Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Book Review: The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

The Tudor Secret follows Brendan Prescott, a foundling raised in the Dudley household who finds himself new at court, squire to none other than Robert Dudley. With word travelling around that King Edward VI is dying and the Lady Elizabeth walking amongst the Londoner’s, Prescott is drawn into the secrets and dangers of the Tudor court. Whilst running an errand for Robert Dudley, Prescott finds himself being dragged into a back alley, thrown in front of Master Cecil, whom he befriended on his first day at court. Thinking the worst, Prescott is shocked to learn that Master Cecil wants to hire Prescott as a spy at court, to try and discover what the Dudley family are plotting and ultimately to see the Lady Elizabeth safe. Fuelled by his own desire to learn the truth of his birth and knowing that Master Cecil has the means at his disposal to assist him to discover so, Prescott agrees.

I was drawn into Gortner’s scandalous Tudor England instantly; it was cut throat; I was so drawn into the story that I could envisage smoggy London, the fear of the people tangible and smell the urine, rotting food and dirt in the cobbled streets with the dreaded Tower of London looming above...

Most Tudor enthusiasts will know the history behind the setting of this book, for those who don't; rumour was running like wild fire around London that the death of the young King Edward VI was eminent, Northumberland plotted and successfully placed his son Guildford and the Lady Jane Grey on the throne, unfortunately Mary overthrew them and was crowned, correctly so, as rightful Queen ; Guildford and the Lady Jane paying the ultimate price for their treason. Death. Gortner manages to turn this period of history into a mystery entwined with a plausible secret, linking Prescott to the throne of England, he captures the rivalry of the Dudley boys, who you love to hate (it was nice to see Robert Dudley portrayed like his family, the need to rise above, to seize the throne. That women, could be bridled as most novels tend to portray him as the handsome romantic who would do anything for the Lady Elizabeth).

The novel is fast paced, I could have easily have read it within the day, but managed to drag it over two just so I could savour the remaining pages. I honestly didn’t want it all to end. It was refreshing to read something that blended two genres; historical fiction and mystery well and set in none other than Tudor England; one of my favoured periods in history.

I haven’t read any other novels by Gortner, but this has certainly piqued my interest and I will be sure to add his others to my increasingly large shelf of books to read! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction with a scandalous mystery to boot!

1 comment:

  1. All these book reviews aren't helping with my conquering Mt TBR, Lau. *lol*
    ~S. xo