Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Review by Meredith Allard
I have only recently come to a fascination with an historical subject that have held many history buffs spellbound for years—Tudor England. Blame it on Hilary Mantel and her brilliant Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, or blame it on the television show The Tudors which I began watching one slow Saturday afternoon. Whatever you blame, the truth is I am now quite interested in the sly doings and undoings of King Henry VIII and his offspring. I even made a special trip to the Tower of London on my last trip to London to see one of the locales for myself.
The Tudor Vendetta is the first book I’ve read from C.W. Gortner’s The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles though it is actually the third book in the series. The fact that I hadn’t read the first two books in the series wasn’t a hindrance and I was able to follow the story very easily. In fact, I think I might go back and read the first two books. If you want to start at book one in the series then you should, but if you want to start with The Tudor Vendetta as I did, you’ll find that Gortner provides enough backstory so that you’re able to follow along.
Gortner has a knack for historical detail as well as character development. Brendon is certainly a devoted spy for Elizabeth I as he searches for the missing Lady Parry. He is extremely loyal as intrigue strikes the young queen’s court and a certain secret surfaces. While the history is an important part of the story, readers will not be surprised to discover that some poetic license was taken in the telling of this tale.
At times thoughtful, at times a fast-paced page turner, The Tudor Vendetta is a wonderful story for anyone who loves a good Tudor-based historical novel. Actually, I don’t think an interest in the Tudor period is necessary. There is enough action, historical detail, and interesting characters to keep anyone who loves fiction guessing what happens next.
Meredith Allard is the Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review.