Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tudor Secret” as Want to Read:
The Tudor Secret
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Tudor Secret (The Spymaster Chronicles #1)

by
3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,594 Ratings  ·  367 Reviews
The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies. Summer 1553 was 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 so ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tudor Secret, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Asteropê No, the TV show is not based off this book or any other previously written novel(s). Tudors was written and created by Michael Hirst. There are a…moreNo, the TV show is not based off this book or any other previously written novel(s). Tudors was written and created by Michael Hirst. There are a number of tv-tie-ins of novels based off the TV show, but not the other way around as far as I can find. See here: https://www.goodreads.com/series/1495...(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
B the BookAddict
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction/faction lovers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Diane S's review


Set in those fractious days both preceding and following the death of Edward VI, C.W. Gortner places his fictional squire, Brendan Prescott, into the story. A foundling at birth and brought up in the Dudley household, he seeks to unearth the secrets surrounding his birth. Tasked with a clandestine errand to Princess Elizabeth by Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, he simultaneously finds himself escorting Princess Mary, and acting as a spy for Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, the Master Sec
...more
Barb
This is the first Gortner novel I've read and while I love reading novels set during this period this one hasn't turned out to be a favorite of mine.

Brendan Prescott, foundling raised along side the powerful Dudley family, comes to court to serve Robert Dudley. In his attempt to follow his master's first command he meets Princess Elizabeth Tudor and finds himself captivated, then pulled into the complicated world of politics during the reign of Edward VI.

I thought the mystery was decent enough
...more
Orsolya
Although I have enjoyed other works by Mr. Gortner, I could only read a chapter of The Tudor Secret before I put it down telling my boyfriend, "This is much too fake to read". Perhaps it is because I have been in more of a actual history kick for the past year versus historical fiction or perhaps it is because of the fact that book was reading more like a high school drama club play. Granted, if I had stuck it out, then it may have progressed better. Call me a quitter, but I just couldn't read a ...more
C.W.
Oct 05, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
FROM THE PUBLISHER:
A rousing historical adventure set in the Tudor court, during final days of Edward VI's reign- a time of danger, deceit, and courage. Brendan Prescott, a foundling reared in Dudley household, arrives at court to serve as a squire to the arrogant Lord Robert Dudley. Keen and ambitious, Brendan hopes to gain advancement in his new post - until Lord Robert dispatches him on an illicit mission to the King's enigmatic sister, the Princess Elizabeth, and Brendan discovers that nothi
...more
KJ, Madame Librarian
A young white boy discovers he is *~special~* in this ground-breaking tale. In a stunning turn of events, all the major female players (which include Elizabeth I, Mary I, and Frances Brandon of Suffolk) are one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs who exist only to help this *~special~* young white boy find *~the truth~*.

Ever author who blurbed on the back of this book should feel bad about themselves.

PS: The cover wardrobe is inaccurate. Just for the record.
Patty
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction readers should thank Mr. Gortner for choosing to take us along with his imagination and give us such tales of what might have been. It takes a strong knowledge of time, place and history to be able to weave a story that at its core is completely based in fiction but populated by icons. Yet that is exactly what Mr. Gortner does with this first book in his Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
We meet young Brendan Prescott as he is making a journey to London. A foundling, Brendan w
...more
Amy Bruno
I am a huge fan of C.W. Gortner’s The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Last Queen and so when the opportunity to review The Tudor Secret came my way, I quickly seized it! And I was not disappointed!

As a newborn babe Brendan Prescott was abandoned on the grounds of the powerful Dudley family. Taken in and raised at Dudley Castle, Brendan is tormented daily by the Dudley brothers, in particular the handsome, yet arrogant Robert. As the book opens, we find Brendan riding towards the court
...more
Shannon
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won this in a Goodreads first reads giveaway, which I was very excited about. Free books; yay! They asked for a review, so here it is.

What I liked about the book: I find the time period absolutely fascinating. I thought the author did a great job interweaving fiction with non-fiction. The Tudors are the ultimate dysfunctional family that you hate to love or love to hate. That always makes for great reading. I also liked most of the characters, flawed as they were.

What I didn't like: Wow. I rea
...more
D.G.
**2.5 stars for plot/0.5 star for narration**

The Tudor Secret was more historical fiction than anything, unless you count the "mystery" of Brendan Prescott's birth, which I don't (when I read a mystery, I'm looking for dead bodies.) The book was set at an interesting time in history, during the last days of Edward VI and the fight for the throne among all the Tudors, including Jane Grey, Mary Tudor and of course, Elizabeth.

