Blog Book Tour | “The Tudor Vendetta” by C.W. Gortner, the concluding installment of the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles Trilogy!

Posted Friday, 28 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner

Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TudorVendetta, #HistoricalMystery & #TudorVendettaBlogTour

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Tudor Vendetta” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Griffin, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interested in Reading:

As I had previously disclosed on my interview with Mr. Gortner, I had made a bit of a mistake in having confused one of his stand-alone novels for being inclusive to the Spymaster Chronicles series; when I realised the error, I had run out of time to ILL the second novel The Tudor Conspiracy and this past week, I plumb ran out of time to read The Tudor Secret, as I had originally planned to read the first novel if I only had the chance to read one of the two. I am always making an attempt to remember to allow time to read a series properly, however, there are moments in each of our lives where our best intended plans go a bit differently than we planned them too.

Nevertheless, the main reason this series and the writings of Gortner had attracted me in the first place, were the uncanny technical eye for history and historical accuracy the writer fuses into his stories overall. I started to read the author’s blog last Autumn 2013, and noted his dedication combined with a spirit for history. History has either inspired people or befuddled them, because even as I was a young girl, I was quite the history buff myself — my curious  mind was inclined to ponder where my classmates tended not to mind knowing one way or the other. The blessing to me were the writers of historical fiction and biographical fiction (one of my favourite sub-genres) who bridged the gap between what a history (technically written) textbook and a novel could give the reader.

I was quite charmed to the prospect of reading a C.W. Gortner novel my 2nd Year as a Book Blogger, and I am hopeful this will only be the beginning of my readings of his stories. As you see, there are quite a few I am keen on reading next: the forementioned Spymaster Chronicles, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and Mademoiselle Chanel in 2015.

Blog Book Tour | “The Tudor Vendetta” by C.W. Gortner, the concluding installment of the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles Trilogy!The Tudor Vendetta
by C.W. Gortner
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Winter, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by strife and her ability to rule uncertain.

Summoned from exile abroad at the new queen’s behest, Brendan Prescott arrives in London to face his shattered past. He soon finds himself pitted in deadly rivalry with his life-long foe, Robert Dudley, but when a poison attempt overshadows the queen’s coronation, Elizabeth privately dispatches Brendan on a far more dangerous assignation: to find her favored lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, who has vanished in Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival at the crumbling sea-side manor that may hold the key to Lady Parry’s disappearance, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he becomes the quarry of an elusive stranger with a vendetta— one that could expose both his own buried identity and a long-hidden revelation that will bring about Elizabeth’s doom.

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the prisons of the Tower, Brendan must risk everything to unravel a vendetta that strikes at the very core of his world, including his loyalty to his queen.

The Tudor Vendetta is the third book in Gortner’s Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: , Mademoiselle Chanel

Series: The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles,


Also in this series:


Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by St. Martin's Griffin

on 21st October, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 304

The Tudor Secret (Book 1: the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles) Book Trailer via C.W. Gortner 

About C.W. Gortner

CW Gortner

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin’s Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

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My Review of The Tudor Vendetta:

A sensually laced opening page greeted me as I broached The Tudor Vendetta, with such a fierce conviction of narrative I was taken quite unawares at first, because there was not such a breath of a follow-up nor a recountment within a Prologue to set the scene; thereby when I realised all was for naught, and despite the sensuality of the opening — it was merely a nightmaric recoiling of a person’s mind bent against events the heart within had not yet reconciled. I must say, Gortner knows how to draw a new reader into the folds of his story – if only to see where a lead-off such as that will render the reader next to tread! Oy! Having known of the ‘spy’ bit being a part of the series, and being fairly versed in the life of spies (through readings of spy fiction & watching of films), it would be a bit uncharacteristic of them not to have a fever pitch of heat within their story! I simply felt his pen had a bit of moxie in it’s ink to lead with this scene as an entrance into the third installment of the trilogy; of course, on the opposite hand perhaps this is par for course on how the other two began? Ponders.

