The Queen’s Secret by Melissa De La Cruz
Lilac is the princess of Renovia by birth, and the queen of Stavin from her marriage to King Hansen. But her heart belongs to Cal, an assassin sworn to protect the queen. For awhile Hansen and Lilac have an arrangement, they are married in name only, and each has lovers in secret. But when a series of strange events begin occurring in the kingdom of Stavin, Hansen decides it is time for them to stand together as a unit, and produce an heir to unite their kingdoms. But strange things continue to occur, and Lilac and Cal race to figure out who is behind them before it is too late.
I loved the first book in this duo-logy, but the second one just fell a bit flat for me. It was enjoyable to read, and I loved being back in the world of Avantine, but the elements I loved from the Queen’s Assassin were sorely lacking from The Queen’s Secret, such as the epic quest and the witty banter between the two leads. What I didn’t like was that there were not enough scenes between the two leads. I liked how it ended, but it took a while to get there.
I wish I had taken the time to re-read The Queen’s Assassin before reading The Queen’s Secret. There was so much that I had forgotten, and many of the world-building topics are not re-explained as they are revisited in the second book. This will not be an issue for those that are reading the two books together, but if it’s been a few months since you read the first book, I would recommend skimming or rereading the first book.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Lilac’s birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom’s assassin, Caledon Holt.
Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac’s sovereignty. Now Cal and Lilac will have to battle dark forces separately, even though being together is the only thing that’s ever saved them.
In the riveting conclusion to Melissa De La Cruz’s fantasy duet, love and magic are at war, and victory rests on a knife’s edge.
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.