Hunted by a shadowy foe in Bloody Mary’s court, Brendan Prescott plunges into London’s treacherous underworld to unravel a dark conspiracy that could make Elizabeth queen—or send her to her death in C.W. Gortner's The Tudor Conspiracy
England, 1553: Harsh winter encroaches upon the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen to popular acclaim and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower. But when she’s betrothed to Philip, Catholic prince of Spain, putting her Protestant subjects in peril, rumors of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person whom many consider to be England’s heir and only hope—the queen’s half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.
Haunted by his past, Brendan Prescott lives far from the intrigues of court. But his time of refuge comes to an end when his foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings him disquieting news that sends him on a dangerous mission. Elizabeth is held captive at court, the target of the Spanish ambassador, who seeks her demise. Obliged to return to the palace where he almost lost his life, Brendan finds himself working as a double-agent for Queen Mary herself, who orders Brendan to secure proof that will be his cherished Elizabeth’s undoing.
Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess’s private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit, where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister, nothing—and no one—is what it seems.
Get a sneak peek of the second book in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles by C.W. Gortner, The Tudor Conspiracy (available July 16, 2013) with an excerpt of Chapters 1 & 2. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book, too!
“Cut and thrust! To the left! No, to your left!”
Kate’s shout resounded within Hatfield’s vaulted gallery, punctuated by a metallic hiss as she lunged toward me on soft-shod feet, brandishing her sword.
Ignoring the sweat dripping down my brow, my shoulder-length hair escaping its tie and plastered to my nape, I gauged my position. I had the advantage of my weight and height, but Kate had years of training. Indeed, her experience had come as a complete surprise to me. Kate and I had only met five months before in the palace of Whitehall, during the time of peril when I served as a squire to Lord Robert Dudley, son of the powerful Duke of Northumberland, and she acted as an informant for our mistress, Princess Elizabeth Tudor. During our time at court, Kate had displayed rather unusual skills for a woman, but when she first offered to instruct me it never occurred to me that she’d be so adept with a blade. I’d thought to call her bluff, thinking at best all she could manage was a few thrusts and parries. She soon proved how wrong I was.
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