Saturday, 24 February 2018

Review of 'A Queen's spy' by Sam Burnell

Review of 'A Queen's spy' by Sam Burnell

 “It combines murder, mystery, and intrigue in a most masterful way.” Rita Kroon - Author of "Letters from the Past"

As Tudor England erupts following the death of Edward VI, can one young spy protect his queen? International bestselling author Sam Burnell takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with this magnificent new epic, A Queen’s Spy.

In 1553, England is torn apart by religious conflict. Power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and brotherly love.

Richard Fitzwarren, caught in the middle of a cruel family feud, wants nothing more than to make his own way in the world. A childhood friend of the Princess Elizabeth, he cannot forget his loyalty in her time of need. Pressured by her sister, Mary, Elizabeth’s continued existence remains precarious throughout her reign. The divide between Catholic Mary and Anne Boleyn’s Protestant daughter Elizabeth is a deep one.

Jack Fitzwarren, Richard’s displaced bastard brother, seeks a place at his brother’s side. Impulsive and hot headed, his attempts to gain his brother’s acceptance and approval often end badly.

Finally the brothers are brought head to head when Richard tries to foil a plot against Elizabeth. Will Richard accept his fate and fight? Or will he run? Can Jack murder his brother to save a woman he’s never met?

My review

History novels aren't the genre of novel I'd usually read, however, this story swept me in straight away and I was hooked. Although the plot was a little confusing at times and I had to re-read or stop until I had more concentration, once focused I was immersed in the storyline. A developmental editor could easily sort out these dips in the plot and provide a smoother read, but as it is, it is still a very enjoyable story. Tudor fans probably wouldn't struggle with this as would have more of a clue than I about the period in history. The characters are well portrayed and with depth, especially the Fitzwarren family. The teenage Catherine is developed well and is an interesting character and a definite highlight of the story. 

The author has a talent for writing vivid fight scenes that keep you gripped! There is plenty of history in the novel to keep historical readers going as the book develops and plenty of intrigue for readers like me. With a few tweaks here and there this novel has the making of a good solid read and I think readers would enjoy this and others in the series.

About the author...

Sam Burnell lives in the North East of England and has had a passion for history and archaeology all her adult life. Originally trained as a Solicitor, whilst studying for a law degree at Durham University she discovered a love for legal history. Various jobs followed, including researcher for a local museum, public sector audit work and finally now running her own successful scuba diving business both on-line and in a bricks and mortar store. During a career break a return to University was possible where she studied Archaeology, and Sam is never happier then when she's stood in a castle wondering what when and why and trying to unlock the secrets in the stones.

Sam Burnell's passion is the Tudor period, and her fiction is meticulously researched, and her historical fiction has the true flavour of the period. The Tudor period is replete with mystery and intrigue ready to be turned into entertaining fiction that also provides the reader with a greater insight into the history of the period.

'The Tudor Heresy,' serves as an introduction to Sam Burnell's Novel 'A Queen's Spy,' and provides an opener to the series and an introduction to the main characters in the series. The next book in the series, 'A Queen's Traitor,' will be available in September 2017.

Her favorite reading material would be Phillipa Gregory, CJ Sansom and Alison Weir, all Tudor historical fiction, and medieval mysteries and medieval fiction.

Sam Burnell loves to hear from her readers and if you have any comments please leave a review on Amazon, or email her at

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