Spy techniques, fight scenes, and an array of attractive supporting characters give the novel a James Bond–esque atmosphere while staying rooted in historical context. – Kirkus

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’. –  LoveReading

This book would equally make an excellent action comic book or television serial! Sir Anthony Standen inhabits his world like some inverted, world-weary, and cynical ‘Candide’. In the words of Shakespeare ”bestriding the narrow world like a Colossus.” – The Historical Fiction Company.

I’m amazed that I wasn’t aware of this fascinating man before David West’s novel. You would think that there would have been movies and TV dramas about Sir Anthony Standen, given his remarkable life. And ‘The Spy who Sank the Armada’ is just the first instalment. We see Sir Anthony criss-crossing Europe, from Paris to Constantinople, and from Antwerp to the Vatican, gathering secrets and new languages as he goes, determined to make his mark. His career sees him at court of both Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth 1, as well as breaking into the bedroom of Catherine de Medici. He manages to convince each new master of his loyalties, which are far more complex than they first appear. It’s hard to imagine what more is to come, given that Sir Anthony has already achieved so much. But I’m looking forward to the next instalments to see what more David West can tell us!

Angela Hawke – Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2022

I have read the first volume of this series and I must recommend this pacey period spy thriller to other readers. It is packed with minutely observed information of this extraordinary period and I look forward to reading the following books. in the series. A rattling good read!

Julian de la Motte Harrison – Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 August 2022