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Publisher's Summary

Meet Richard Fitzwarren - An anti-hero with a dubious past, questionable morals but unswerving loyalties.

Richard grinned and grasping his brother's wrist said, “Terrible apart and even worse together - that would make us a fine family moto. Et mirabilia absque peius.”  

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 I.  

Jack Fitzwarren, fearing his brother has died, embarks on a reckless path, and whether or not Richard can save him remains to be seen.  

Branded a traitor to the Crown for helping to foil a plot to remove the Princess Elizabeth from the succession, now he will risk all to save her from a plot to snatch her from England.   

Protestant Reformers need a figurehead for their cause, and Elizabeth is it. They truly believe the Princess will be safer in Europe away from her sister Mary's cruel hand, but the lady does not want to go.   

Elizabeth knows her destiny lies with England, and Jack's lies with his brother - or so he hopes.

©2017 Sam Burnell (P)2017 Sam Burnell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good Book

If you like historical fiction and bit of hero then tuck into this you will not be disappointed. Richard Fitzwarren will not disappoint. Intelligent, charismatic and charming he is a character I instantly fell in love with.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A New Writer

This is a new author on the historical scene and has something very new to bring to the genre and certainly worth reading. The books are subtle and work on many levels, so pay attention when you are reading as the writer leaves clues along the away for the attentive reader. There were some in the first book that I only caught up with in the second.

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Loved it

These books are so different. They are Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe with a spinkle of Dunnett and a tiny splash of Shardlake in there as well. They are well written, the characters believable and the settings that are described are practically tangible. Burnell really has a knack of bringing Tudor England to life and I will look out for more by this author.

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Plots and Counter Plots

There is a plot in place to spirit the future Elizabeth I away from England, and Richard Fitzwarren a childhood friend of the lady has offered his help to stop them from succeeding. Along the way he rescues his brother and recruits the unlikely help of a London prostitute. Catherine who we met in the first novel make an appearance again and gets herself involved in spying on the young royal heir. Left and feeling quite forgotten Catherine has no choice but to take any opportunity that comes her way.

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great book and story

I love them . started this one right after u finished the first. I hope you will do more

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Liked it at lot

I’d read A Queen’s Spy and picked this up an audible for a holiday to listen to on a long drive rather than read it. The story was good. Jack starts the book off and you are left wondering for quite a few chapters whether or not the enigmatic Richard is ever going to make an appearance. Jack goes to York at the start of his journey to find his brother and the city is so well described I found myself wandering along the streets with them and was very much reminded of a visit I had had a few years ago. I was actually disappoint when the story moved to London. I can highly recommend this and I have downloaded the book to read, I often feel you miss a lot when listening to a narration.

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A gritty tale of Tudor London

This books paints Tudor London very much as it was, you get a real sense of the sights and smells. There is some real humour especially when Richard has to go and rescue Lizbet who has been accused of stealing when on an errand to buy cloth to make Jack new clothes. I found myself laughing out loud. There are also quite a few witty and biting exchanges between the brothers which are highly charged and hugely entertaining. The book also deals with issues of society and religion quite nicely and gives you an insight into the mind of a young man in the 1550’s in England.

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Loved the story

The story takes a turn back towards London and thankfully we find out that Richard has survived and after a chance encounter the brother’s a reunited. The author makes Jack suffer terribly and he end up at probably the lowest point in his life left to die in debtors jail incarcerated under a false name and devoid of hope. However Richard set on revenge meets up with Catherine at his fathers house and together they rescue Jack just in time. His recovery is believeable as are his sufferings and he is aided by a new character addition to the book, Lizbet. A young woman from the London bawdy houses who has a quick wit, quick thieves fingers and latches onto the brothers as a way out of her current situation although she has genuine compassion for Jack.

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Entertaining book

If you are looking for an historical fiction listen then you can’t go far wrong with this. It’s not romance in the sense that boy does not meet girl and live happily ever after this is a tale of real lives and experiences in difficult times. The historical background is accurate and detailed enough.

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Loved the detail.

