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The Tudor Vendetta

(The Spymaster Chronicles #3)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Upon the death of Mary I (Bloody Mary), Elizabeth I takes the throne and Brendan Prescott is called to aid the young queen amid a realm plunged into chaos and a court rife with conspiracy

London, 1558. Queen Mary is dead, and 25-year old Elizabeth ascends the throne. Summoned to court from exile abroad, Elizabeth’s intimate spy, Brendan Prescott, is reunited with the young
Paperback, 293 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing story set in the first months of Elizabeth I's succession to the English thrown. However, it is not told from her point-of-view but from Brendan Prescott- her personal private eye who in some ways is very much connected to the Tudor lineage as well. With an underlying theme being secrets, it is Queen Elizabeth who seems to be playing a game of chess and using Brendan as her personal pawn to aid in disclosing her most cherished secret that could be her ruin if it were to come t ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
this is a wonderful book to read if you liking spying and mystery books . i fell in love with cw gortner writing in this book . he makes the book feel like it real life .and you never knew what will happen next in the book . i love the fact that queen elizabeth had a son when she young . brendan and queen elizabeth are so funny. and i love all the fact that he will do anything for no matter if will put him in danger . i also like the ending of the book with him and kate find one other again . i ...more
Michelle Miller (True Book Addict)
In the final book of the Spymaster Chronicles trilogy, Elizabeth I has finally ascended to the throne. However, Brendan Prescott's job of protecting her is no less crucial at this stage in the game. As William Cecil states, "She's less safe now than she ever was."

Gortner has a definite skill of bringing the reader right into the story. I felt like I was part of it, like I was seeing the action through Brendan's eyes. And I must touch on Robert Dudley in the context of this series. Never have I
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I discovered C.W. Gortner entirely by accident. I'd accepted an offer to review The Queen's Vow and The Tudor Conspiracy as part of two coinciding book tours and quickly fell in love with his work which is why I didn't stop to think when offered the opportunity to review The Tudor Vendetta. I simply said yes and jumped into the third installment of the Spymaster Chronicles.

As with its predecessor, I was struck by the complex
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, hf
I was worried when I saw this was the third in a series, but I don't think I missed anything that was needed to understand relationships and issues and enjoy the unfolding of this atmospheric mystery.
I certainly will read the preceding two books at some point.

Brendon Prescott is a spy for Elizabeth I who has been abroad during the terror of Bloody Mary. But now she has died and it is safe to come back to England and be part of those who support & protect the new Queen. Soon after his arrival in
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.

A fan of British history, especially history tied to their colorful kings, I choose to read and review The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner, even though I had not read the first two books in the trilogy. Fortunately I was able to read and enjoy this book on its own, though I did have a bit of a learning curve when
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book in the Spymaster Chronicles, and I confess I have not read the first two. Looks like the first book was written back in 2004, and the author came back to make it a series in 2013, only naming the trilogy at that time while renaming the first book which was originally called "The Secret Lion". I think that "Spymaster Chronicles" is something of a misnomer, because as far as I can tell, our main c
T.B. Markinson
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction, but I haven’t read too many that take place during Queen Elizabeth’s time. And the fact that this one revolved around a mystery and a secret agent piqued my curiosity. When I think of spies the first thing that comes to mind is the Cold War. But spies have been used for centuries.

This novel is the third in the series, but it’s the first one that I’ve read. In the beginning I felt a bit lost since characters and events from the previous novels were mentioned quite a bi
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a good read; fast-paced and intriguing enough to hold my attention throughout. I have not read the others in the series but I believe that I will now that I've gotten to know the characters.
This novel isn't on the same level as some of Gortner's other novels--'The Queen's Vow' and 'The Last Queen' are two of my absolute favorites--but then again it is a different kind of novel. Although historical in it's context and with it's inclusion of figures such as Queen Elizabeth I and William C
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Tudor Vendetta is the third book in C.W. Gortner's Spymaster series. Although I haven't read the first two books, this book definitely can stand on its own and I had no problem with following along. Mr. Gortner did an excellet job at providing tidbits of the previous books along the way to help new readers follow along.

