It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to!
Okay, my birthday was yesterday, but really, don’t we all celebrate the entire month, er, I mean, week??? And this week, I am being completely SPOILED by Rockstar Book Tours. I have, not one, not two, BUT THREE TOURS THIS WEEK!!! And I am stoked about Every. Single. One! So get thee to their website and check them all out!
“If you get the clove you’re a villain. If you get the twig you’re a fool. If you get the rag you’re a tarty lad. Which one are you?”
Lady Katherine is a practicing Catholic hiding in a very Protestant England. One where Queen Elizabeth I doesn’t allow Catholics to practice their religion. Her father defied those rules and died because of his secrets. But religion was just the start of the secrets he was keeping.
With nothing to lose and no one to turn to, Katherine takes up where her fathers plans died. Trying to assassinate the Queen. Disguised as a boy, she heads to London hoping the trail of encrypted letters she found will lead her to allies.
Toby Ellis works for the Queen. He is a spy master and writer, with a talent for secrets and deception. When he stumbles on the message network of Catholics, he learns of this secret plot and comes up with one of his own. A trap to catch the conspirators and stop the Catholic rebellion once and for all.
Katherine sees the play as her chance, her opportunity to get close to the Queen and exact her revenge. What she doesn’t see is Toby coming. Drawn to each other in dangerous and complicated ways, we find that a Shakespearean production is the perfect stage for treason, lies, and disguises to be played out.
“I should never have come back to this theater, with its past that haunts and the present that taunts, where I know I can never return.”
Oh my stabby feels!!! There is SO MUCH TO LOVE!!! Treason! Murder! Betrayal! Girls pretending to be boys! Lies! Shakespeare! Forbidden Love! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Oh, and all under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, one of my favorite Tudors.
Alright, apologies. Let me compose myself and write a review made up of more than screaming letters and exclamation marks. Although, that should hint at how much I loved this book…
The story is told from the alternating perspective of Katherine, who goes by Kit for most of the novel, and Toby. This was an amazing way to narrate this story, since at the onset we know that Kit and Toby are rivals. One is there to assassinate the Queen, and the other to stop them. Add in some healthy attraction on both sides, and you have a recipe for some serious tension leading to star-crossed disaster.
To tell all of this in the context of a Shakespeare play, being put on by Shakespeare himself, is so tragically perfect I seriously can’t even stand it.
“He doesn’t look like a player, someone who lives out other people’s words. He looks like he lives out his own and none of them pleasant.”
Boecker’s writing is perfect for this story. Lyrical and sharp, she grabs your attention and makes you take your time over her gorgeous sentences. This prose pulled me into the story quickly and immersed me in this world completely. Beyond sentence structure and prose, Boecker rebuilds Tudor England in a visceral and vivid way. From how the teeming crowds on London Bridge would feel, to the smells (both good and bad) wafting through the streets; to read An Assassin’s Guide is nearly as good as transporting to the past.
If you love historical fiction, and specifically visiting any aspect of Tudor England, this book is 100% for you! And, if like me, you’re also a fan of anything Shakespeare related, you’ll find the character representation delightful. The icing on this historical fantasy cake is found in the way Boecker weaves the play Twelfth Night in. The play is part of the plot itself, but the nuance of the plot is part of the bigger story and characters, which I adored!
So grab your breeches and memorize your lines, because you won’t want to miss this fantastic and fun book!
Thank you Rockstar Book tours and Little, Brown for Young Readers for sending me a copy and including me on this tour!
An Assassin’s Guide was just released yesterday! Grab your copy using the links to your favorite retailers below, and don’t forget to enter for a chance to win!
Title: AN ASSASSINS GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON
Author: Virginia Boecker
Pub. Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.
Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.
The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.
Virginia Boecker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of The Witch Hunter. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and spends her days writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children, a cat named Thomas and a dog named George.
In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick. She is represented by John Cusick at Folio Literary Management.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of AN ASSASSINS GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON, US Only.
Wait! Before you go! Make sure to check out the rest of the tour and more chances to win!
10/22/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
10/23/2018- Kat’s Books– Review
10/24/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Review
10/25/2018- Novel Novice– Review
10/26/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review
10/29/2018- Such A Novel Idea– Review
10/30/2018- The Young Folks– Review
10/31/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review
11/1/2018- Book Briefs– Review
11/2/2018- Mary Had a Little Book Blog– Review