The story is swifly paced and the action quick. However the author has taken time to outline tudor England for us in beautiful detail. The sights the smells the experiences are all outlined for us to enjoy along with a great historical background that does seem to be fairly accurate. I actually backtracked after this and picked up a copy of the series opener The Tudor Heresy which does explain a lot of why Richard is like he is.

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  • Kazuo
  • 08-13-18

Turmoil in Tudor England

At the end of the first book it pretty well looked like things couldn’t get much worse for Jack and Richard – they’d had it all and lost the lot. However in the second book in the series it seems they have a lot further to fall. Jack has a trial all of his own when he ends up locked away and left to die in debtors jail and by chance he is rescued by his brother. I really felt for his suffering.

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  • Emilio
  • 08-13-18

Intrigue in Medieval England

It’s complex, complicated, convoluted and boy is it worth it. This book has two great character in, both ill matched and when they are together the sparks fly. The dialogue between them is witty and electric and Lizbet the female lead in this book compliments them perfectly. I am hoping she will make an appearance in the next book in the series.

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  • Pradeep
  • 08-13-18

An adventure novel

This book is much more fast paced than the first one in the series which spent a lot of time scene setting. I am glad I percevered as the sequel was certainly worth it. The next one in the series, A Queen’s Mercenary is not yet available on audio but I have found this on kindle and I am reading this at the moment as I was keen to find out what happened next in the story.

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  • Ignacio
  • 08-13-18

Great Sequel

I really enjoyed the first book in the series and it was interesting to see the story take a turn in an unexpected direction. I was please Richard Fitzwarren had survived even if I did have to wait for a few chapters to find this out fully. The book focuses a lot more on Jack and we learn a lot more about him as a character and by the end of the book I found him as much of a central figure to the series as his more enigmatic and charming brother. The scene when he carries Elizabeth over the river had me holding my breath!

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  • Gibson
  • 07-25-18

Tudor Intrigue

What can I say? I loved it. It is rare to have a book where there is not just one main character but two. I swayed from loving Jack to admiring Richard. Then by the end of the book I kind of thought to be honest it’s okay not to have a favorite they are both great in different ways and both of them take centre stage in this tale. After reading book one A Queen’s Spy and the this book I think I truly understand that this series is about the brothers and their journey and relationship with each other. That was quite comforting as I kind of believe the author will not kill either of them off – even though they have come close on occasion!

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  • Latasha
  • 07-25-18

Sequel to A Queen’s Spy

I don’t think I was totally ready for this book if I am honest. It got me and really grabbed my attention. Jack, as a character, really grows on you. At the start it looks as if he has abandoned a group of pilgrims in peril but he comes back and fights for them despite him own low opinion of himself. It is a book that deals with religion as well quite openly. Jack is the total opposite of his brother when it comes to religion, he lacks belief, and even envies the fact that Richard does believe. Society and the hierarchy in Tudor England are also dealt with in great detail and it is obvious that the author has researched this in detail.

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  • Nancy
  • 07-25-18

If you liked the first one you will love this

The first one was a good book, it had me hooked. I cared about Richard and Jack and wanted to find out what would happen next to them. I had no idea at all where the story would go and the tale is a believable one. The second book in the series is a roller coaster both in terms of action and emotionally. Poor Jack is scarred emotionally and struggles to deal with what has happened to him and Richard tries to help but does not feel equal to the task. It is a cracking good book and I highly recommend it.

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  • Horatio
  • 07-25-18

Loved it.

There was one point when it actually looked like Jack had died, the priest was running through the last rites and someone had even been sent to buy a shroud to sew him up in. I was furious with the author at this point! What would be the point in having just one brother left! Anyway the book did not take a Game of Thrones twist and Jack thank God survived! Looking forward very much the A Queen’s Mercenary which is on pre-order for August.

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  • Rimsha
  • 07-25-18

Amazing Sequel

I had some issues the first book but the second really answers the questions you were left with after the first. The very rocky relationship between the brothers which finally reaches a satisfying conclusion at the end of book one is thankfully cemented in book two. The plot is more basic this time and revolves around a plan to steal Elizabeth from England and Richard rescuing his brother from debtors jail in London. Yes they still argue – which is hugely enjoyable – but the bond between them is forged and by the end of the book they finally are close (not quite there yet!) to accepting one another.