Title: Maid of Secrets
Series: Maids of Honor, #1
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May 2013
Source: received a copy from publisher
Links: [goodreads][amazon.com][barnes & noble][indiebound][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…
Would you rather be a thief or a spy?
Unfortunately, Meg has no choice but to accept her one-and-only option – to be trained as a spy in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. Being the newest member in the spy team, the lack of seniority means Meg has to bear the sarcasm and eye rolling from the existing members of the team. It also means she must succeed in completing her assignment and prove herself to be a useful member to the group. Can she excel at being a maid of honor for the Queen?
I adore Meg. She is smart, witty and talented. Having a background as a resourceful thief, she has an instinct to find clues like no others. With a heart that wants to protect the innocence and a passion to right the wrong, Meg is loyal to those who choose peace over violence. She is also a master of pretense. It’s amusing and refreshingly funny to see her acting clumsy, witless and boisterous. Since she has never been kissed before, Meg acts a little uncertain and flabbergasted when she has to pretend to be in love and I adore her for the reaction that she offers when her lips are pressed against those of a handsome courtier.
As suggested in the title, the story is all about spies and secrets. What I didn’t expect is the intricacy and mystery revolving around every major character in the book. I guess it’s obvious that the Queen and many of the royal members hold a bundle of secrets of their own but I totally didn’t expect to read about secrets in concern with the dead and how these mysteries could tie in so closely with the fate of the elite group of spies that Meg is now a member of.
Beautifully-written, Maid of Secrets offers a plot that is well-thought-out and engaging. I particularly like the theme of loyalty and after finishing the book, I can’t help but wonder what may happen next for Meg and her spy sisters. I just wish I could get my hands on book two, Maid of Deception, now…
Jenn, if you’re reading this, could you grant me my wish, please?
About the Author