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The Tudor Secret

The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, Book 1
Narrated by: Steve West
Series: Elizabeth I, Spymaster, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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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.

Critic Reviews

"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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • kate
  • 30-05-2012

The Tudor Secret

I've READ Gortner's other books and enjoyed them. I'm not sure if this was good. I think it was, but the reader trashed it. He made it seem melodramatic and implausible, but the text itself was fine. If this becomes a series, please select a different reader. If it's the same one, I won't bother. If it's a different reader, I'll give it a go.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2011

A gripping book

What can I say apart from a dam good read, gripping, exciting and with lots of twists and turns and just very enjoyable.
I hope there are many, many more to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Learning is fun!
  • 25-09-2016

An unexpectedly unusual storyline

When I first started listening to this audio book, I must confess to being rather irritated by the narrator as he didn't seemed to be incapable of reading in a normal voice. Everything is spoken with an ironic twist _ even when he's simply describing the scenery! However, the story is excellent and I was drawn into the plot because of it. The narrator's idiosyncrasies began to irritate me less because the story is so good and I will try another in the hope someone has taught him how to read!


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • hcowans
  • 13-07-2014

Could not finish

I'm sure it's a good story but narrator was so bad I stopped after two hours :(
Nothing else to say

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. A. Johnston
  • 14-05-2014

Story OK but narration poor

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd recommend the story for a light read, but not this audio book. Better to read it yourself.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Did not finish it because of the narration

Would you be willing to try another one of Steve West’s performances?

Absolutely not. Mispronunciation of simple words and place names was irritating and detracted from the story. The voices were awful and it would have been better if he hadn't tried.

Did The Tudor Secret inspire you to do anything?

Inspired me to write this review - I've never done one before

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Olive
  • 29-03-2011

Disappointing

I can't find anything good to say about this title. As a big fan of the C J Sansom Tudor novels, which are rich in character, brilliantly plotted and feel very authentic, I found this novel less than satisfying. If you're a Sansom fan, steer clear of this one. There are occasions when the narration rescues a mediocre title to being almost bearable but I'm afraid that isn't the case here, either. I was constantly being annoyed by odd stresses and outright mispronunciations. I was glad when it was over.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GaynorPerkins
  • 09-03-2016

A Tutor Tapestry!

Although I already know this history intimately this story became a page turner. I could not wait for the next chapter and I was not disappointed.
A rich tapestry through which Gortner thread his own colour and unraveled a compelling mystery. Gaynor from Somerset.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • C
  • 08-03-2016

Enjoyable adventure set in the Tudor court

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

It ranks about 7/10

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

I enjoyed the fact that this book was set in an era that isn't often visited by historical fiction. In my experience there is plenty written about Henry VIII, the War of the Roses and Elizabeth I, but very little about the period between Henry XIII and Elizabeth I.

What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed Steve West's performance.... apart from one thing that set my teeth on edge, and made me exclaim out loud every time he said it!!!

FRAMLINGHAM

I went to school in Framlingham, and have visited the castle dozens of times. How could he have possibly mispronounced it SO badly?

Everything else he did was fine by me. I enjoyed his narration.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book didn't make me laugh or cry. But it did make me wince and cringe a few times!!

Any additional comments?

I obviously enjoyed this book far more than others did. I have listened to all of the Shardlake books that are currently available, and found these Spymaster chronicles an interesting substitute. Having just finished the second book in the series (Tudor Conspiracy), and currently downloading what I think is the third (Tudor Vendetta), I guess that means that I am enjoying the experience of the series. If I could just get hold of Steve West and tell him how Framlingham is supposed to be pronounced, I would be a happy woman!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • rachel sparrowhawk
  • 04-01-2016

great book kept me hooked

the tudor eara was revisted everytime i turned my audio book on. great gripping stoyline.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Vanessa Barrett
  • 06-12-2013

Derring do worthy of Rupert of Hentzau!

What did you like best about The Tudor Secret? What did you like least?

I tend to pick up anything to do with the Tudor period and I liked the idea of weaving in the setting up of the Elizabethan network of spies. The fictional nature of the book was apparent from the first. I found the basic premise unconvincing and the speed with which the hero got involved in intrigues and then resolved them seemed in the best style of melodrama. Although the history of the period appeared well-researched, the book lacked for me the Tudor atmosphere of other novelists of the genre.

What will your next listen be?

A more modern spy story! Perhaps Le Carre.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No