The novel's protaganist is Brendan Prescott, a charming nobleman who loyally serves the queen. He returns from exile now that it is Elizabeth will soon be crowned queen. But
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have read one C.W. Gortner book previously, "The Queen's Vow," and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had the same experience here.

Brendan Prescott is a young man working for Sir Francis Walsingham when the book starts; the two of them are living in exile in Switzerland during Queen Mary Tudor's reign, as they are Protestant. Upon Mary's death, they return to England ... only to discover that Elizabeth I's beloved Lady Blanche Parry has disappeared. Elizabeth sends Brendan on the trail. There are many t
Laura Lee
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I am happy I received this book free from GoodReads, but I would have been just as happy if I had paid for it! Also, I discovered another great series to read. Thought book was exciting and suspensefull. I read in two sittings. I liked the main character very much, which is important for me.

Brendon Prescott is a spy for Elizabeth I. He is very loyal to her, as he has proven time and time again. In this adventure he has to locate and rescue one of Elizabeth's favorite ladies. In the meantime a s
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Starting this book thrust me right back into the Tudor period. I was reunited with many of the movers and shakers from the previous books in this series. It also didn't take long for intrigues and treason to return to the forefront of things. I was on the edge of my seat and eager to follow Brendan on the path to uncovering the many secrets lurking around the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. As he peeled back the layers and uncovered the truth, my jaw dropped more with each thing he learned. When ...more
Denise Deen
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: beachbooks-2018
A swashbuckling, perilous adventure that I simply couldn’t put down! I loved this trilogy!!!
Rosie Lee
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best of the trilogy the further adventures of Brendan Prescott Elizabeth I intimate spy
This book is engrossing to the hilt. The story is action packed and dramatic. CW Gortner has a way with a story that is amazing; high court intrigue, an engrossing mystery, plot twists that keep me turning the pages, and a young man’s journey through danger to his ultimate desire. It’s the third book in a series but don’t let that hold you back as it stands on its own two feet as a fascinating Elizabethan spy thriller.

I read the first book in this series ages ago so was vaguely familiar with the
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Tudor Vendetta" is a historical mystery with a lot of panache. This is the third book in C.W. Gortner's fantastic series, "The Spymaster Chronicles" and while this book is very much a standalone book, you should really go back and read the first two books in this series if you're looking for some exciting historical mysteries with memorable characters and excellent historical detail! This book is definitely not your typical Tudor fare!

Again, Brendan, Elizabeth I's spy and the main character
Copperfield Review
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have only recently come to a fascination with an historical subject that have held many history buffs spellbound for years—Tudor England. Blame it on Hilary Mantel and her brilliant Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, or blame it on the television show The Tudors which I began watching one slow Saturday afternoon. Whatever you blame, the truth is I am now quite interested in the sly doings and undoings of King Henry VIII and his offspring. I even made a special trip to the Tower of London on my last trip ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Christopher Gortner is the author of various historical novels including The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Queens Vow. The Tudor Vendetta however is the third novel in the Spymaster Chronicles. Brendan Prescott is back after years in exile and returns to London after Queen Mary is dead and Elizabeth I is the new queen. This story takes place prior to Elizabeth being crowned queen,Brendan is reconciled with Elizabeth and his love, Kate, and is tasked with finding Lady ...more
The Tudor Vendetta is a fantastic end to the Spymaster Trilogy. It is an exquisite mystery filled with secrets and intrigue and is by far my favorite of the three. I was hooked from the first two pages and could not put this book down.

Brendan is a much more mature and well-developed character in this book. When the story begins, he has been away from England for several years and is finally able to return upon the death of Mary I. He arrives in England just as Elizabeth is taking the throne and
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner is an absolutely fantastic work of historical fiction. Definitely the best Tudor novel I’ve read in quite some time, in fact, it’s the best novel, period, that I’ve read recently! It is exciting and mysterious, definitely keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. You have no idea what is going to happen next, and when you think things will turn out one way, you are blindsided while they turn out a totally different way! Brendan Prescott’s character was great. ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I should preface this review with the fact that I have not read the first two books in this trilogy. Therefore, I probably have a different opinion of this installment than those who have and I may inadvertently mention information that constitutes spoilers in those earlier installments.

