SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):
Sophia must master her psychic ability if she is to save the life of Queen Elizabeth and her fellow maids from a dark prophecy, in this third book of the Maids of Honor series
Sophia Dee, the most unusual spy of Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor, has run out of time for her psychic skills to fully manifest. A terrible new prophecy haunts Windsor Castle, and the Queen demands answers before the next doomed soul dies.
Thrust into a dangerous and horrifying competition to solve the deadly prediction, Sophia finds herself pitted against the most celebrated mystics of Europe: John Dee, her devious uncle and the Queen’s personal astrologer, and Nostradamus, the renowned prophet-seer of France.
In a court where whispers of witchcraft, poisonous plots, and grim assassins threaten her at every turn, Sophia needs answers fast. But does she dare trust Marcus Quinn, her uncle’s striking and overambitious assistant? Or, instead, should she turn to the tortured dark angel of the spirit realm, who whispers to her only of sorrow and death?
As new dangers surface and the dire prophecy sweeps toward its final victim, the five Maids of Honor prepare to do battle. Only then will the girl who so often sees the future finally discover if she can save the Crown—and herself.
Goodreads Rating: 3.73/5 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
(This review covers the third book in a series; unfortunately I do not have written reviews of the first two books.)
As I was scrolling through some reviews on Goodreads about this book, one statement caught my eye: this series is underrated. And I would definitely agree with that! This is a historical fiction, young adult series covering the subject of Queen Elizabeth within the early years of her reign. What I love about this series is that it is focused on the Maids of Honor – the five maids that the Queen instructed to be taught in the arts of espionage. Although these five maids are fictional characters, they weave together beautifully with the historical figures Jennifer McGowan chose to use.
Now, it has been some time since I last read the other two books in this series, and I did not reread beforehand, so it took a few chapters for me to get adjusted back into the world of this novel. However, Jennifer’s writing is smooth to read and she writes in the perfect amount of previous plot summary that makes it easy to fall back into her world.
This novel was written in the perspective of Sophia Dee, a fifteen year old Maid of Honor and a seer. Seeing as I’m nineteen, I was surprised by how mature Jennifer made her voice out to be, but it also made a lot of sense as to why she did so. Considering the fact that Sophia is a Seer – and has insight as to what will happen in the future – and is in the service of a hardened and rough Queen. Those two charges alone can force a person to grow up and mature quickly.
As for plot, I felt that there wasn’t much too it. The novel covered about a week or so, which did not leave room for many things to occur. It was rather character driven, as well, as it was focused on Sophia and her growing skills as a seer. The warning of a murder plot was the other plot driving factor. Between these two things, it was rather limited in topic, which was sad to see. After loving the plots of the previous two books, I wish this one also lived up to those expectations.
The only other issue I had with the novel came from the romance. Now, usually I love romance lines in novels, but for Sophia, I didn’t want one to occur. This isn’t just a result from her age – even though fifteen was usually the high time that girls got married during that era – but it was a result from the other two books. For me, it feels as if Jennifer is trying to neatly pair each girl off and that is a detail that doesn’t sit well with me. Alas, it is what it is… However, there is no denying that, due to the short time frame of the novel, the romance felt hard pressed and hurried, which is never fun to read.
Nevertheless, this was still a fun and easy read! It continued the growing tale of Queen Elizabeth’s court, and of the dangers and intrigue that come along with it. I am curious to see where else this series will go – Jennifer McGowan speaks as if there are going to be more books, but they haven’t been confirmed – and what crazy adventures we will go on!
Maids of Honor (Series):
- Maid of Secrets
- Maid of Deception
- Maid of Wonder