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

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The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Fantasy
Published by: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 384
Release date: 04/02/2020
Rating: ★★★★☆
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.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

The Queen’s Assassin was a fun and addictive read that I overall thoroughly enjoyed. There were some good things about this book, but there were also some things that bothered me a bit. First, the good stuff.

This book featured a couple of same sex relationships and it didn’t make a big deal about it. They weren’t used as a plot point, they were just there. I have only read a handful of fantasy books that include same sex relationships at all, let alone in such a normalised way, and it made me so happy to see.

I really enjoyed the snippets of history book as a way to learn more about the world. I find history in general really interesting, so when fantasy history book snippets are done well, they are one of my favourite ways to find out the history of a fantasy world.

I was really enjoying the writing at the start of the book, but the further through I got the more minor issues I had with it. This book is written in two perspectives, with Shadow’s being told in first person present tense and Cal’s being told in third person present tense. Shadow’s chapters were good, but I found Cal’s a bit awkward at times. I also felt more connected to Shadow, because the way her chapters were written made it easier to get to know her.

There were times through this book where I was really confused as to what was happening and why. The world in this book is split into four kingdoms. Two of the kingdoms had a really bad relationship, but it was never explained why, and the other two kingdoms were barely mentioned, so I had no idea what their relationships with the other kingdoms was like. I really feel like this book needed some more world building.

The other big issue I had was with the romance. I went into this book really wanting the romance but I didn’t end up liking it that much. It was so frustrating and lacked any level of communication. Both Shadow and Cal went back and forth between liking each other and pretending to hate each other and it all seemed so unnecessary.

If you’re looking for a fun YA fantasy, I would recommend this book.

Where to find

Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon UK | Book Depository

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