Review: The Queen’s Assassin | Melissa de la Cruz

THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN | Melissa de la Cruz

Book Details

Series: Queen’s Secret, #1

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: February 4, 2020


“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.”

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Queen’s Assassin from Putnam in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It’s been a while since I read a book by Melissa de la Cruz. The last book I read from de la Cruz was from the Blue Bloods series, which was one of my favorite series in middle and high school. So I was really excited to return to her work. The concept of a trained assassin and an apprentice with powers setting out to unravel a mystery to save their kingdom seems an intriguing one; however, the execution certainly did not reach the potential of the premise.

Both the main characters lack any form of personality. I found it hard to establish any sort of connection to either of these characters. There was no chemistry between them and any attempts at romance fell completely flat.

Cal had no definitive qualities to make him stand out as a character. His narration could easily be swapped out with any other generic YA male love interest, and his skills as an assassin were rarely on display. As for Shadow, there were far too few positive traits. She was confusingly impulsive and jealous, and even though she claims to want to learn from Cal, rarely did she ever deem to listen to his advice. She was a mess of emotions and behaviors, and her actions frequently contradicted her thoughts and motivations.

The world-building in the book was very limited and/or riddled with tropes and cliches. Though there was magic mentioned in the book, the magic system was never fully fleshed out or explained. Magic-users were so few and far between that any reference to magic or magical creatures seemed out of place.

At times I enjoyed the journey, but mostly it seemed the plot lacked focus. While the latter half is a bit more engaging, the majority of the book feels listless. And the twist at the end is predictable and far too old a trope to be shocking. All in all, The Queen’s Assassin isn’t necessarily bad, but it does feel like a basic fantasy story. After so many amazingly complex and engrossing fantasy books in YA nowadays, this one doesn’t quite match up.

MY RATING: 2.5 out of 5

2 thoughts on “Review: The Queen’s Assassin | Melissa de la Cruz

  1. Oh yikes! I once saw this cover and I actually thought it’d be an interesting book to read. Another proof I’m easily fooled! hahaha I’m sorry you didn’t like it! But great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really surprised by how much I didn’t like it, but I guess some things aren’t meant to be haha. I’ll have to look into her other series 😀

      Thank you ^.^ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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