Author: C.W. Gortner
Series: 2nd (The Tudor Secret)
Published: July 16th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Personal Copy
Description: Winter 1554. Brendan Prescott, spymaster to the Princess Elizabeth, has discovered that he is connected to the Tudors by blood as well as allegiance. Though his secret is known only by a few, it could be his downfall as he is called to London to protect the princess. Accompanied by his young squire Peregrine, he reluctantly leaves his sweetheart Kate behind - but in the city he discovers that no one is quite what they seem. What fate does Queen Mary intend for her sister? Is Robert Dudley somehow manipulating the princess, even though he is locked in the Tower? And should Brendan trust the alluring Sybilla, Mary's lady-in-waiting, who professes to be on his side? As he tries to unravel the mysteries of the Tudor court Brendan's life will be put in danger many times, and along the way he learns more about his own past.
I Give This ...
I think this series has done an excellent job of portraying the danger that Elizabeth was constantly in before she ascended the throne. It's something that I was aware of, but it's never bee such a focus of a story.
I often feel sorry for Queen Mary. History doesn't portray her in the best light possible. Her father basically abandoned her, stripped her of her title for most of her youth, among many other things. She never wavered from her faith, but instead of it being her saving grace she let it warp her into something else. I often wonder how much of her persecutions were her own doing or someone else whispering in her ear. I think this book does and great job of showing how easily she was swayed by opinions. Brendan sees this first hand and how hard it is to change the Queen's mind when she was dead set on something.
It's also interesting to read about Elizabeth in this light. I understand she had to walk a very fine line when it came to her sister. She often had to appease her while staying true to herself as well. But, she honestly had so much of her father in her. She would play the game and you would never know what she was doing until it was to late. I'm not sure how much Mary actually had to fear her, or if Elizabeth was truly content with sitting back and waiting.
I loved Brendan's involvement in all of this. He's puts so much on the line. It's strange to think how it's a personal stake for him. His devotion is so much more than a typical subject and their sovereign. He very nearly loses his head because of this loyalty. Something that won't be forgiving twice.
I like how each of these book deals with specific time periods, so I'm really excited for book 3.