Maid of Secrets
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Publication: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Espionage
Read: December 2015
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?
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This is basically like a giant court drama. There’s mystery and betrayal and secrets and action and death of course. It feels just like you’re reading about time way back when. It doesn’t feel like a work of fiction, it feels like this is the story they won’t tell you in your history books. There’s a lot of things going on but they don’t overwhelm you. I just really enjoyed it.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It was very entertaining and easy to read. It was descriptive and detailed. Generally very simple, and one of the things that bothered me is that at times it felt too modern. Like the way the main character thought or how everyone spoke, sometimes felt a little bit too close to how we talk today. Which I am 100% was not the case back in the time of Queen Elizabeth. But overall, it kept me engaged and interested in the story.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I loved the characters in this book. Meg, our main character, is smart and cunning. She’s sly and is used to sneaking about and listening to different conversations. She’s loyal and determined and strong. It’s hard for her to get used to her new life but once she gets the hang of it, she dives in quickly. I liked her strength and personality and the way she carried herself. Then we have Rafe, who I’m not going to talk about a lot. He’s very mysterious and sneaky. There are moments when you see his honesty and protectiveness but he has an agenda and you don’t really know what it is ever. He’s smart and strong and super swoony cause he’s Spanish so just imagine that accent though. Meg also belongs to a group of girls that are absolutely amazing. They’re all very unique and have specific talents that help them in their job as the Maids of Honor. I’m very happy that the next books are all about the other girls and from their POVs.
Ever since I added this book to my TBR shelf on Goodreads, I’ve been dying to read it and I’m so happy to say that I was not disappointed in the slightest.
The plot is genuine. This is some amazing historical fiction, almost like we’re getting the inside look of all the things that happened in Queen Elizabeth’s court. We follow Meg, who is a thief, as she’s taken from her acting troupe to become a special maid for Her Majesty. Her job is basically to listen to other people’s conversations to discern if there is anyone plotting against the queen in anyway. I loved all the ins and outs of life at court, it’s something that has always interested me and in this book in particular, there is so much going on. There are so many different alliances and deals and threats. There’s near death experiences and hidden hallways. Everyone has something to hide and it’s Meg’s job to find out what is really going on and to keep her Queen safe. However, other people try to use her for their own agendas and needs and she has to figure out who she’s going to be loyal to.
Meg is amazing. She’s so so loyal. No matter what is happening around her or how much she’s threatened which she is , she always has the Queen’s back. She was determined to find the best solution to her problems and she is super stealthy. She’s very good at her job and is always trying to think ahead and try to be one step before everyone else. Even when she was lost, and wasn’t sure what to do, she always tried her best and kept her morals intact. I really enjoyed reading from her point of view and seeing her growth.
The rest of the characters were all great, unique and complex. Rafe is probably one of the only characters that I could say has book boyfriend potential, I tend not to use that. But he’s charming, cunning, mysterious and protective. He’s just all around a gray kind of character. Never really know what you’ll get from him. Plus, he’s cute haha. All the rest of the Maids are amazing. I’m glad we got to know them each by their skill as well as their personalities since they’re narrating in other books. My favorite is definitely Jane, whose the one with the rougher edges. I hope we get a book from her point of view too. The ending was a bit surprising when you find out who the culprit is. I did not see it coming at all. But my favorite character of them all is definitely the Queen.
I’ve said it already but I’ll say it again: this feels like the never released diary of one of Queen Elizabeth’s maids and it’s glorious.
So that’s it for this review! Let me know what you think and if you’re interested in checking out this book. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought of it. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!