Book Review: The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa De La Cruz (ARC)

The Queen’s Assassin

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Publication Date: 04 February 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 384

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

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.

I’ll be honest, this is my first Melissa De La Cruz book, and I’m not really sure what took me so long to pick up one of her books considering she’s known for some pretty amazing series.

Packed with forbidden magic and love, The Queen’s Assassin follows both Shadow and Cal. Shadow decides she isn’t going to be a pawn of the Queen by being a lady’s maid. Instead, Shadow is going to rescue the infamous Queen’s Assassin, Caledon ‘Cal’ Holt from the prisons of Deersia and help him put a stop to those trying to destroy the kingdom of Renovia. 

Shadow isn’t who Cal was expecting the Queen to send for his escape, but who is he to question his majesty’s orders especially since he’s bound by oath for life. He now must take Shadow under his wing to train her in the ways of the Guild while also trying to find a way into King Eseban’s court in Montrice (the suspected enemy). 

This story heavily focuses on the budding romance between Shadow and Cal, which I was all for. In the beginning, Shadow was the kind of female I could get behind: determined, independent and strong. However, this did fall apart during the story which was a bit frustrating but later becomes clear why. Cal’s character is a much more constant and focused. I loved the magical history of Avantine, and seeing how the different kingdoms are related despite their current warring state. 

Overall, this is a fantastic start to this series, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Shadow and Cal. 

Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing an ARC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.


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