Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review: Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor #1) by Jennifer McGowan

This book is unlike any book I've read so far, or ready recently anyways. Most historical romance novels tend to focus on the romance and add a simple plot to the mix just so it can be called a story. 'Maid of Secrets' was different. Not only did it have a romance that kept you guessing, but the plot was so intricate that I didn't even realize the truth until the very end. If anyone is a fan of solving mysteries, then give this novel a try, because I never even would have guessed this one. I have so many mixed thoughts about this book, but that only proves that it was great!

I had absolutely no regrets or annoyances with the main character, which is why I'm so sad that we won't be reading from her perspective in the next book, 'Maid of Deception'. Meg is a wonderful person (my favorite out of all the maids, though that may just be because she's the only one whose head I've been in), and while her spy skills and such were wonderful, her relationship with certain men kind of confused me. There's Rafe and James, and while one was in the story MUCH more than the other, they were both amazing. I do wish that the end of the novel provided a certain happily ever after for Meg and her beloved - and also that it tied up a bit of loose ends about well, the end - but you can't have everything. I've got to find my way to the next novel to see if I'll find some answers there.

This book was just the teensiest bit reminiscent of 'Throne of Glass', but at the same time it's so different. While Sarah J. Maas's series is focused more on romance and fantasy, 'Maid of Secrets' was so focused on the threats against Queen Elizabeth that it kind of tired me out (in a good way)! There were still plenty of "romantic" encounters, but this story definitely places more emphasis on the plot. I have a feeling that the next book will have a bit more romance, though maybe that's just my mind telling me what I want to hear. Nevertheless, like I mentioned, the mystery in the novel in ingenious, and I'd be surprised if anyone knew all along who the villain really was.

While the novel had a perfect, if unsatisfactory end, I wish that Meg's entire story was contained in the novel, so I don't have to learn her story from another's point of view in the next book. I'm not saying that Meg's story was not finished in this book, but the future for her is so indefinite that it's almost like it is. I suppose I've grown so used to happy endings that when a novel doesn't the perfect ending I'm hoping for, it drives me a bit crazy. Still, that doesn't lessen my need for the next novel. No, in fact, it makes me want it that much more. And besides, you can't expect every book to be perfect, and after reading that ending, I'll admit that I may have been letting out dreamy sighs with my eyes glazed over, murmuring the word beautiful.

I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book; it's literally made to grab your attention and hold it. I fell in love with first sight, and unlike with many books I've read lately, my craving for the next novel hasn't been lessened in the least. Like all amazing authors, this one didn't hesitate to leave us with questions that can only be answered by reading the next book. I loved seeing Meg's transformation from a pick-pocket to a young lady who finally realizes who she truly is, and I'm eager to see how the plot will be extended in the next story. I think this novel would appeal to readers of historical fiction and drama, as well as fans of the TV shows 'Reign' and 'The Tudors'.

Book Synopsis: Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.

Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?

Source: Own the ebook on my Kindle.

Title: Maid of Secrets
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 416 pages