Christopher C W Gortner Books in Order

The Christopher C W Gortner books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Christopher C W Gortner books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of The Spymaster Chronicles Books

The Secret Lion aka The Tudor Secret

GORTNER, C. W. 2011

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, C. W. Gortner's The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

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The Tudor Conspiracy

Gortner, C. W. 2013

Hunted by a shadowy foe in Bloody Mary's court, Brendan Prescott plunges into London's treacherous underworld to unravel a dark conspiracy that could make Elizabeth queen―or send her to her death in C.W. Gortner's The Tudor Conspiracy, the second book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

England, 1553: Harsh winter encroaches upon the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen to popular acclaim and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower. But when she's betrothed to Philip, Catholic prince of Spain, putting her Protestant subjects in peril, rumors of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person whom many consider to be England's heir and only hope―the queen's half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.

Haunted by his past, Brendan Prescott lives far from the intrigues of court. But his time of refuge comes to an end when his foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings him disquieting news that sends him on a dangerous mission. Elizabeth is held captive at court, the target of the Spanish ambassador, who seeks her demise.

Obliged to return to the palace where he almost lost his life, Brendan finds himself working as a double-agent for Queen Mary herself, who orders Brendan to secure proof that will be his cherished Elizabeth's undoing. Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess's private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit, where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister, nothing―and no one―is what it seems.

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The Tudor Vendetta

Gortner, C. W. 2014

London, 1558. Queen Mary is dead, and 25-year old Elizabeth ascends the throne. Summoned to court from exile abroad, Elizabeth's intimate spy, Brendan Prescott, is reunited with the young queen, as well as his beloved Kate, scheming William Cecil, and arch-rival, Robert Dudley.

A poison attempt on Elizabeth soon overshadows her coronation, but before Brendan can investigate, Elizabeth summons him in private to dispatch him on a far more confidential mission: to find her favored lady in waiting, Lady Parry, who has disappeared during a visit to her family manor in Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival at the desolate sea-side manor where Lady Parry was last seen, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery in Vaughn Hall, the more he learns that in his zeal to uncover the truth, he could be precipitating Elizabeth's destruction.

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the deadly underworld of London, Brendan must race against time to unravel a vendetta that will strike at the very core of his world―a vendetta that could expose a buried past and betray everything he has fought for, including his loyalty to his queen.

The Tudor Vendetta is the third volume in the Spymaster Chronicles series by C.W. Gortner.

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Last Queen

Gortner, C. W. 2006

In this stunning novel, C. W. Gortner brings to life Juana of Castile, the third child of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand of Spain, who would become the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit her country’s throne. Along the way, Gortner takes the reader from the somber majesty of Spain to the glittering and lethal courts of Flanders, France, and Tudor England.

Born amid her parents’ ruthless struggle to unify and strengthen their kingdom, Juana, at the age of sixteen, is sent to wed Philip, heir to the Habsburg Empire. Juana finds unexpected love and passion with her dashing young husband, and at first she is content with her children and her married life.

But when tragedy strikes and she becomes heir to the Spanish throne, Juana finds herself plunged into a battle for power against her husband that grows to involve the major monarchs of Europe. Besieged by foes on all sides, Juana vows to secure her crown and save Spain from ruin, even if it costs her everything.

Praise for The Last Queen“This moving tale of Juana la Loca (the Mad) vividly re-creates the passion, politics, and betrayals that drove a smart and spirited queen to the brink of insanity . . . or perhaps, as C. W. Gortner suggests, to the pretense of insanity–a pretense that baffled Juana’ s enemies and led to triumph for her children and her country.

 The Last Queen is an absorbing account of one of history’s most fascinating women, from her never-before-told point of view.”—Donna Woolfolk Cross, author of Pope Joan“I ached for this intelligent, one-of-a-kind queen. Her struggle and passion kept me up until the early hours of the morning.

A page-turner, a nail-biter, an eye-opener: I loved being possessed by The Last Queen!”—Ki Longfellow, author of The Secret Magdalene“A vibrant tapestry of love and hate . . . brings to life an extraordinary queen at an unforgettable time in history.

”—Sandra Worth, author of Lady of the Roses “An exquisite evocation of a dangerous era and of a forgotten queen.”—Holly Payne, author of The Virgin’ s Knot “Gripping and unforgettable . . . captures Juana of Castile’s electrifying drama.

”—Judith Merkle Riley, author of The Water Devil

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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

Gortner, C. W. 2010

The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France.

In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility.

Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart.

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The Queen's Vow

Gortner, C. W. 2012

“A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books  Isabella is barely a teenager when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone her half brother, King Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain.

Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragón. As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies.

With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

Praise for The Queen’s Vow   “A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction . . . Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to re-create Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the Queen but the whole nation to life.

”—RT Book Reviews   “A fascinating story . . . Through his creative and spellbinding storytelling, Gortner’s readers come to know Isabella intimately in mind, heart and body as she lives through a tumultuous time, her intense longing to be the determiner of her own unique destiny.

”—Wichita Falls Times Record News   “A novel of triumph as Isabella vanquishes her enemies one by one . . . [She is] a very human and appealing character.”—The Roanoke Times   “Politically charged, passionate . . . [a] well-researched, intriguing historical.