As Prescott makes his way back into England on the heels of death in regards to Mary, whilst giving Elizabeth the throne I noticed a few interesting things: firstly, Prescott has made both enemies and alliances with those he cross-sects once he has returned to the palace and secondly, there is a lot being unsaid and exchanged between him and the Queen directly. I enjoyed seeing the covert qualm in the fray, as I could readily envision how his adversary in Robert Dudley could grow into a thickening well of deceit marred with danger.

Upon reading Brendan and Kate’s reunion, I felt the emotion between their hearts and the stirring anguish of their resolve not to allow the events which shaped between them out of duty wreck the memories of what they had shared previously. Such a difficult life, to choose between love, honour, and what is meant to become your fate when you have chosen to protect the interests and life of a Queen. I felt this was not yet the end to Brendan and Kate, yet how very vexing to have fallen in love without having the freedom to act on the passionate bond few ever have the chance of sharing. Gortner wrote this passage quite well, as it has such a richness of honesty and of hopelessness writ inside it to evoke a churning of thought as the words are read.

Treachery with poison is one mystery I enjoy seeing pursued, as it allows a stimulating approach towards unearthing a conspiracy against a royal. I find mysteries involving poison to be quite tempting for the mind to think of ways in which the poison could have been used directly to affect it’s demise on the marked intended victim as much as to cart a path towards seeing how far someone would go to obtain their objective. The suspense involved per story never fails to capture my attention, because there are never two ways in which poison is used twice.

The art of deception through coded messages and ciphers, brought back the recent memories I had of seeing interviews with the cast for the film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch (of whom I appreciate seeing bring a modern Sherlock Holmes to life) wherein I had a newfound respect for the men and women who not only sorted out original ciphers to complex codes but who paved the way for the modern age of computers. History has a way of finding how to reveal hidden truth and hidden insight into where modern technology does not always lend a nod of recognition. Within the story of The Tudor Vendetta, ciphers and the art of decoding them was a keen clue into the mind of the one who was tangling everyone up in the strings of a deception which was proving to be strung tight against the crown.

Gortner laces his adventures with a pause for seeing where deceit and power can become entwined into one pursuit; where the accent of power can become frothy and murky out of greed. Elizabeth was not entirely a benign character, as she had her own motives for secrecy but in part her motivations were to protect herself and those within her inner circle; to give out less information than what she entreated others to give her freely. Her countenance was vindictive of the era, and her seemingly cold retort in the face of adversity or strife, could be viewed different ways as well. She held a position as a woman during a time where men vied to overtake her; not just because they could but because they were drunk with what they would wield out of the ascension they felt was rightly theirs instead of hers. The most powerful aspect of the story is how a Queen is a woman first and foremost, a woman who has the right to a private life even if the public demand transparency in the affairs of the crown. I applaud Gortner for giving such a hearty level of suspense and tied it to a slice of humanity stitched into a historical figure who could not always share the humanistic side of her soul.

On reading C.W. Gortner for the first time:

I must contend, even as a newcomer to a well-established series in-progress, Gortner has a very unique methodology for writing serial fiction; on the level he does not recount nor re-tell necessarily the sequences of actions previously known to the reader whose read the last novel nor the first which predated this one. No, he finds his own rhythm by giving out pertinent details which are vindictive of his lead Brendan Prescott – in such a manner as to create an intense jaunt into the series without passing through the main gate! I liked the pace of the novel the most, as you could barely catch a sense of who Prescott was prior to his re-appearance in England, and yet, there was enough said and observed to have a farthing glimpse of his character and of his integrity.

The Tudors continue to draw my interest, as I previously have read Murder by Misrule, The Lost DuchessThe Boleyn Bride, and will continue to make my progress through the Tudors who catch my fancy in modern historical fiction.

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The Virtual Road Map for “The Tudor Vendetta” can be found here:

The Tudor Vendetta Blog Tour via HFVBTs

See what I am hosting next on my Bookish Events for:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Tudor Vendetta”, book synopsis, author photograph of C.W. Gortner, author biography, the tour host badge & Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours banner were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer for “The Tudor Secret” via C.W. Gortner had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Friday, 28 November, 2014 by jorielov in 16th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Elizabeth I, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Tudor Era




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