Shadow has wanted nothing more than to be a member of the Guild her entire life. So much that she has been honing her magic skills in secret, hoping that one day she will be allowed to follow in the footsteps of her and mother and become an assassin herself.
Caledton Holt is an assassin – the most well-known and dangerous in the Kingdom of Renovia – and he is bloodsworm to find and return the secreti Deia Scrolls to the Queen. This curse has been passed down from his father who failed in that task while he was alive.
Shadow idolizes Cal and wishes to train under him, but her aunts will not allow it. Shadow’s dreams begin to come true, though, as the two are brought together by a twist of fate. Now they must work together to root out a traitor and save the kingdom… but being a team is not as easy as it seems.
A Queen’s Assassin is a coming-of-age story of romance and danger, as a deadly assassin and his would-be apprentice uncover secrets, make friends and enemies, and encounter magical beings in an effort to protect their kingdom… and their love for one another.
If I could review this book in one word it would be: angst. Both of the main characters are anxiety-ridden for many reasons. Shadow is worried about her future, trying to balance her family’s expectations with her own dreams. Cal is working toward completing his task for the Queen and fulfilling his father’s blow vow, which seems like an impossible task. Then, once they meet they are both struggling with their feelings for each other: curious, enthralled, annoyed, smitten, annoyed again, obsessed, etc.
Even the main narrative is a kind of angsty plot. The Queen discovers there is a traitor who is planning on betraying the Kingdom and sends Cal to root them out. Through a series of unlikely events Shadow latches on to him, and they make the journey together. The people of the Kingdom are full of apprehension about this when word gets out of a traitor, and it is expressed many times throughout the book.
Overall, I thought this was a good book. The plot kept me interested, I felt vested in the characters, and the writing was decent. Reading it felt like a typical YA fantasy, which is not necessarily bad. It was an average read with no major flaws.
My favorite part of this book was the ending. I did not expect it to end the way it did, and I was pleasantly surprised. That bumped it up a notch for me.
I recommend The Queen’s Assassin for all fans of YA Fantasy, especially those looking for angsty stories with slow-burn romances.