Hello, friends! Today is a special day because it’s my first ever blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club! You best believe that I was shook when I saw that I was chosen to join the blog tour and I’m so glad that I didn’t let my nerves stop me from signing up! So here we have it: today is my stop on The Queen’s Assassin Blog Tour! Be sure to click on the blog tour banner above to check out the other bloggers on the tour and the content they’ve created! 😊
The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Release date: 04 February 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance
Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.
Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.
Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.
When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series.
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat. Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas. She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews. Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!). She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
I’ll admit that reading The Queen’s Assassin has been a pretty weird experience for me? 😅 On the one hand, I couldn’t put the book down even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading it, but I still had to keep reading it because my mind wouldn’t let me step away from it! My brain would boomerang back to the book as soon as I put it down and I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it until I picked it up again. It was a very fast-paced fantasy romance and it was a quick easy read!
I was intrigued from the first page and while there were parts that confused me and that I wish would’ve been improved upon (especially in terms of writing style and character development), I found I was invested in the plot and in knowing what happens to our MCs. The world building and magic system was interesting and Montrice especially reminded me of District 1 in the Hunger Games with its over the top luxury and extravagant lifestyle. I did however find that the level of detail was inconsistent (i.e. with certain details lacking where it would’ve benefitted to have more information and vice versa). I liked the representation and casual inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters though! The aunts were great characters and I found their presence in the story very comforting. I wanted to know more about them and I hope we do learn more in the next book!
The story is told in alternating POVs between our MCs, Caledon and Shadow. There were points with Shadow’s character where I found myself confused because I was 100% sure I knew who she was but then something would be written in a way that had me thinking whether I did or not, so that kept me on my toes! 😂 That would’ve been a helluva plot twist but I’m glad that I turned out to be right. I liked that Shadow was headstrong and that she was willing to defy her mother’s summons to join her at court when all she really wanted was to be a bad ass Guild member and do magic. That said, her character would bounce between being somewhat level-headed, to being irrational, quick to anger and insolent and I found that slightly irritating. I liked Cal’s character because I’m a sucker for the quiet and brooding ‘bad boy’ who has a soft heart, cares deeply, and wants love but don’t think they deserve love. Yes, they’re oft-repeated and overdone tropes but a girl can still enjoy it, right?! I wish that the character development was more consistent for both of them though, as it would’ve made the story better, especially when it comes to the romance. I was expecting the romance to play a big role in the story (and it is romance heavy) but I also didn’t expect it to happen that quickly. It wasn’t instalove and I did enjoy the bickering banter between the two, but I wished it was a bit more fleshed out and less ‘full on devotion’ in the span of a few chapters.
All in all, I’m glad that I was given the chance to read this book. Although the ending was a bit rushed and there were things I wasn’t keen on, I’m still curious to know how this fantasy romance duology is going to end! I’m particularly excited to see what’s in store for Cal and another character that we meet briefly early on in the story! I really liked this character so I hope that they play a bigger role in bringing the world to life in the second book. You can find more of my favourite quotes below:
Thanks again to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for organising this awesome book tour and for giving me the opportunity to read this book 🙂
Have you read The Queen’s Assassin or is it on your TBR? Don’t forget to click the links up near the top to check out the book as it’s out now!