Saturday, September 3, 2011
Sept. 3 - The Tudor Secret (book)
by C.W. Gortner
The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.
Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is 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 unravel 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.
I stumbled across this book in the cheapie section at Walmart or Target, can't remember at the moment, and thought 'Oooohhhhh, scandalous Tudor story!' and decided that for the couple bucks it cost, why not? I'm always looking for something good to read.
Ha. This is not good. This book sucked. I will even go as far as saying I *hated* it. I tried to force myself to keep going, just get to the end and get it over with. I was almost there too but yesterday I decided I just couldn't stomach it any longer and gave up.
There were two big problems. First and foremost, it was too freakin' complicated. Maybe if you're someone who already knows the Tudor/British royal history it would be easy to follow this but for someone with only a vague knowledge, forget it. There were so many names, so many characters in this story. I couldn't keep it straight who Lady Suffolk was, who Lady Dudley was, who the Duke of Blahblah was, and the Duke Ladeedah, and Master Whatsizname, and Princess, and Your Grace, and so on. Who was for or against who? Who was a spy for who? What exactly were they spying for when everyone seemed to know everything already and you couldn't keep track of what side was what. That was the biggest problem.
The second annoyance was that the fictional parts were so cheesy and melodramatic. Crappy dialogue, stupid situations, inconsistent storytelling. BLEAH! One part, the main character was coming to London for the first time and it mentioned the sight of it was like nothing he could have ever imagined. Maybe a page or two later they have now entered London and it says it's just as he'd always imagined. In another part, the main character is looking for someone in an area next to a river. He's grabbed by thugs and dragged into the castle, down a flight of stairs, through a short hall, and down another flight of stairs. A page later, after being left in the cell they dragged him to, it says he figured out he was below ground because of something or other. Well, hmm, considering they just dragged you DOWN two flights of stairs I would guess, yeah, you're underground. It then says that he thought he was near water because of the dampness. Um, yeah, you were just abducted from outside next to the river. Ya think??
Again, if you're good with the names and stories of the Tudor history maybe this would be an ok read. Maybe the fictional parts wouldn't be quite so stupid if your mind wasn't so boggled from trying to keep the characters sorted out and follow what was going on.
But for me . . . it sucked. The end.