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The Queen’s Assassin Review

I can’t believe it! The holidays are almost here and you know what that means…gifts. If you’re anything like me, then you have a bunch of TBR books on your holiday wish list. Hopefully, you can check off a few of those books off your list!

I recommend that you put Melissa De La Cruz’s upcoming YA fantasy – The Queen’s Assassin – on your TBR list because it is stunning!

Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for letting me read an ARC of The Queen’s Assassin in exchange for an honest review!

Review Time

Summary

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. (Goodreads.com)

My thoughts…

I am a fan of all things fantasy. If a book has magic and witches and wizards – I want it. Dragons – I need it. Faeries, elves, vampires, werewolves, and other fun, magical creatures – I am selling my soul for it.

This book has all the magic you could want. I love the concept of a young woman wanting to become an assassin instead of living the court life. Any book with an independent female protagonist is my cup of tea. I saw Shadow as a very fun, witty character that I would like to see more of in the future books to follow.

The unique aspect of this book is that it is not told from just a first-person perspective. The chapters alternate between first and third person depending on which character is speaking. Shadow’s story is told from first person, while Caledon’s story is told from third person.

Here is the thing. I think that there is a pro and con to this kind of switch in perspective.

The pro side to this is that it is a different way of telling the story. With third person we get a little more of the larger details about Caledon and Shadow that we would not know if it was told in first person.

The con side is that it can be confusing to the readers at times. Sometimes I was confused about who was speaking and what was happening, so I had to go back and reread some pages in order to understand. I think for future novels it would be better if De La Cruz told the story either in third person with alternating chapters between Shadow and Caledon. Or the other option would be to keep the first person and alternate between Shadow and Caledon.

Despite that little tidbit, I did enjoy the banter and chemistry between Shadow and Caledon. These are obviously two characters with totally different personalities, which worked for this story. I would like to see this relationship develop a little more in terms of Caldeon’s character. There were times where I think Caledon’s character felt kind of flat and one-sided. I think this is because we didn’t get a first person perspective when it came to his chapters. A first person perspective could have helped make Caledon feel less distant and more a of 3-D character.

As the series continues, I think De La Cruz has the time to amp up these characters, especially since this is a YA fantasy.

And, in terms of the plot twist near the end, I thought it worked for a YA. However, the plot did come off as kind of cliche. I’ve read this kind of plot twist before in my share of YA novels. I think De La Cruz can make up for it in the next book.

All in all, I would give this book a four out of five stars. It has serious potential as a continuing series. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Shadow and Caledon.

Thank you everyone for reading!

Be sure to check out my next review, which will be on DC Comic’s upcoming YA graphic novel called Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn!

And, happy holidays everyone!

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