The Tudor Secret (The Spymaster Chronicles 1) by C.W. Gortner
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 but 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 an 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. (Goodreads)
Brendan Prescott was abandoned as a baby and he was brought up in the Dudley family. Living with the Dudley boys isn’t always easy and they makes sure that Brendan knows he’s just a foundling. When he’s 20 he is brought to court to be squire to Robert Dudley. Soon an errand for Robert takes Brendan to meet Princess Elizabeth. She makes quite an impression and soon Brendan finds that making Elizabeth safe doesn’t go well with serving the Dudleys. It doesn’t take long for him to come to the attention of William Cecil and finds himself to be a spy in exchange to learn who he is.
I truly enjoyed this and almost read it in a day. I adored Brendan and I loved watching how he grows from the quite innocent boy to more mature and intelligent young man. Living in the court isn’t always easy and you find yourself growing tougher.
I also loved Peregrin and it was great that Brendan found someone to watch he’s back.Robert was vain, short tempered and kind of a bully but it was refreshing to see that side of him. He certainly had ambition. I loved how Elizabeth was portrayed and how she came through as a person and friend.
While the book takes certain liberties and I admit having a thing for historical accurancies, I didn’t have problems with this one. It’s mystery and not straight historical novel and it’s stated in the author’s notes.
Great book and it seems you can never go wrong with Gortner and I can’t wait for the next book in the serie!
Published: St. Martin’s Griffin (2011)