The plot was a bit convoluted at times, but it was mostly a fun read with lots of action and courtly intrigue involving some familiar faces from the Tudor period interspersed with some purely fictional characters. The story was extremely unrealistic which bothered me a bit. For example, when Brendan first comes to court he is depicted as the quintessential farm boy/country bumpkin, but within a matter of hours he has met Princess Elizabeth who trusts him with her life immediately and has become a spy with sensational sword fighting skills, etc. While it’s an expected transformation in fiction, there was little to no actual transition period, and it did not feel organic or believable in such a short time period. Also the romance felt a bit rushed and the character of Kate a bit too modern and clichéd. I did think the writing veered into the juvenile at times as well. I did like the portrayal of the historical characters such as Elizabeth, Mary, and Robert Dudley, and appreciated that the author managed to make them both complex and somewhat sympathetic, especially Mary, who usually fairs pretty badly in depictions of the Tudor period. For some reason, I found myself liking the real historical characters significantly more than the fictional ones. All in all, this was a fast, fun read for someone who enjoys action and royal intrigue in the Tudor period but is not too fussed about realism.