ARC Review | The Queen's Assassin

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Title: The Queen’s Assassin

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Format: Paperback (Won from Bookishfirst)

Pages: 372

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Disclaimer: **I won this book from Bookishfirst in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

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.

Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Bookishfirst for giving me a chance to win an arc of The Queen’s Assassin.

Cal is an assassin for the queen and Shadow wants to join the Guild. The two are thrust together to find out who is planning to take down the kingdom of Renovia.

There is political intrigue, history of magic, and a brewing romance between Cal and Shadow in this story. But is it enough to keep my interest?

  • I like that the story read like a fairy tale but with many things going on. We have Cal who is bound to the queen by magic, to be free he has to find the missing Deian Scrolls. Then there is Shadow who is this mysterious girl raised by aunts (but I kind of figured out who she was in the beginning or had an inkling). They have to find who is threatening Renovia and go under cover as brother and sister to accomplish their goal.
  • The attraction between Cal and Shadow was predictable and sometimes even cute, especially when they are under cover as brother/sister. There is funny banter between them and of course the usual “we can’t be together” trope for reasons I won’t mention.
  • This felt like a light fantasy story to me and maybe it’s because I read a lot of YA fantasy so after awhile, storylines kind of sound the same. But I couldn’t really connect to this story or characters. I didn’t feel the danger or urgency of Cal and Shadow’s quest. I felt like I skimmed this book even though I read it, I wasn’t immersed in this world of Renovia at all.
  • I wanted to see more assassin skills from Cal or even Shadow since she was training but…nope. There was Cal and Shadow pretending to be a Lord and Lady though. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I mean the title said The Queen’s Assassin but it was talking more about his role than skill.
  • The story is told in dual perspectives – Shadow’s being in first person, and Cal’s in third person and I think sometimes that threw me off.
  • The actually passages from the scroll didn’t interest me. I don’t know why but I’d start to read the page and skip it.

This story wasn’t for me. I wanted more of Cal’s assassin skills to be on display but there was more political intrigue and flirting than fighting. I think there will be many people who will enjoy this book but it fell flat for me.

12 thoughts on “ARC Review | The Queen's Assassin

      1. Yeah, it sucks when everything starts blurring together! If you like mystery/thrillers. I’d suggest Any book by Kara Thomas of the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson. Both are YA. If you want a contemporary I’d suggest Wild Blue Wonder. Contemporary/romance I’d go with Bromance book club, well Met, would like to meet, or the Flatshare! I love switching genres.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay thank you! I haven’t tried Kara Thomas or that Truly Devious series though I’ve seen it around. I’ve seen Well Met around and Bromance Book club, great suggestions! I usually switch up at some point and I thought I did but maybe not enough lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. The cover and premise sound and look amazing. I was looking forward to this one quite a lot. It’s a shame the execution of it wasn’t quite as assassin-in-training as it seemed. Great review Yolanda!

    Liked by 1 person

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