The Queen’s Assassin: Melissa de la Cruz *Review*

The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz is being held up in a Caucasian female's left hand, in front of a white bookshelf and polymer clay creatures.

Genres: YA Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Fantasy | Release Date: 4 February 2020 | Series: The Queen’s Secret | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 381 | Publisher: Penguin | Review

“If I go to the palace, it will be as an assassin. Not as a doll. Or a pawn.”

Melissa de la Cruz


I loved the cover of The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz so much, I accidentally bought this book twice! But that has to mean good things, right? Clearly, I wanted to read it! This fantasy romance is packed with action, angst and a whole lot of adventure.

Within this YA fantasy, Shadow has always wanted to join the Hearthstone Guild and become an assassin. Her idol is Caledon Holt, and not only is he the deadliest assassin in the kingdom, but he’s also the Queen’s Assassin. Although she wants to follow in his footsteps, Shadow’s aunts and mother have a different path set before her, to join the Renovian Court and serve its people. When Shadow becomes an unlikely apprentice to Cal, it turns out that neither is free to do what they want. War is coming, and their newfound love isn’t guaranteed a happy ending…

The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz is sitting on a white bookshelf, in front of books by Kate Forsyth. A periwinkle blue Viking polymer clay dragon by Dirty Paws Australia is sitting to the right of the book.
The Queen’s Assassin is such an entertaining read of heartbreak, conspiracies and magic.
The Viking dragon from Dirty Paws Australia devoured it in one sitting!

Happiness Boost:

There are hints of some *very* beloved tales within The Queen’s Assassin. It sounds like I’m talking about a fragrance, but I got notes of Sleeping Beauty and even Tamora Pierce’s Alanna: The First Adventure. That is high praise, and I don’t say it lightly! There are massive sacrifices, heartache and so much action in this story – I was glued to the pages and enjoyed every second of it.

Magic is present, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story. You know how some authors hit you with everything, but there’s no hope of remembering any of it? Melissa doesn’t do that to us! Honestly, *thank you*. Instead, The Queen’s Assassin focuses on characters’ journeys and their subsequent obstacles along the way.

By the end of this YA fantasy romance I was actually already reaching for The Queen’s Secret. So much happens towards the end of the book; it is the perfect hook for the next one! I’m really thankful that I don’t have to wait a year or more to read the finale. The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz is such an enjoyable story of action, conspiracies and magic.


Shadow makes choices without listening to Cal, and truthfully that’s a pet peeve of mine. Does anyone else get cranky when the heroine thinks they know best? Maybe I’m getting cantankerous in my old age of 32…

Final Thoughts:

The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz has been a *very* fun read. If you love the idea of star-crossed romance, deadly plots and immense consequences? This is the book for you. This fantasy romance packs so much within its pages, it left me fully invested in Cal and Shadow’s ending! If this review has sparked your interest, be sure to order yourself a copy from one of the links below. Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order The Queen’s Assassin via these links:

Amazon | Booktopia | Fishpond

2 Responses

  1. It’s not just you. I hate it when the protagonist is so obviously wrong, but they won’t listen to logic. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what kicked off that tortilla-slapping trend on Tik Tok.

    1. On the plus side, at least tortillas are soft! I’m also glad to know I’m not alone with this pet peeve; it’s hard to look past it sometimes!

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