Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tudor Secret -C.W. Gortner

The Tudor Secret
C.W. Gortner
St. Martin's Griffin, Feb 1 2011, $14.99
ISBN 9780312658502

In 1553 the affluent influential Dudley brood dispatches servant Brendan Prescott to serve their cruel son Lord Robert at young King Edward's court. The young orphan knows that the Dudley family own King Edward who has been gravely ill and unable to rule.

The Dudley patriarch fears intelligent survivor Princess Elizabeth more than the heir to Edward’s throne Princess Mary. William Cecil, protector of Princess Elizabeth, enlists Prescott to spy on his employer. However, the more the lad learns about those surrounding the royal siblings, the more he believes competing and overarching conspiracies abound, but is unsure what she should do with what he learns because she trusts no one.

The key to this Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles tale is ethical Brendan who believes in loyalty, but unsophisticated in the ways of court intrigue as he is caught between his duty to the Dudley clan and to the princess. He and vicious Lord Robert bring freshness to the entertaining Tudor historical as the rest of the latter’s family and much of the court is stereotyped. Still C.W. Gortner (see The Last Queen) reveals the secrets behind those playing for power on a life and death royal stage through the only transparent participant who participates in a parallel play way.

Harriet Klausner

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