Book Review and #Giveaway entry: The Tudor Secret

The main entry options and bonus entries for the giveaway can be found here on C.W. Gortner's guest post.

I mentioned yesterday that I loved Mr. Gortner's last two books that I had the opportunity to review, Catherine De Medici and The Last Queen.  The minute I saw that he had another new book coming out, I knew that I absolutely had to get onto the Pump Up Your Book tour for The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles).

About The Tudor Secret

The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and above all, spies.
Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is 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, 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 unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and 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.

My Review

This book is almost a complete departure in some ways from Mr. Gortner's previous books - the other two books that I reviewed focussed on a very strong female character with the men and other women in their lives serving only as bit players.  They also relied very heavily on facts and timelines already in existence, as they were written as bio-fiction.
In The Tudor Secret, Brendan Prescott, a man, is the central character, but many others play strong roles throughout the book.  I love that this book is told from the perspective of someone who is somewhat on the outside looking into the world of aristocracy.  There are several places where this perspective gives the reader a refreshing take on situations that in other political intrigue books would just supply standard fare.  It's rare to find Tudor era historicals with males as central characters unless you are reading biographies of great men, like Henry VIII, but this books is something that makes me want to read more books from a similar perspective!
As much as I loved Gortner's other books, they were weighty tomes that took time and effort to read and savor.  The Tudor Secret is much more fun, lively and fast paced.  The twists and turns of the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, make me crave the next book already!
If you are looking for a historically detailed book that features detailed descriptions of what people wore, ate and lived, this isn't for you.  If you are looking for a fun, energetic, fast paced intrigue set in Edward VI and Elizabeth I's Tudor England, than you are in for a treat!
Have I whetted your appetite for The Tudor Secret (The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles)?  It's available on and at better booksellers all over.
Or you can WIN your copy!
Today's bonus entry is to leave a comment here on the review, letting me know why you want to read this book. 
There are multiple additional entries available on C.W. Gortner's Guest Post, which also features his biography.
In case you didn't see them yesterday, here are the giveaway rules:
Giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only
Mandatory Entry must be completed before other entries count.
Each entry must be made as a SEPARATE COMMENT
Giveaway will end on March 10th, 2011 at 11:59 PM and the winner will be chosen by and announce on Acting Balanced and contacted by email
The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
The comments on the Guest Post will number 1 through X, 
the comments on this review post will begin at X+1 for

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of completing my review.  All opinions are my own.