Review: The Tudor Vendetta (The Spymaster Chronicles #3) by C.W. Gortner

Tudor lit is always a favorite sub genre for those who write historic fiction. And why not, it’s a ruthless age full of romance, intrigue, and political unrest. There is a lot for authors to draw inspiration.

One of the things I love best about C.W. Gortner as a writer is he tends to pick strong women in history to write about which is unusual for a male author.

I think having a male write about these women provides readers with a unique perspective. In this novel he utilized a male as the POV character which was different but no less entertaining.

Queen Mary is dead and the young Elizabeth takes the throne. One of her secret agents, Brendan Prescott, has returned from exile and plan on continuing to keep her safe as well as keeping a few secrets of his own safe. He is also hoping to reconcile with his beloved Kate.

But in the Tudor court, danger is only a breath away. There is a poison attempt on Elizabeth which soon overshadows her coronation. Before Brendan can investigate the poisoning, the Queen summons him and sends him on a far more dangerous mission.

He is to locate  her favorite lady in waiting, Lady Parry, who has disappeared during a visit to her family manor in Yorkshire.

Brendan is hesitant to leave not just because of the mission but he doesn’t want to leave Kate. But he has little choice, when he starts investigating he discovers that there is a lot more happening than just the disappearance of Lady Parry! These secrets threaten Elizabeth’s rule. Will Brendan be able to save her throne?

While this is the third book in this series, Gortner does a great job keeping the reader orientated within the greater story. He gives enough details from the other books to make sure the reader doesn’t get lost but at the same time the reader gets some of the references to other books.

For me, I haven’t read the others in the series but with his subtle hints I was engaged but he didn’t give away too much about the other books so if you wanted to read them they wouldn’t be completely ruined.

The story carried a lot of momentum for me. It started with a hot sex scene and moved right into the mystery and intrigue portions of the novel. Every chapter propelled and moved the story forward. There weren’t any parts of the novel that I felt didn’t work or didn’t fit.

With so many novels out there on the Tudor era, it’s hard to choose which author to read. So why this author? Why this series? Well that’s easy, Gortner knows his history and presents it in such a way that it isn’t overwhelming. His historic details are always authentic and well researched.

Sometimes historic fiction can become a little dense or some readers shy away from a specific period as it’s maybe not their area of interest. One thing that I love about Gortner’s novels is that you don’t have to be a Tudor era fan to enjoy the books. While it certainly helps to be a fan of the period, his novels are easy to follow and the books are more focused on the characters rather than the period.

Gortner’s characters are always balanced. They are very real and readers will find something to relate to with each one.  They each have their strengths and their flaws which makes them so believable and real.

Overall this book had a lot to love. Mystery, lust, intrigue, treason, love, betrayal, romance, and of course thrilling history. Gortner does a magnificent job getting the reader engaged early on and keeping things moving right along so the reader doesn’t get bored.

His books are always so engaging and vivid…I could hardly pass up a chance to review his latest one even if it was part of a series….it could easily read as a stand alone book!

I reviewed this book as part of The Tudor Vendetta hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Be sure to visit the other blog stops on the tour for interviews and giveaways!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Music for My Soul by Lauren Linwood

  • Kindle Edition, 352 pages
    Published October 21st 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher as part of the HFVBT book tour in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: historic fiction, mystery, Tudor lit

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

The Tudor Vendetta Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 21
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 22
Review at Back Porchervations
Review at Always With a Books

Thursday, October 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Friday, October 24
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Interview at Back Porchervations

Monday, October 27
Review at JulzReads
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, October 28
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Making My Mark
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Guest Post at Bookish

Thursday, October 30
Review & Guest Post at Drey’s Library
Review & Interview at The Copperfield Review & From Meredith Allard
Interview at Writing the Renaissance

Friday, October 31
Review at Book by Book

Monday, November 3
Review at Mari Reads
Review & Gues Post at JM Ledwell Writes

Tuesday, November 4
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, November 5
Review at One Book at a Time
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 6
Review at Booktalk & More

Friday, November 7
Review at Build a Bookshelf

Monday, November 10
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, November 11
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, November 12
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, November 13
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, November 14
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Paranormal Book Club

Monday, November 17
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, November 18
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Guest Post at What is That Book About

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Kate Forsyth’s Blog

Thursday, November 20
Review & Interview at The Tudor Enthusiast

Friday, November 21
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Monday, November 24
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at The True Book Addict

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Historical Tapestry
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, November 28
Review at Books in the Burbs
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story


To win a complete set of CW Gortner’s Spymaster Chronicles Trilogy (The Tudor Secret, The Tudor Conspiracy, and The Tudor Vendetta) please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.


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.


2 thoughts on “Review: The Tudor Vendetta (The Spymaster Chronicles #3) by C.W. Gortner

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