”—Bookreporter

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Mademoiselle Chanel

Gortner, C. W. 2015

For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity.

But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons.

But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

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The Vatican Princess

Gortner, C. W. 2016

For fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, bestselling author C. W. Gortner effortlessly weaves history and drama in this captivating novel about one of the world’s most notorious families. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized fifteenth-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions.

Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, a new era has dawned in Rome.

Benefitting from their father’s elevation are the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—each of whom assumes an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes.

But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, the threat of a French invasion forces him to marry her off to a powerful adversary.

But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood.

Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice. What results is a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.

Praise for The Vatican Princess“In a literary exploration riven with Shakespearean quantities of murder, lies, deceptions, and treachery, Gortner’s narrative gains veracity with his atmospheric exploration of fashion, architecture, and art on the stage of ‘loud, filthy, and dangerous’ Rome.

Gortner has imagined Lucrezia Borgia’s life from a feminist perspective.”—Kirkus Reviews “[Gortner] has invested his novel with impressive historical detail that is woven neatly into the threads of the story, and his afterword and references offer excellent insight.

”—Historical Novels Review“Assiduously researched and expertly crafted, this novel takes readers inside the treacherous world of the Borgias—one of history’s most dysfunctional ruling families—and brings to life the sympathetic and freshly imagined character of their leading lady, Lucrezia.

This unholy plunge into Rome’s darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Sisi: Empress on Her Own“The world of Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life—I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias.

”—Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen “Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization of these turbulent times make for a fascinating read.”—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I

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Marlene

Gortner, C. W. 2016

From the cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the dazzling film studios of Hollywood’s golden age, an enthralling novel of a glamorous legend Maria Magdalena Dietrich was born for a life on the stage. Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, the willful teenager vows to become an actress and singer, trading her family’s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited decadence of Weimar Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls.

With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses—and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention—until she finds overnight success in her breakthrough film role as the cabaret singer Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel.

For Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler rises to power, she sets sail for America. Her image as an erotic temptress captures worldwide attention, and she becomes one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, starring in one high-profile film—and affair—after another.

Though Hitler tries to lure her back to Germany, Marlene chooses instead to become a citizen of her new nation, even as America enters the war against her fatherland. But one day, she must return to Germany, escorted by General George Patton himself.

In the devastated cities and the concentration camps, she comes face-to-face with how the evils of fascism transformed her country, and the family she thought she knew. Lushly descriptive, as alluring as the lady herself, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged a path on her own terms.

Praise for Mademoiselle Chanel“In this deliciously satisfying novel, C. W. Gortner tells the epic rags-to-riches story of how this brilliant, mercurial, self-created woman became a legend.”—CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train“Well-written and historically accurate.

. . . An homage to a couture icon whose influence is still powerful today.”—Kirkus Reviews“Sucked me in by the pearls and never let go. Gortner’s imagining of the ultimate fashion icon is equal parts grit and glamour, painting a portrait of a woman who was hugely inspiring but by no means perfect.

Oh, and if you can’t afford to visit Paris in peak springtime season, reading this book with a glass of wine is a decent substitute.”—Glamour“Enticing. . . . Well-researched and well-crafted historical novel that leaves the reader satisfied on many levels.

”—New York Journal of Books“Gortner brings to life a woman who was as alluring and captivating as her signature scent.”—RT Book Reviews

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The Romanov Empress

Gortner, C. W. 2018
A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the fall of an empire and the bold heart of the woman who tried to save it. Read More

The First Actress

Gortner, C. W. 2020

“This novel about Sarah Bernhardt, the iconic French actress, is both a riveting portrait of the artist as a passionate young woman and a luscious historical novel full of period detail.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of the Ritz and The Aviator’s Wife From her beginnings as the daughter of a courtesan to her extraordinary transformation into the most celebrated actress of her era, Sarah Bernhardt is brought to life by an internationally bestselling author praised for his historical novels featuring famous women.

Sarah’s highly dramatic life starts when she returns to Paris after her convent schooling and is confronted by her mother’s demand to follow in the family trade as a courtesan. To escape this fate, Sarah pursues a career onstage at the esteemed Comédie-Française, until her rebellious acting style leads to her scandalous dismissal.

Only nineteen years old and unemployed, Sarah is forced to submit to her mother’s wishes. But her seductive ease as a courtesan comes to an abrupt end when she discovers she is pregnant. Unwilling to give up her child, Sarah defies social condemnation and is cast adrift, penniless and alone.

  With her striking beauty and innovative performances in a bohemian theater, Sarah catapults to unexpected success; suddenly, audiences clamor to see this controversial young actress. But her world is torn asunder by the brutal 1870 siege of Paris. Sarah refuses to abandon the ravaged city, nursing wounded soldiers and risking her life.

Her return to the Comédie and her tempestuous affair with her leading man plunge Sarah into a fierce quest for independence. Undeterred, she risks everything to become France’s most acclaimed actress, enthralling audiences with her shocking portrayals of female and male characters.

Sarah’s daring talent and outrageous London engagement pave her path to worldwide celebrity, with sold-out tours in Europe and America.  Told in her own voice, this is Sarah Bernhardt’s incandescent story—a fascinating, intimate account of a woman whose unrivaled talent and indomitable spirit has enshrined her in history as the Divine Sarah.

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Christopher C W Gortner books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

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