BLOG TOUR: The Tudor Conspiracy by Christopher Gortner

The Tudor ConspiracyTitle: The Tudor Conspiracy (Spymaster Chronicles #2)
Author: Christopher Gortner
ISBN: 978-1444720877
Publisher: Hodder
First Published: 16 July 2013 (Audio) / 18 July 2013 (Hardback/Kindle) / 16 January 2014 (Paperback)
No .of pages: 352

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis (from Amazon):
1553: Harsh winter falls across the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower, but rumours of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person many consider to be England’s heir and only hope – her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.

Brendan Prescott’s foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings news that sends Brendan back to London on a dangerous mission. Intent upon trying to save Elizabeth, he soon finds himself working as a double-agent for Mary herself.

Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a shadowy opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess’s private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit – where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister – nobody can be trusted.

Although this is the second novel in The Spymaster Chronicles, it can very easily be read as a stand-alone book with no detriment to one’s enjoyment. Past events are alluded to and are handled deftly so that the transition is seamless and the plot unfolds naturally without stalling whenever something from the previous installment is mentioned.

Gortner’s love for the Tudor period and the political machinations of those in the Tudor court is bountifully evident in the lush recreation of the sights, sounds and smells of Mary Tudor’s Catholic court, and all the danger and intrigue of a spy and double agent, however unwilling, is incredibly exciting.

Prescott is a wonderfully flawed and natural character and his role in the unfolding events, and his reaction to them, is realistic and sympathetic. We hurt when he hurts, fear for him in danger, and rejoice at his successes right alongside him – he’s an everyman hero and one genuinely wants him to get through every pitfall unscathed.

It’s an intricate plot, with myriad twists and turns, that hurtles along at a hectic pace, leaving you breathless at the conclusion. If you try The Spymaster Chronicles, you will not be disappointed – Gortner is proving himself a force to be reckoned with in the world of historical fiction! With love, loss, action and adventure in spades, The Tudor Conspiracy has more than enough to keep any reader engrossed from start to finish.

See my exclusive interview with Christopher Gortner HERE.

My little history buff

Today was another lovely, sunny day, so Tadpole and I headed out to the garden for a picnic lunch. While we were there, I started watching a documentary about Henry VII on my phone and Tadpole decided he wanted to watch it too. It soon turned colder, so we headed indoors to watch the rest of the documentary together on the computer.

Bear in mind, Tadpole is only four years old!

Now, he’s already shown an interest in the Titanic, and more recently in Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, so it really shouldn’t have surprised me that he would also be interested in the founder of the Tudor dynasty too, but for a small boy to sit quietly and watch an entire hour-long documentary on the subject kind of amazed me.

Not only that, but he seemed to understand most of it and was full of pertinent questions, such as:

  • So, is that Henry VIII’s Daddy?
  • And is that Henry VIII’s Mummy?
  • Why did Henry VIII’s Mummy die? Couldn’t she go to the hospital to have her baby?
  • What made Prince Arthur so sick? Why did he have to die?
  • So, is that Henry VIII’s Daddy dead now?
  • Does that mean Henry VIII is king now, then?

Below is the very interesting documentary. There seems to be a bit of a problem with mathematics, as I’m pretty certain that 2013 minus 1500-ish does not equal 800 years (at one point, proceedings are mentioned to have happened 800 years ago – I may have been mistaken in the context, but it did seem like they just miscalculated, as the difference is actually in the region of 500 years!). Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

And Tadpole has made me promise to get hold of some other similar documentaries, so I anticipate many happy historical afternoons with my little history buff. And I just know he’s going to LOVE the Natural History Museum in Edinburgh this summer!