Friday YA: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

The setting is Elizabethan England when it is treasonous to be a practicing Catholic. Lady Katherine’s father is killed right before her eyes when he is discovered harboring a Catholic priest, his secrets revealed. Escaping imprisonment, Lady Katherine travels to London dressed as a young man intent on revenge against those responsible for her father’s death. Intent on killing the Queen of England. Overhearing Shakespeare and his players in a tavern talking about a secret play they will be putting on for a private performance for the Queen, Kit decides to try out and lands one of the leads. Little does she know that she is playing opposite a young man named Toby who is a spy and the mastermind behind the plan to catch those plotting to kill Elizabeth.

In Elizabethan England women’s roles in plays were played by men or boys so when Kit gets cast as Olivia in Twelfth Night the humor of her success at playing a boy playing a girl is remarkable in that no one has figured out that the girl is actually a girl. Our spy Toby who is trying to catch a potential killer finds himself drawn to Kit the boy a fact that is punishable by death and when Kit seems to return his regard? That is when the plot truly becomes interesting. Even as Kit is one of his suspects, are their feelings for each other more important than saving the Queen’s life?

I really enjoyed Kit’s evolution. As Katherine she was restricted to a woman’s life but as Kit so many things were available to her. I think this combined with her feelings for Toby helped her to make the decision revealed at the end of the book. No spoilers here, but the line between life and death was trod very closely and the conclusion was just as dramatic as one of the plots in a Shakespeare play.

I am a fan of historical novels and The Assassin’s Guide was right up my alley. A devious plot and a romantic sub-plot set in a Shakespeare play? It had me asking questions about the era and I used Wikipedia a few times to fact check my own knowledge. I was surprised by many things but nothing as much as how enjoyable I found this novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“..although it is unique and not at all a chore to read, there was something missing, the same thing that, if I remember correctly, was missing in The Witch Hunter too. The reason for my inability to give it four stars or more. And that thing is… seriousness.” Hit or Miss Books

“Overall, it was an okay-ish read for me! It was a decent YA historical novel filled with drama, conspiracies, and forbidden romance. I liked the ending part which is why I gave it a three and a half star instead of three stars. ” Dreamy Addictions

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Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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