Melissa de la Cruz Proves Once More Why She is a Total YA Ride or Die | Blog Tour, Review, Playlist, Favourite Quotes + Giveaway: The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz

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If you think I'm forever Melissa de la Cruz trash who ADORED The Queen's Assassin... you would be absolutely correct.

About The Queen's Assassin
by Melissa de la Cruz

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Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.
Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he's the Guild's most dangerous member and the Queen's one and only assassin. He's also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow--to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.
Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts--to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt.
When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they're forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they'll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they'll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen's Secret series.

The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

When it comes to my ride or die authors, the authors who've become a part of me in the years since I started reading, Melissa de la Cruz is one of my ultimate picks. For over half my life, I've always had a book of hers in my presence, and it is safe to say that this will likely never change. The Queen's Assassin was, naturally, a must-read in my eyes from the start. I've always been in awe over the way that she develops so many stories and bends genres throughout her impressive backlist.

Something about The Queen's Assassin is a bit familiar yet undeniably enthralling and exciting. It intrigues and embraces its readers all at once, tending to all the traits Melissa de la Cruz's prose has mastered throughout the years. Part of me has been missing her exploration of fantasy for so long and The Queen's Assassin definitely quenched that thirst. It, of course, left me aching for the second installment like right now.

(But I'm totally not making grabby hands at my screen again, I swear.)

Pulsing with pure energy, Melissa de la Cruz reels you in from the start. The Queen's Assassin takes you on a journey that is romantic, dangerous and highly indulgent. She, once again, knocks her character development and world building off the charts. Not only is The Queen's Assassin lush with vivid descriptions and complex characters, Melissa de la Cruz's writing is in her prime--you can feel that this story is definitely in her element.

The Queen's Assassin is completely impossible to put down. It wasn't quite what I expected and that made reading it all the more enjoyable.

My heart was racing as the book picked up its pace and stories, secrets, and history, began to unravel in the narrative. The Queen's Assassin benefits from the way that each chapter weaves into the next, keeping the story fresh and moving; split between the occasional flashback, excerpts from this world's historical texts and the dual POV of both Cal and Shadow.

Ultimately, The Queen's Assassin is a fun read. Readers will find it easy to lose themselves in the world. Melissa de la Cruz continues to impress with her storytelling and will leave you breathless with all the action and romance.

(And that ending!! My HEART!)

I've always felt that Melissa de la Cruz's novels speak for themselves. My first fanmixes, all the way back in the early days on 8Tracks (RIP!), actually centered upon her Blue Bloods and The Au-Pairs series. I've also always felt that there is a song for every moment in all writer's prose, their plots, their characters, their stories, etc. As always, flashes and flickers of stories and music started coming to mind within the first few pages.  
I have this theory that when you're reading and you pause to soak up what you've been engrossed in, if you close your eyes briefly the story comes to life. Kind of like a daydream. Or an adaptation. The Queen's Assassin has many moments to it that played at the back of my mind and each of these moments had their own soundtrack.
To start with Sign of the Times felt perfect. There's this dreary, yet dreamy, tone to it, that feels similar to how this story plays out. (Even in all its differences.) I wanted to capture the romantic, yet action packed, atmosphere of the novel with some of these songs. Heavy in Your Arms felt like another taste of perfection. Meanwhile, songs like You and I seemingly played in my mind when it came to the relationship between Cal and Shadow. 

While every song on this playlist is intentional and fits my vision of what a soundtrack might sound like, I feel like there are so many more songs that would work.

Favourite Quotes

 "My aunts taught me that sometimes when the world is too much, when life starts to feel overwhelming, we must strip away what's unnecessary, seek out the quiet, and listen to the dirt and trees. 'All the answers you seek are there, but only if you are willing to hear them,' Aunt Moriah always say."

"My aunts warned me of this many times--be wary of the sway of others, they told me. Find your own path and stay upon it. Don't allow yourself to be pulled in another direction, even if you must walk alone." 

The first two quotes I wanted to highlight as a favourite were these little gems from the first quarter of the book. Shadow is a character of great strength and complexities. Although she isn't always sure of who she is, there's this hum to her that is solely because of her upbringing and that upbringing is a thank-you to her aunts.

"The lesson, my son, is that we alone, no matter how skilled or how smart or how rich, are but spokes, and cannot move the wheel alone; together we can do that.

And, yes, the next of my favourites is a quote from Cal's narration. Like Shadow's upbringing, like all of our upbringings, Cal has a great deal he's learned from his long-since-passed father. This is a fact that was spoken to him often as a child and it represents not only learning, but the innocence of his childhood. It is wisdom and it is comfort.

"Except one thing had changed. They couldn't stop thinking about what the queen said. They had been introduced to the idea of something different, and there is no putting back an idea.

I just love the way Melissa de la Cruz writes in general, but something about 'there is no putting back an idea' just felt so... boom.

About the Author

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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