Maybe I would have enjoyed this book as much as some others have if I had the preexisting connection with these characters. I did find the quick pace and constant action kept my interest, but I never was complet
Heather C
The first two books in the Elizabeth I Spymaster series I ate right up – amazing as they were. I took The Tudor Vendetta with me on my recent vacation and finished the whole thing on the flight! Yes, it is that good (the flight wasn’t that long)! While the third book might wrap up the trilogy (please write some more stories for Brendan!) it blazes ahead at the same speed as its predecessors to a satisfying conclusion.

As is the case with Gortner’s novels, the characters are so lifelike and real y
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Tudor Vendetta is a well-written, fast paced historical mystery novel based in Tudor England. Elizabeth has finally gained the throne but is still in danger and needs her intelligencer, Brendan Prescott, more than ever. Prescott is sent on a secret mission that only Elizabeth knows about. This seemingly simple plot brought out Gortner's knack for writing easy to read mysteries with underlying complexities that often have more to do with the character's personalities and personal histories th ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is 1558, and Elizabeth I has just gained the throne after her sister Queen Mary’s death. She’s under pressure from everyone (and their uncle!) on what to do, who to marry, who to trust, and so on and so forth. There aren’t many people she can trust, but she turns to Brendan Prescott, one of her spies, to find her missing favored lady-in-waiting Lady Parry.

Brendan’s sojourn to the middle of nowhere turns up secrets that people would – and do – kill to protect. But his investigation gets a litt
This proved an exciting and satisfying conclusion to this trilogy of novels focusing on the period following Henry VIII's death and the coronation of Elizabeth I told from the viewpoint of Brendan Prescott, who is caught up in various intrigues surrounding the Tudor dynasty. Gortner does a great job of re-creating the sense of unrest and uncertainty that gripped the nation in the wake of Queen Mary's death and Elizabeth coming to the throne.

Brendan's journey to the remote manor in Yorkshire with
Rita Shire
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The third book in Gortner's trilogy of the rise of Elizabeth I to her throne as Queen of England is full of intrigue, suspense, and numerous secrets. Brendan Prescott is both an intimate confidante and royal threat to Elizabeth I as he is the illegitimate son of HenryVIII's sister, Mary of Sulfolk, making him Elizabeth's cousin. This is one of the family secrets that needs to remain concealed to the outside world. With all the factual schemes, affairs, and clandestine events Elizabeth I actually ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was up and down while reading this title. At times the vast amount of historical information was overwhelming, even for a History graduate. At other times the suspense was very fast paced and edge of my seat. This was a rollercoaster of sorts mainly due to the ebb and flow of the story, at times a bit slow and others a blazing page turner. As a whole, this is a massively researched and very well put together suspense tale revolving around everyone's favorite Tudor. Plausible, enjoyable, and a ...more
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
even though this is the 3rd in a series of books can be really read as a stand alone novel even though has references to previous novels in this series. felt this was the better one of the series to date as Elizabeth comes to the throne but a secret could destroy her kingdom as plots start and master Prescott is called upon to find the missing lady parry.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Master Gortner hath spun a fine tale filled with villains and mysterious goings-on. As one turns its' pages one can taste the rich flavors of pie and ale and smell the pungent aromas of old London. But beware, there also lurks the dank stench of treachery within.
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Bestselling author C.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing, with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies. Raised in Spain and half Spanish by birth, he currently lives in Northern California. His books have been translated in over 20 languages to date.

He welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats. Please visit him at for more information.

Other books in the series

The Spymaster Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Tudor Secret (The Spymaster Chronicles, #1)
  • The Tudor Conspiracy (The Spymaster Chronicles, #2)

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