The Tudor Secret
During the last days of King Edward VI, in the year 1553, Squire Brendan Prescott finds himself immersed in the complicated lives of the Tudors and those who would serve or betray them (and sometimes both). Prescott, an orphan seeking his roots, is pressed into service for Lord Robert Dudley, ardent admirer of the Princess Elizabeth and childhood acquaintance of Prescott. In Brendan’s mind, the reunion is less than appealing.
From the moment he is introduced to the Princess Elizabeth, Brendan is enchanted by her, as though connected on some level. He pledges himself almost immediately to her service, with total disregard to the fact that his service is already pledged to Lord Dudley. Yet, Brendan embraces the danger to satisfy what he can only describe as a moral imperative.
Unlike his previous two novels, The Confessions of Catherine De Medici and The Last Queen, this novel has as its protagonist not only a man, but a mere squire. Additionally, this book, while it contains a brilliantly executed plot and three-dimensional characters, takes great liberties with historical fact and widely-held assumptions. For example, Princess Elizabeth (who would become Queen Elizabeth I) is portrayed as being much more tender-hearted (especially towards Mary Tudor) than history would have us believe. Additionally, Elizabeth would never have gone to visit her dying brother as the author has her do. But, as the author’s notes remind us, this is historical fiction, and very well done at that; very highly recommended.