The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz

The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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.


The beginning of The Queen’s Assassin reminds me a lot of Sleeping Beauty. Girl living in a cottage with her Aunts who take care of her. Her mother does something in the palace and periodically visits her. Very suspicious. So I kept thinking of her that way even though at no point does she prick her finger.

I really liked Shadow. She has her moments where she is impulsive and doesn’t listen to anyone else. She can also be stubborn and won’t admit she is wrong ...very much like my own family. She’s pretty but she’s not one of those characters where she is pretty and doesn’t know it. She knows it, she just doesn’t really care. She wants to prove her worth as a Guild member and Assasin. The impulsive problem is that she sets out to do this with no formal training and without really knowing what’s going on. She has enough skills to take care of herself, especially since she does have magic on her side but she still often gets herself in trouble.

One of those impulsive situations is Caledon Holt. He is the Queen’s Assassin, a pledge that has been carried over from his father. Caledon actually dreams of the day when he can break away from that life but in order to do so he must fulfil a promise to find Deian Scrolls. I really liked Cal because he does his job but he also can be kind. Especially when it comes to Shadow and it’s not just his feelings that develop for her. I think that he just has a great deal of empathy for the fact that she wants to prove herself.

Okay so the book is told from two different points of view and in two different styles. First person and third person. The funny thing is that I probably would not have noticed if I did not recently read another book this way and someone had mentioned in a review. It does not bother me in the least to flip back and forth like that. I can see doing that if you don’t think you could do a character justice in first person. I’m just guessing on that honestly but again the flipping does not bother me.

I liked the story. Although I think the Deian Scrolls took a back seat in this book, I’m guessing they will play a bigger role later. This is really just the initial set-up and you can see that the arc only has more to go. Shadow has to make a particular choice at the end that I was surprised by but also really curious where it’s going to take the story in the future. I liked the story, even though it’s a fantasy it had a lighter feel to it. I enjoy my dark stories but it’s nice to read something that feels fun but also intriguing.

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.

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About Jen

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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