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The Tudor Secret

The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, Book 1
Written by: C. W. Gortner
Narrated by: Steve West
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.

The summer of 1553 is a time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, has been reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to discover the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder.

Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

©2011 C. W. Gortner (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"Gortner handles action with aplomb, adding a riveting, fast-paced thriller to the crowded genre of Tudor fiction." ( Publishers Weekly)
"An exciting, vividly rendered story of intrigue and espionage." ( Booklist)

What members say

No reviews are available
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • joan
  • 2013-06-17

English History

I've always been fascinated by Henry the 8th and the period after his death. The enmity between the church of England and the Catholics has been the subject of much writing and I've read some. If you are ignorant, this might not be the book for you. If, as I am, you're a history buff, go for it.
While reading, I learned quite a bit about this period since much of the book is based on fact, all but the main character. It's a wonderful story, if a bit confusing with all the Lords, Dutchesses etc. If you read it, I would use some reference material (I confess I used Wikipedia) to keep the folks straight.
Plots and counter plots abound and make for a really enjoyable narrative.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tatiana Christiansen
  • 2015-05-08

Not historical fiction

I like historical fiction but this ho hum book doesn't fall into that category. Yes, it takes place during Elizabethan times and yes, The Princesses Mary and Elizabeth actually lived . My problem is with the main charaacter being fictional and the situation which the book revolves around is too. It's a nice light romantic read but I didn't learn anything from it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • 2015-02-07

Fun Listen Full of Historical Tidbits

Although this is fiction, much of it is historically correct, and I found myself mesmerized by the manners and ways of the English Tudors. Politics have been corrupt from the beginning of time . . . and yet, a thread of the good and honorable also persisted. The conflict between Protestants and Catholics during this period in history is particularly interesting to me, and that this would be such a point of contention regarding who sat on the throne of England is surprising. The narration is just right, carrying the listener away to a distant time and land of knights, kings, and queens . . . and dungeons with evil doers lurking around every corner. . . an almost fairy tale existence . . . I am looking forward to listening to the second in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melvin
  • 2013-05-20

Great Book! But Where's The Second Book Audible?

Where does The Tudor Secret rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Solid story that ranks in the top 40% of the 100's of books I have listened to.

Have you listened to any of Steve West’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to Steve West before but he did a great job.

Who was the most memorable character of The Tudor Secret and why?

Peregrine of course was the best character.

Any additional comments?

For the folks at Audible, if you offer a great price for "the first book of a series" make sure you have the rest of the books.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • kmk
  • 2015-08-08

Gack

Beautiful narration of a totally implausible story. Little understanding of the social norms and behaviors of the day.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gina
  • 2013-05-19

Entertaining, "what if?" Tudor story

Any additional comments?

A good book, set amongst the factual events of Lady Jane Grey's brief rise this is a good story however the main story line is pure fiction. A good listen, my preferences lean toward more historically accurate events, but this was entertaining. The imagery and nuances of the age are spot on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth
  • 2013-06-09

Riveting time in History

I was not very well-versed in this time period of England and enjoyed learning about King Henry VIII and his offspring. The treachery at court and the jockeying for power left you not knowing who to believe. I enjoyed the main character and the mystery surrounding him. I do have a few words of caution. This time frame doesn't seem to be filled with the highest moral character. There is one sex scene. It is not overly described and is thankfully very brief. If Brendan ever sends his friend, the stable boy, out of the room when he is reunited with his lady friend, you could skip several minutes and miss the whole thing. There was one f bomb in the whole book. I don't think that word appropriate to the time period. Really, a little over 100 years ago if you said something like "Devil Take It!" or "Blast it!" They were considered swear words. I just thought that was entirely out of place. The story is interesting; the time period, fascinating. The narration was good as far as I could tell. I was really sucked in quickly and finished it fairly quickly. I knock off stars for the above two things, but overall I enjoyed the story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jgfox
  • 2015-03-12

One of the best novels I've listened to

What did you love best about The Tudor Secret?

Grabs you from the beginning with the characters and plot and won't let go until you finish it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tudor Secret?

The impact of the story and performance on the very first page. I had to change my schedule to make sure I could maximize my listening ... from morning to just before I dozed.

What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

Beautiful English accent and all the characters came were individuals and came to life. You weren't "listening" you were in the story. Great pacing and performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The introduction to the future Queen Elizabeth and her complex character.

Any additional comments?

Don't have any more time to waste ... got to start on the second in the series ...now ... bye

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • R. Long
  • 2019-01-05

Meh

I wanted to like the book, I really did. I enjoyed the authors style of writing and the last line of the book was brilliant, but the characters were too flat for me. There was no growth in any of them. The hero says he has become older, but I cannot see in any way that he became more virtuous, or has gained any wisdom other than things are not always how they seem. There also was a bit of language and a sex scene that could have been left out. It made the book feel a bit like a harlequin romance set in historical times. I mainly got this book because I love the reader. Steve West is simply wonderful! The two stars in the overall are for his performance. It almost makes the book worth it, but not quite.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 2018-10-12

The Tudor secret

Steve West is Brilliant. his talent of Story telling is incredible. His performance is fantastic. The Story was interesting and amusing.