conclusion.

As is the case with Gortner’s novels, the characters are so lifelike and real you can envision yourself in their shoes or encountering them in some dark alleyway. They pull at your heartstrings or make you incredibly angry with their actions. As Brendan is employed by Cecil, he is always right in the thick of some intrigue, danger, or otherwise shady circumstance. Brendan is a true HF hunk.

As has been the case with the drama Brendan has been tied up with in the past, what he faces here is not a plot twist that I saw coming. Gortner does a great job of grounding the plot in historical reality, but also playing with some of the rumors and scandals from the Tudor era to add some depth to the intrigue. Certainly plausible, definitely entertaining.

I’m saddened that we have reached the end of the Spymaster trilogy, but the novel closed with what isn’t a definitive ending, so I hope someday to be treated to more of the thrill that this series is.

Author C.W. Gortner also has written The Tudor Secret (book 1) and The Tudor Conspiracy (book 2) among other novels. You can visit Gortner’s website or blog for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

tudor vendetta tour

You can follow along with the rest of the tour by visiting the HFVBT site or on Twitter with the following hashtag: #TudorVendettaBlogTour.

There is also a tour wide giveaway (it is being hosted on all the blogs on the tour and the winner will be selected by the tour coordinator).   It's a pretty epic giveaway too, for a complete set of the Spymaster Trilogy!! Get your entries in!  Here are the rules:

  • Open to residents of the USA
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 29th and notified via email.
  • Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen
  • Entries are made through the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Copyright © 2014 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Thank you for your lovely review, Heather. Always a pleasure to visit your blog. I hope your readers enjoy the book!

  2. What is WritingGen? According to Twitter that page doesn't exist according to the link given, so I can't really mark that one as followed.
    Thank you for the giveaway! A spy thriller is always great reading!


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