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Extended Audio Sample The Tudor Secret Audiobook, by C. W. Gortner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 5 3.14 (21 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: C. W. Gortner Narrator: Steve West Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9781470802257
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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 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dazzling cast of characters…at its heart, the brilliant and enigmatic Elizabeth. Never have spy and counterspy been more challenged, villains more duplicitous, and life for those in power—or hoping to be—more dangerous…Fast-moving tale of espionage and suspense…The velvet peril of Tudor England comes alive in this haunting look at Elizabeth I’s secret spy.”

    Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII

  • “Even Tudor fans who know the key players and historical backdrop will be captivated by Gortner’s storytelling and his engaging hero. [Gortner] juxtaposes his naïve and loyal hero with the cruel Robert Dudley, enhancing the plot and grabbing reader interest as much as the quick pace and lush historical references. This novel is both entertaining and thoughtful.”

    Romantic Times 

  • “Riveting…Gortner handles action with aplomb...a riveting, fast-paced thriller.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A brilliantly executed plot and three-dimensional characters…This is historical fiction, and very well done at that; very highly recommended.”

    Historical Novels Review, editors’ choice

  •  “An exciting, vividly rendered story of intrigue and espionage.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leandra de Sousa | 2/19/2014

    " I read this book about a month (and a bit) ago and have been meaning to write a review about it. Unfortunately this book was so unmemorable that I cannot remember anything about it besides the fact that I didn't agree with the way Elizabeth was portrayed. I think the fact that it is so unmemorable says it all. Sorry Gortner, I'm going to give the Queen's Vow a go and hopefully it will be ... better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wisteriouswoman | 2/13/2014

    " I use to really like historical fiction. This book reminds me why. The book is filled with espionage and suspense mixed in with the feel of court in the time of Elizabeth I before she becomes queen. I had to check my book on historical figures in English history to get a better idea of which characters in the book were real and their role in history. The main character,Bendon,is an orphan boy who eventually ends up serving at court as Lord Robert Dudley's squire. There is romance, adventure, and a bit of a mystery. The historical part is the backdrop and doesn't drag down the story or make it tedious and boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josephine | 2/3/2014

    " am listening to this on audio. I love historical fiction and this is a very interesting story, about the Tudor's of england. Really like the story, the reader is very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary G. | 1/22/2014

    " This was a great read. Although not a fan of the TV show The Tudors, Gortner really showed off the world of Elizabeth Tudor. The main charachter is interesting and the opening really gripped me. Looking forward to the next in the series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen Miller | 1/21/2014

    " No, no, no. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good either. I can't even explain it ~ some parts were quite confusing, others were very rushed. It just was mediocre writing, at best. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Petra | 1/19/2014

    " Couldn't get into it nor did it hold my attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samm Seals | 1/15/2014

    " wonderful! easy, fun, entertaining, never bogs down, interesting characters, not a deep analysis, just constant movement through the plot. would make a nice gift. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christy English | 12/9/2013

    " I really enjoyed this one. Brendan is a compelling character and held his own among Walsingham, Cecil and even Elizabeth. A great read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paulette Henriod | 11/13/2013

    " We read this in book club. Even though I know the Tudor story, there was a fair amount of intrigue as it was told through the perspective of a fictional, male servant- turned spy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/23/2013

    " Not as good as The Last Queen! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kym | 10/10/2013

    " I am embarrassed that this looked like a bodice-ripper, which thankfully it was not. But it was too easy, too contrived. There is no secret, I tell you. I am a Tudor Sucker. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 5/25/2013

    " I have become one of the many obsessed with the history of The Tudors because of the Showtime TV show.With that being said, I fell in love with this novel. I love learning more and more about this time period in history. I can't wait to get my hands on the second novel!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet Jenkins | 5/5/2012

    " I like Historical Fiction and this one is good with a fictional character and a mystery about him. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mandy | 12/15/2011

    " This story was terrible, predictable and written for a bad lifetime movie. I would not recommend it to a friend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aubrey | 11/27/2011

    " Intriguing mystery based on truth. A little bit too much skin, but it's pretty easy to skip a page or two. I really liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 6/15/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Tudor's family history and their royal blooded fiery for the crown and mother England. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leeellen | 6/12/2011

    " Fast paced and easy to read good story, really good weekend book to read... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kym | 6/6/2011

    " I am embarrassed that this looked like a bodice-ripper, which thankfully it was not. But it was too easy, too contrived. There is no secret, I tell you. I am a Tudor Sucker. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary J | 6/6/2011

    " Interesting take on history. I may get interested more if the author develops this into a series. The characters are likeable. They engaged themselves with real historical figures. To me that is the best way to write historical fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Way | 5/23/2011

    " I loved it. I didn't want to put it down. (: Though the ending wasn't what I hoped for, it was still amazing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samm | 5/6/2011

    " wonderful! easy, fun, entertaining, never bogs down, interesting characters, not a deep analysis, just constant movement through the plot. would make a nice gift.
    "

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About the Author

C. W. Gortner is an American author of historical fiction novels, including the acclaimed The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, as well as three historical mystery in the Spymaster Chronicles series. He holds an MFA in writing with an emphasis in Renaissance studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a medieval Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half Spanish by birth and raised in southern Sprain, he now lives in Northern California.

About the Narrator

Steve West, the winner of nine Audiofile Earphones Awards for narration, is an actor of international standing. He is known for his appearances on London’s West End Stage in Mamma Mia!, contemporary plays, and Shakespearean classics. He has appeared in Hollywood movies and on television screens in the United States and the United Kingdom and performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. His work has also been screened at the Cannes International Film Festival.