The whole mystery of Brendan's parentage was pretty obvious (I could tell
...more
Holley
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once you step into the luxurious pages of The Secret Lion, you will find yourself on an excursion full of intricate plots, rich settings and historical themes. The time is sixteenth century Tudor England, during the riveting and exquisite renaissance period.
Misha
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Everyone has a secret.
Like the oyster with its grain of sand, we bury it deep within, coating it with opalescent layers, as if that could heal our mortal wound. Some of us devote our entire lives to keeping our secrets hidden, save from those who might pry it from us, hoarding it like a pearl only to discover that it escapes us when we least expect it, revealed by a flash of fear in our eyes when caught unawares, by a sudden pain, a rage or hatred, or an all-consuming shame.


The Tudor Secret is t
...more
Isabel  Almeida (Os Livros Nossos)
Leia a crítica completa no Blog Os Livros Nossos em
http://oslivrosnossos.blogspot.pt/201...


(...) O protagonista da trama é Brendon Prescott, um jovem abandonado e acolhido pela poderosa família Dudley, é chamado a assumir as funções de escudeiro de Robert Dudley, em Londres na corte de Eduardo VI, o jovem rei que vive sob o jugo manipulador do seu perverso e astuto conselheiro - João Dudley - Duque de Northumberland - pai de Robert.

Tendo sido confiado aos cuidados de uma serviçal - a saudosa D
...more
Ravin Maurice
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to force myself to not finish this book in one sitting, and even then it kept me up till the wee hours of the morning.
But I can't say enough about C.W. Gortner. He's remarkable in so many ways, and weaves the most amazing stories!

The Tudor Secret revolves around Brendan Prescott, a foundling who was reared in the Dudley household, and what happens to him when he comes to the court of Edward VI to serve Robert Dudley. Gortner kept very close to the facts as I understand them in and surrou
...more
Rio (Lynne)
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third Gortner book. The Last Queen is one of my favorites. There is no need to rehash the plot on this one. This book was originally released as The Secret Lion. Gortner has the right recipe in the way he writes his novels. They just flow. From page 1 you feel like you are there living in his world and he gives you a great "fictional" story intertwined with historical facts. The Tudor Secret was a fun read. I give it 3 and 1/2 stars
Raychel
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



Four stars for being well written and expertly plotted. Well developed and sympathetic characters. Upgraded to five stars for having Steve West narrate!
Lindsay
3.5 Overall an intriguing and enjoyable take on this period.
Joel
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eso si que fue adictivo.

"Las necesidades del cuerpo raramente se preocupan de la desolación del corazón."

Primero tengo que resaltar la característica mas importante del libro: su hermosa prosa. Está narrado de una forma tan bella que, combinado con lo intrépido de las aventuras de nuestro protagonista hacen que el libro sea difícil de soltar. Una belleza.

Igual que dicho protagonista... estoy enamorado de Brendan. Pero no porque sea el típico héroes puedelo-todo sino por lo contrario: en cada pá
...more
Christina Rochester
I need a half star rating on goodreads. This book is certainly better than its successor, The Tudor Conspiracy, but I still don't want to award it that lofty five star rating. So let's call it four and a half stars even though goodreads will class it as a four star rating.

This first book in Elizabeth's Spymaster trilogy focuses on the last days of Edward VI's reign and that of Jane Grey, also known as the Nine Day Queen. Our protagonist Brendan Prescott is a squire in service to Lord Robert Dudl
...more
Tudor Book Blog
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A The Tudor Book Blog Review(http://www.thetudorbookblog.com).

Summary:

This story follows an orphaned stable boy, Brendon Prescott, on a search to discover his past, as well as save the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth.

Found abandoned as a baby, he is taken in by the powerful Dudley family. When he is old enough, he is called to the Royal Tudor Court, ruled by the young Edward VI. Though Robert Dudley has shown his obvious distaste for Prescott, Prescott is assigned to become his squire. His first m
...more
Bat
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently this book can be found under two titles: "The Secret Lion" or "The Tudor Secret". I can't tell if it didn't find an audience when it was originally published or recent Tudor-mania made it a hit.

I picked it up under the "The Tudor Secret" title. Here's my problem: if you know *anything* about Tudor history (or even farther back then that, in the many twists and turns of the monarchy of the British isles) you're going to be very... confused. Unless you can *completely* suspend reality a
...more
Christie
First Sentence: "Everyone has a secret."

Brendan Prescott is an orphan raised in the Dudley household in the mid-1500s. The Dudleys are at the height of their power during the reign of the young king Edward VI. Brendan is brought to court to serve as Robert Dudley's squire, but soon finds himself caught up in plots and missions for Lady Elizabeth's protector, William Cecil, in the tumultuous year of 1553. Amid all the intrigue and danger, Brendan finds time for romance and friendship and starts t
...more
Xulieta NeveraDeLibros
Una vez más me he encontrado con un libro que puedo encasillar en mis favoritos. El secreto de los Tudor no solo es historia sino que es una gran obra con una buena trama por el que sus personajes bien definidos caminan aportando mucho más de lo que se puede apreciar en la sinopsis.

