A New York Times and Indie Bestseller!
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's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in speed, strength, or brains, which is why he's the Hearthstone Guild's most dangerous member. Cal is also the Queen's Assassin, bound to her by magic and unable to leave her service until the task she's set for him is fulfilled.
Shadow of the Honey Glade has been training all her life to join the Guild, hoping that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Cal. But Shadow's mother and aunts expect her to serve the crown as a lady of the Renovian Court.
When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they're forced to team up as assassin and apprentice. Even though Shadow's life belongs to the court and Cal's belongs to the queen, they cannot deny their attraction to each other. But now, with war on the horizon and true love at risk, Shadow and Cal will uncover a shocking web of lies that will change their paths forever.
Renovia's King Esban believes the contents of the Deian Scrolls, which hold all written magical knowledge, should be made public. The monks who benefit from and guard them, however, aim to monopolize magic, take out Renovia's royals, and commandeer the throne. When Esban perishes while attempting to liberate the scrolls, his advisor, Queen's Assassin Cordyn Holt, swears a blood vow to finish the task. Regrettably, Cordyn dies before doing so, which means that his 19-year-old son, Caledon, must fulfill the promise. Meanwhile, Shadow, 18, who yearns for adventure and life as an assassin, receives orders to join the Queen at court. When Cal's crusade lands him in prison, Shadow runs away, hoping to stage a jailbreak and become Cal's apprentice. But, as Cal can attest, fate resists circumvention. After a dense, mythology-rich setup, de la Cruz (The Birthday Girl) shifts the tale's focus to Cal and Shadow's developing romance and their action-packed quest. Alternating narratives keep the pace zippy, and though the conclusion is abrupt and somewhat arbitrary, it neatly sets the scene for book two of this planned duology. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I really did try to like this
Melissa De La Cruz and I just aren’t good friends. Genuinely shook that I finished this because this was A LOT. I tried so many times to crack it open and read it. I finished it about a week ago, and it rolled my eyes throughout the entire time, and tried my best to reread it today before writing my review. But I made it halfway and dnfed the reread.
-yes. Wins... okay. The world building. It was a good world. It wasn’t my favorite. I kind of get over the modern day/ magical/ historic esque novels. It was a good world. It wasn’t great.
-the characters. Individually I liked Shadow and Cal. They were cute characters.
-the plot. It wasn’t anything big or out there, I did like it.
-insta love. Insta love, we meet again, that’s 2 books in 2 weeks that I read ( I guess 3 if we’re counting the reread). I’m over it, enough is enough. Enough said.
-the writing style. Man was that a CHOICE. Shadows pov was in first person, and Cals was in third person. I don’t even know how to explain where, I don’t understand it, but yeah, that was a choice.
-the fact that shadow is somehow this bad a character who can cast spells, who can fight and wield a sword... okay. Yeah. Sure.
-another hit on the writing style: it felt very juvenile. Shadow randomly talking to the squirrel. The characters thoughts. The fact that Cal was like “wouldn’t want to cut your cute face off and I guess yours is okay too” (that isn’t a direct quote, but it’s pretty close) and Shadow is happy about that. Alright. No, I would probably be mad at my boy for a good few hours after a comment like that.
So yeah, me and Melissa De La Cruz are officially breaking up. I didn’t want to sit here and slam her book because I know how much work goes into it, but this was a struggle for me. I wanted so badly to like it, I had high hopes; but it genuinely felt like something a very young teenager had written. Young adult very rarely reads like that to me, and I almost never like it when it goes. Sorry to be so negative on this review, but this wasn’t anywhere near my expectations. Also: can we stop with the insta love and the out of nowhere insanely good at everything female characters?