The Tudor Secret
by C.W. Gortner
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance / Mystery / Espionage
Ages: 15 and up
Brendan Prescott is a foundling of unknown birth. Raised by the Dudley family, he is a lot smarter than most give him credit for. At the age of twenty, he is sent to the court of Edward VI to serve as the squire of Robert Dudley. Edward VI is ill, probably dying, and his sister Elizabeth Tudor has come without permission to visit him. From the first moment Brendan set eyes on her face and she smiled at him, he was lost. He soon finds himself caught up in intrigues and dangers far beyond his experience. He does not know who he can trust, but with only a light-fingered stable boy and a feisty lady's maid to help him, Brendan is determined to serve and protect the princess and perhaps discover the secret surrounding his own past.
Normally I am not a big fan of the Tuder era, but I quite liked this story. Brendan Prescott is an interesting character with a dark past and many secrets, which is my favorite sort of protagonist. I also love historical espionage, stories about the people in the shadows who shaped history without their names ever being known. There are some liberties taken with historical fact, but the author was considerate enough to list the changes he made in the back of the book, which I like.
There are some pretty foul insults in this novel, as well as a use of the f-word. I give it a 5.10 for profanity.
There is a vague scene of sexuality between an unmarried couple, it doesn't fade away but it is brief and doesn't go into specifics. There are also some rather crude references and innuendos. I rate it a 6.10.
There are some scenes of violence, mostly just people beating up on each other but a couple that are worse. There are also some references to torture. It rates a 5.10.