Una historia que comienza un verano de 1553 con el escudero (Brendan Prescott) de uno de los hijos de la familia Dudley, Robert, en la corte. Personas importantes y una Inglaterra en vilo velando por su rey y queriend
...more
Elena
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Everyone has a secret. Like an oyster with its grain of sand, we bury it deep within, coating it with opalescent layers, as if that could heal our mortal wound. Some of us devote our entire lives to keeping our secret hidden, safe from those who might pry it from us, hoarding it like the pearl, only to discover that it escapes us when we least expect it...."
~from The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

As I perused the opening lines of The Tudor Secret (above) chills ran down my spine; I knew then
...more
Sarah
Oct 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Lion is the first novel in the Spymaster Chronicles by C.W. Gortner, writer of historical fiction.

The Secret Lion is set in 1553 at the height of scandal in the Tudor dynasty and follows Queen Elizabeth and her lover Robert Dudley. Our main protagonist is Brendan Prescott, a man of lowly rank who serves the Dudley household and becomes part of a plot to save Queen Elizabeth when her brother King Edward VI mysteriously disappears. The loyal Brendan functions as a spy, and we soon learn
...more
Laurel Bradshaw
Setting: England, London, Whitehall Palace

Time: 1602, 1553

Main characters: Brendan Prescott - an orphan raised in the Dudley household, Princess Elizabeth, Edward VI, William Cecil - Baron Burghley.

First paragraph: "Everyone has a secret.
Like the oyster with its grain of sand, we bury it deep within, coating it with opalescent layers, as if that could heal our mortal wound. Some of us devote our entire lives to keeping our secret hidden, safe from those who might pry it from us, hoarding it like
...more
Colleen Turner
The first book in C.W. Gortner's Spymaster Chronicles, The Tudor Secret introduces the reader to Brendan Prescott, a foundling raised in the Dudley household and one who's very blood hides a secret many would do anything, even kill, to keep hidden.

When Brendan arrives at court in the summer of 1553 to be squire to Robert Dudley, he finds his life instantly turned on its head when he begins working as a spy for William Cecil, Princess Elizabeth's most trusted advisor. He is charged with finding
...more
Michelle
More like 4.5 stars.

I enjoyed this historical novel and found it hard to put down because of the alternate theories in play. I read a lot of historical fiction including novels set in this time period and this author held my attention better than most. Mr. Gortner really grounded me in the 1500s through his excellent description of that time period and his use of the five senses. I experienced many perils along with the main character, Brandon, such as near-drowning incidences and being held in
...more
Marg
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have long been a fan of C W Gortner, not only because of how much I enjoy his books, but also because of the gracious way in which he interacts with his readers. I really enjoy the way that he has previously focused on not necessarily unknown characters but rather lesser known characters from European history like Juana, queen of Spain (sister to Catherine of Aragon), or Catherine de Medici. Right from when I first read him I have enjoyed his voice and his portrayal of powerful, flawed women.

B
...more
Kathleen Kelly
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I love the Tudors!! What can I say? This is a period in history that is so intriqing to me. The politics, the machinations of the court, King Henry and all those wives, his children ,Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth. The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner, is the first book in the trilogy 'The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles'. It starts when sickly King Edward is on the throne and Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth are hidden away for their protection from the Dudley family. Enter Brendan Presc ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Historical Myster...: The Spymaster Chronicles by C. W. Gortner 5 53 Sep 18, 2015 01:51AM  
  • In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • In the Shadow of Lady Jane
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • To Serve a King
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • King's Fool
  • The Poyson Garden (Elizabeth I, #1)
  • The Sixth Wife
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court (Tudor Court #1)
  • The Queen's Gamble (Thornleigh, #4)
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • Three Maids for a Crown
  • By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #3)
  • Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn
169656
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 www.cwgortner.com for more information.
More about C.W. Gortner...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book

“There are moments that define our existence, moments that, if we recognize them, become pivotal turning points in our life.” 3 likes
“Everyone has secret.
Like the oyster with its grain of sand, we bury it deep within, coating it with opalescent layers, as if that could heal our mortal wound. Some of us devote our entire lives to keeping our secret hidden, safe from those who might pry it from us, hoarding it like the pearl, only to discover that it escapes us when we least expect it. revealed by a flash of fear in our eyes when caught unawares, by a sudden pain, a rage or hatred, or an all-consuming shame.”
1 likes
More quotes…