The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review

Title: The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy
Author: Alexandra Walsh
Series: Marquess House #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: June 2nd, 2019 (Sapere Books)

Nonsuch Palace, England, 1586
Elizabeth I has been queen for 28 years. She has survived hundreds of plots against her but now she faces the revelation of a secret she thought would remain hidden forever…
Elizabeth is not the last of the Tudor line — there are two more legitimate heirs to her crown.
Her sworn enemy, Philip II, King of Spain, has discovered the secret and thinks he can control the missing princess as his puppet queen.
Can Elizabeth maintain control over her throne? And what happened to the lost Tudor heirs?

Castle Jerusalem, Andorra, 2018
Dr Perdita Rivers and her twin sister Piper are safely hidden in Andorra.
Despite their narrow escape from those pursuing them, Perdita is determined to continue her grandmother’s legacy by uncovering her ground-breaking research into the English royal bloodline.
But she soon realises that nothing about the Tudor era was as it seemed. And now the national identity of Great Britain must be called into question.
With their enemies still tracking them and the lives of those they love in deadly risk, Perdita and Piper must succeed in exposing the secrets of history or there is no hope of them escaping alive…

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Sapere Books for providing me with an ARC of this novel! I was so excited to see that this sequel was going to be published so soon after the first book, and even more so that it was made available on NetGalley.

In this what-if story of Tudor England, it has been more than four decades since the birth of the twin children of Catherine Howard – two unknown, legitimate heirs to the Tudor throne. And Queen Elizabeth I has kept this secret close ever since the Lady Anne of Cleves entrusted it to her on her deathbed. But the unforeseen has happened – Philip II of Spain has found out about this and sees in it his opportunity to oust Elizabeth from the English throne. Meanwhile, in present day, Perdita and her sister Piper have safely made it to the Mackensie family stronghold in Andorra where they are finally safe from MI1 Elite’s hunters. But there is more of this conspiracy to uncover, starting with the fate of the Tudor twins, and as they delve deeper, they start to understand that nothing about Tudor history is as it seems.

The biggest improvement from the first book for me was that the mystery was maintained for much longer, and I definitely did not see it coming, mainly because I was very caught up with trying to figure out how history is going to be twisted this time around. Though there was significantly less action in the present day plotline this time around, the parallel timelines were much better written and the overall pacing was more balanced. The transitions between the timelines were also really well put together which helped the story flow better overall.

I found the Ladies of Melusine, Elizabeth’s inner circle of trusted women (mostly her cousins), to be very intriguing. I wonder if that might have actually been a real thing, because, as Perdita points out, that was a time when the contributions of women were mostly overlooked, and who knows how much has been forgotten over the years. It was also very interesting to see Elizabeth handle her advisors, a court still made up of men who believe that a woman is too weak to rule, and their attempts to manipulate her. The only minor complaint I had with regards to this book was that the initial chapter went a little too much in depth into the previous book which in my opinion was not really necessary. But apart from that, plot wise, I really enjoyed the direction this book is taking, and the many surprising twists definitely kept me entertained throughout.

And now that the secret of Catherine Howard’s daughter has been revealed, all that remains is for Perdita to uncover the identity of the secret Tudor prince – and how all of that relates back to Marquess House and her family, because I get the feeling there’s a big reveal on that front too. This was an excellent sequel to The Catherine Howard Conspiracy and an exciting, fast-paced read. Alexandra Walsh yet again takes the historical facts we know today and manages to weave an incredibly believable alternate universe. I can’t wait to see how this ends!

Have you read this series or do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: The Catherine Howard Conspiracy



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