Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: Maids of Honor, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: For Blog Tour
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

Spies in the court of Queen Elizabeth? I'm so in!
I loved this book from start to finish. It was very easy for me to get transported into this gorgeous yet deadly world of espionage, murder and secrets. The romance had me swooning, the language had me sparked. I seriously could not find ANYTHING wrong with this book...just that I want more! 400 pages is really not enough to satisfy this girl.

❝ "All men are a threat to women, Meg, no matter if she is a maid or monarch," she said. "Especially those men we want most to trust. Don't ever forget that." ❞
p. 51 
(ARC – subject to change)

I've not felt this enraptured by a historical-fiction novel since Grave Mercy, which this book did have some similar undertones to. I mean: girls who can kill, trained in ways that are, err, not normal, and try to undercover some deadly plot with a huge twist? No wonder I was enraptured once more! Despite the similarities between the two books, this one does have it's own unique elements and aspects which made it a page-turning read.
I love the time period. Wonderfully portrayed and the detail was amazing. I found myself longing for balls and gowns (although through Meg's eyes, no way), and courtiers and royalty. I found myself getting used to the way they spoke, as after all, studying Shakespeare certainly does pay off! I recognized a few of the historical figures as well, which was a nice surprise, considering I haven't even taken history in a while. Just these little alluding details helped to create a brilliant experience when reading this book.

The characters were fabulous as well– we have the five maids: Meg, Jane, Beatrice, Anna and Sophia. The sharp contrast in personalities really made each one of them memorable. Studious Anna, sweet Sophie, flirtatious Beatrice and wise Jane, and of course Meg.
Meg was a great character. As one who takes theatre, I was really in awe of her character's ability to adapt and act accordingly. She really does bring the Elizabethan era to life through her perspective, and it was a great journey to watch her go through, with both coming to terms with her service to the queen and finding out about her past.
Of course, with every novel there's that one guy. This one had me from the beginning till the end– Rafe was stunning. I fell for him hook, line and sinker... it certainly helps he's Spanish. Swoon-worthy to the max, no doubt about it.

Complete with a jaw-dropping climax and high-action (and romance!), there's a little something for everyone with this novel. Jennifer McGowan has swept me away into fantasies of courtiers and palaces, as well as spies and combat. An astounding debut– beautiful writing and characters that you want to be. Definitely can't wait for the sequel!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sel at Bookcase to Heaven and Jennifer McGowan for having me apart of this blog tour, and for providing an eGalley for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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Jennifer McGowan

Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her first novel, MAID OF SECRETS, debuts in Spring, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Age: Royal Secret
Came From: A small town in northern Ohio
Became a Maid of Honor: After bringing her tale of spygirls to the noble city, and winning the favor of the great house of Simon (& Schuster).
Special Skill: Matrix-like reflexes, superior strength, fabulous wit… okay, ah – we’ll get back to you on that.

Follow her on twitter!

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  1. Ohhh, this book sounds amazing, especially after you mentioned Grave Mercy :D


  2. I couldn't have said this any better! Maid of Secrets was my first historical fiction and I LOVED all that drama and well-paced intensity in the Elizabethan period-- makes things so much more interesting ;) I thought the Maids were awesome characters too and yes! Definitely can't wait for the sequel!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story


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