The Spy who Sank the Armada

Sir Anthony Standen Adventures Book 1

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Pub Date 19 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 29 Jan 2022

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Description

Anthony arrives penniless in Paris, armed with only a talent for languages and a letter of introduction to the English ambassador.

His first job had not gone well. As master of horse to Lord Darnley he had become unemployed when Mary Queen of Scots murdered Darnley, her good for nothing husband. Since Darnley had left England to marry Mary, without Queen Elizabeth’s blessing,

Anthony, who had travelled with him, was now exiled from his homeland. Sir Henry employs Anthony’s knowledge of Mary’s associates to investigate anything that she may be attempting in Paris.

After an unpromising start, Anthony becomes an accomplished spy. When Sir Henry is replaced by Francis Walsingham, Anthony is set on a trail that will take him the length and breadth of Europe.

Will he be able to show his father he has made something of his life? Will he find love? Will he ever return to his homeland? We shall see.

Anthony arrives penniless in Paris, armed with only a talent for languages and a letter of introduction to the English ambassador.

His first job had not gone well. As master of horse to Lord Darnley...


Advance Praise

"The Spy who Sank the Armada’ by David West is an exciting historical tale of espionage in a tumultuous time in European History. The start of a series that introduces us to Antony Standon, whose interest in languages leads him to a career as a spy. After Anthony is trained he travels throughout the world to earn his fortune and prove to his parents that he can find success outside of a career in Law and return to provide for Francesca, a beautiful Italian girl he’s fallen for.

An incredibly detailed and well-thought out book, the research into the historical events and characters throughout pays dividends as the reader is immersed in a fully fleshed out and authentic setting. Aside from the settings, it is clear that a great deal of research has gone into all aspects of this book including the languages that Anthony learns and the mathematics required for the ciphers. I enjoyed the plot, it has plenty of action and twists and turns as Anthony experiences both successes and hardships. A solid historical fiction, with plenty of intrigue I think that any fans of historical fiction would find this book entertaining. 

It’s been enjoyable getting to know all of the characters and the book sets up nicely for the instalment of the series, ‘Fire and Earth’.

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"The Spy who Sank the Armada’ by David West is an exciting historical tale of espionage in a tumultuous time in European History. The start of a series that introduces us to Antony Standon, whose...


Available Editions

ISBN 9781915225009
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

Links

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Featured Reviews

I thought The Spy who Sank the Armada was a great read by David West. I will be looking forward to the next installment from his Sir Anthony Standen Adventures series. Five stars.

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‘Who am I? ... What am I doing here?’

In this novel, Mr West imagines the life of Sir Anthony Standen, a 16th century English intelligencer who started his working life as a master of horse to Lord Darnley. Standen, who was first knighted by Mary Queen of Scots, is exiled from England as a consequence of travelling with Lord Darnley (whom Queen Elizabeth had not given permission to leave England). Sir Anthony travels to Paris, with a letter of recommendation from Sir Nicholas Throckmorton to his successor as the English ambassador: Sir Henry Norris. Sir Anthony has a talent for languages, and it is thought his knowledge of those attending the Scottish court may be useful.

And so begins Sir Anthony’s long and eventful employment as a spy. Readers who know this period of English history will recognise many of the names and at least some of the events mentioned. Sir Anthony’s journeys will take him as far as Constantinople. He will meet hardship and danger, find love, make, and lose a fortune.

I found this an interesting novel although the weight of the information included at times overwhelms the story. This is a detailed story. While there is plenty of action, the detail frequently slows the pace. I am intrigued by Mr West’s portrayal of the life and times of Sir Anthony Standen and am looking forward to reading the second book (‘Fire and Earth’) soon.

If you are interested in this period of history, in the machinations of English intelligencers during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, you may enjoy this novel.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Books Go Social for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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I loved it. Building a spy from the ground up, what a brilliant idea! The setting, the characterisation, all top notch.

Please read it if you love the period, you will not be disappointed.

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This story is based on a real person - Sir Anthony Standen, who lived in Tudor times, had some early contact with Mary, Queen of Scots, and who then left England to make his fortune and gain redemption and a welcome back in his homeland. He had a passion for languages, and an ability to surround himself with useful people who would teach him various trades and tricks in order to survive.

The book is an interesting read, and if at times I found Anthony to have more lives than a cat, one can forgive some artistic licence in pursuit of a good tale. Anthony meets some historic figures, as well as having endless adventures as he becomes a spy for any nation that will pay him, although his allegiance remains firmly with England. Was he the spy who sank the Armada? Certainly Walsingham's network of spies would have brought information that enabled England to be better prepared, but whether the honour should fall solely to Anthony, well I doubt that.

A good read, and clearly lining itself up for a sequel. Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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