An assassin’s guide to love and treason by Virginia Boecker
Format: ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA•US• FR• Bookdep
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Hello book dragons!
I just finished An Assassin’s guide to love and treason and IT WAS SO GOOD! I read it in a bit more than a day (lol, I guess two days right?), I simply couldn’t put it down, from the beginning to the end. It had been quite a while I hadn’t read a book like that, but it was so worth it!
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.
England under Queen Elizabeth
If there is one thing I love, it’s historical fictions, especially if they happen in London. Tudor England was not an easy time (if you haven’t watched the Tudors TV shows, now is the time to do it, as lovely Henri IV is the father of Elizabeth), and the Queen was not a gentle soul. She had no mercy for Catholics, or traitors of any kind. And because of that, Katherine, our female main character, sees her dad murdered in front of her. And so, she decides to take revenge and kill the Queen. Not such an easy task when you are a woman at this time and have basically no right. But Katherine discovers in herself a great bravery… and to reach her goal, she will disguise as a boy. And with her, we are then able to discover how life is in London in the 17th century. It’s around Christmas time, so it’s really magical, despite the poverty and rough life our characters are living.
I really loved this historical setting, especially with one historical character I absolutely love: William Shakespeare!
A play at the heart of the story
What makes this story even better than the historical setting is the presence of Shakespeare himself! I always love to read about him, no matter how amazing or terrible his character is portrayed. And here, even if he is a more minor character, he has an important role as his play is what makes the story move on! Without really giving any spoiler out, the play is a trap for the Catholics trying to kill the Queen. A false chance for them to face Her Majesty and be close enough for a fatal blow. It is what Katherine hopes for when she enters the piece and get one of the main roles. But what she doesn’t know, is that Toby, another player, is there to find any threat to the Queen! And here begins a game of lies, love, and theater. A game so delightful to dive in!
Our main players: Kit and Toby
One last thing this book has for itself: the main characters. Katherine, as herself or as Kit, and Toby. They play so many roles in this book and still manage to be true to one another. They fight, each in their own way, for their freedom, no matter the cost. They are ready for everything..except what they start feeling for each other. These characters were both moderns and well set into their time, and so interesting to follow. The fact that we alternate point of view between the two of them gives us a more global view of the story while feeling for each of them equally!
In a few words
Imagine that: Tudor England, a Shakespeare play, a girl dressed as a boy and a boy who loves boys. Add to that a plot to kill the Queen and too many secrets, and you have the recipe for an awesome book!
See you for a cup!