Brandon - Tudor Knight by Tony Riches Blog Tour with Giveaway and Personal Review!!!

Brandon - Tudor Knight by Tony Riches

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Preseli Press
Genre: Historical/Tudor/Biographical

From the author of the international bestselling Tudor Trilogy comes a true story of adventure, courtly love and chivalric loyalty. Handsome, charismatic and a champion jouster, Sir Charles Brandon is the epitome of a Tudor Knight. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Brandon has a secret. He has fallen in love with Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, the beautiful widowed Queen of France, and risks everything to marry her without the King’s consent. Brandon becomes Duke of Suffolk, but his loyalty is tested fighting Henry’s wars in France. Mary’s public support for Queen Catherine of Aragon brings Brandon into dangerous conflict with the ambitious Boleyn family and the king’s new right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell. Torn between duty to his family and loyalty to the king, Brandon faces an impossible decision: can he accept Anne Boleyn as his new queen?

Available on Amazon

***My Personal Review***

Charles Brandon rose from the depths of servitude to become the right hand man of who most consider to be the greatest - and most controversial - King of England, Henry VIII.  Brandon knew Henry from when they were children, and yet many people don't know his story.  Brandon committed treason in the early stages of his accession to wealth, he was sent along with Princess Mary, sister of King Henry, to marry her off to the old decrepit King of France.  Brandon also happened to be in love with Mary himself, and when the old King died, Brandon went against his King, his best friend, and his own better judgement even - and married the Dowager Queen Mary.  He almost lost his head, he was only saved by the love and affection that Henry had for both his sister and his friend.  Even though it was a concession that Henry had granted to Mary when she agreed to marry the King of France - that should he die she would be free to marry whomever she wished, it was still treason to marry without the King's consent when you were in the royal family or a member of the court.  I think Brandon was lucky that he was charming, and he had charisma and Henry knew that he was loyal to him.  He survived the sweating sickness, wars, wives, the deaths of his sons, and although he wasn't happy with him, Brandon never really fell out of favor with his King and best friend - which is a great feat if you consider that both of Henry's daughters Mary and Elizabeth both were exiled for most of their early lives.  Brandon may have in fact been the only man to ever commit full on treason during Henry's reign and live to tell the tale, and even have the King pay for a great burial and tell everyone that "in all their long friendship Charles Brandon had never knowingly betrayed a friend or taken advantage of an enemy".  I didn't know a lot about the beginning of Brandon's life, but I loved reading this book about him and finding out that he wasn't JUST the rake he seemed to be in history - that he was a very powerful and influential character during the Tudor era.  He must have been, in order to not lose his head during the reign of King Henry VIII, because almost everyone who went against Henry in any way did lose their heads, even if they were special to the King at any point.  

I love the way this book takes the historical setting and paints Brandon in a new light for the reader.  We get to see him as just a regular person - albeit cocky as ever - but also with how highly he regarded his King and also how truly loyal he was to his friend the King of England.  Before ever reading this book, I read up a lot on Brandon and I honestly believe he really did love Henry like his own kin, and I am positive that he never had any bad intentions towards his friend and King.  He found himself in a place that I believe he never expected - and he found out just how difficult it was to be both friend and loyal servant to a King that could turn at any moment.  He had to play both sides, and I think this book really shows how he did that and how he was able to come back and return to the King and truly became THE one person I believe Henry trusted above all others.  Brandon was a complicated character, but he didn't hide it - he didn't pretend to be something he wasn't.  And he spent his lifetime walking a very thin line between the King's favor and disappointment, because there were many times Brandon did not trust Henry's judgement nor the people he kept around him - people such as the high and mighty Cardinal Wolsey, who took and took from the King and schemed his way to his own death; as well as mistrusting Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife.  Brandon was a Catholic, and although he was never disloyal to Henry, he was not happy to do his duties and exile Queen Catherine of Aragon or her daughter Mary.  I think the fall of Wolsey and Anne Boleyn were both events that Brandon was happy to see.

I truly loved seeing Brandon as a real person in this book, and I really loved seeing things from his perspective.  One thing I did notice was that in the book there was not a lot of interactions between Charles and Henry, it was written entirely from the perspective of the Duke of Suffolk.  I also love that we saw so much of his life with Mary Tudor, the Kings sister.  It wasn't just a glossing over of events, she was the largest part of his life, and unfortunately for some reason Charles was not lucky with sons - something he shared with his King, friend and brother-in-law.  All of his sons passed away, 2 after his own death, but his daughters seemed to thrive.  I enjoyed learning more about his earlier children that are not well-known.  The Duke of Suffolk led a charmed life, and maybe the only thing I would have loved to read about was how hard Henry took the death of his best friend and lifelong confidant, because I do believe that Brandon's death was possibly one of the worst things to ever happen to the King, and I think that perhaps Henry's death a little over a year later was partly due to the horrible loss.  

In all, the book covers pretty much all aspects of Brandon's life, which spanned the course of his friendship with Henry to his own death - through all of the heartbreaks Henry faced trying to find true love and have a son - and walking the line to stay loyal to his King and yet also loyal to his wife and his own heart.  It all came down to loyalty, and I think after reading this book, a lot of people who didn't know much about Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, will definitely find him as fascinating a character as I do :)  This was a really great historical fiction book, and I highly recommend anyone who is a fan of the Tudor era to read it, because Brandon was a very influential part of King Henry's life.  FIVE STARS!!!  

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present-day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international bestsellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.
For more information please visit Tony’s website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, February 28 Review at Passages to the Past Friday, March 1 Feature at CelticLady's Reviews Review at Locks, Hooks and Books Monday, March 4 Interview at Passages to the Past Tuesday, March 5 Review at Donna's Book Blog Wednesday, March 6 Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Thursday, March 7 Feature at T's Stuff Friday, March 8 Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads Monday, March 11 Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail Tuesday, March 12 Review at Hisdoryan Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read Wednesday, March 13 Review at For the Sake of Good Taste Thursday, March 14 Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots Friday, March 15 Review at Coffee and Ink Review at A Darn Good Read Sunday, March 17 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Monday, March 18 Review at Maiden of the Pages Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Tuesday, March 19 Review at The Tudor Enthusiast Review at Just One More Chapter


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Brandon-Tudor Knight! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Brandon Tudor Knight


  1. Yay, I am so glad that you enjoyed Brandon-Tudor Knight! Thank you for hosting the tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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