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Lilac's birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom's assassin, Caledon Holt. Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac Lilac's birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom's assassin, Caledon Holt. Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac's sovereignty. Now Cal and Lilac will have to battle dark forces separately, even though being together is the only thing that's ever saved them. In the riveting conclusion to Melissa De La Cruz's fantasy duet, love and magic are at war, and victory rests on a knife's edge.


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Lilac's birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom's assassin, Caledon Holt. Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac Lilac's birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom's assassin, Caledon Holt. Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac's sovereignty. Now Cal and Lilac will have to battle dark forces separately, even though being together is the only thing that's ever saved them. In the riveting conclusion to Melissa De La Cruz's fantasy duet, love and magic are at war, and victory rests on a knife's edge.

30 review for The Queen's Secret

  1. 5 out of 5

    Grüffeline

    I learned a long time ago that tears don't save lives. All they do is blur your vision. Boy, I am disappointed 😭 What the heck did I read?! I had my worries when I started this. Worries I might get confused because I remembered excactly nothing from the first book. Apart from liking it. That problem was solved by the author by giving us a little summary before starting with the new story and I got into the story easily enough. There were still things I was a little confused about but I can't I learned a long time ago that tears don't save lives. All they do is blur your vision. Boy, I am disappointed 😭 What the heck did I read?! I had my worries when I started this. Worries I might get confused because I remembered excactly nothing from the first book. Apart from liking it. That problem was solved by the author by giving us a little summary before starting with the new story and I got into the story easily enough. There were still things I was a little confused about but I can't tell if that was because of lack of knowledge or because of the story. The writing was nice and I liked Holt and Lilac well enough. But I think for me the first book lived off their interaction which was really limited here (view spoiler)[since they're being kept apart for almost the whole book (hide spoiler)] . For most of this I was convinced that this was a middle book of a trilogy. It certainly read like one until the last 20 final pages or so. That's when an ending was written that felt completely like "Oh my, there should've been another book but I kinda just wanted to make this a duology and I'm ending this real quick!" to me. And the way everything was solved made me personally role my eyes a lot. I don't know how others saw it, so please give this duology a try if you're interested.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lea | That_Bookdragon

    3/5 ⭐️ (Warning for potential spoiler for book 1 if you read this) Thank you so much to PRH International for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion! Happy book birthday to The Queen's Secret! I had already really enjoyed the first book in this duology, and this one was fun as well. Cal and Shadow/Lilac's relationship is explored deeper as everyone around them tries to keep them apart. I was a little bit sad about this part though and wished we could have been o 3/5 ⭐️ (Warning for potential spoiler for book 1 if you read this) Thank you so much to PRH International for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion! Happy book birthday to The Queen's Secret! I had already really enjoyed the first book in this duology, and this one was fun as well. Cal and Shadow/Lilac's relationship is explored deeper as everyone around them tries to keep them apart. I was a little bit sad about this part though and wished we could have been offered more of them together. The writing felt a bit juvenile at times with a lot of telling and not showing, which was already the case with the first installment in the duology. However, I really liked the ending and it was overall a fun reading experience. My Bookstagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    Pre-Review: THIS COVER. THIS BLURB. It's killing me. Pre-Review: THIS COVER. THIS BLURB. It's killing me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Ever since I devoured the first book in this series, well, it's very safe to assume that I was going to do the exact same thing to The Queen's Secret. There's just something about these characters that completely sucks me in. It also doesn't hurt that the adventure itself flies by and just leaves me wanting more too. Now I wont say that each and every twist amazed me - because that would be a lie. For some, they felt a bit predictable or dare I even say it - forced. Especially when it came to ei Ever since I devoured the first book in this series, well, it's very safe to assume that I was going to do the exact same thing to The Queen's Secret. There's just something about these characters that completely sucks me in. It also doesn't hurt that the adventure itself flies by and just leaves me wanting more too. Now I wont say that each and every twist amazed me - because that would be a lie. For some, they felt a bit predictable or dare I even say it - forced. Especially when it came to either the King or her mom. Something just felt off and it felt like Lilac was more compromising than anything. So I didn't necessarily want her to be lonely because of her following her duty while her own husband got to be happy with his mistress. There's just something about Cal that makes me ooh and aah. I love the guy so much and I was so happy with everything that went down. Well, not the scares and stuff that revolved around him or Lilac. That was not fun to digest but I could see why it happened and how things were going to go down after that. Oh man. So much happened in the second half of the book that my mind is still spinning. All I'm going to say is that I'm so freaking happy with how this one ended. It just made my heart fill up with so much joy because of it. It's a bit bittersweet to walk away from this now but I'm glad with how everyone got their happy ending.. I guess.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Library *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3-3.5 *Thoughts* The Queen's Secret is the second and final installment in author Melissa de la Cruz's The Queen's Secret duology. Lilac is the princess of Renovia by birth, and the queen of Stavin from her marriage to King Hansen. But her heart belongs to Caledon Holt, an assassin sworn to protect the queen. For awhile Hansen and Lilac have an arrangement. They are married in name only, and each has lovers in secret thus the name of the book. *Source* Library *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3-3.5 *Thoughts* The Queen's Secret is the second and final installment in author Melissa de la Cruz's The Queen's Secret duology. Lilac is the princess of Renovia by birth, and the queen of Stavin from her marriage to King Hansen. But her heart belongs to Caledon Holt, an assassin sworn to protect the queen. For awhile Hansen and Lilac have an arrangement. They are married in name only, and each has lovers in secret thus the name of the book. But after a series of strange events begins occurring in the kingdom of Stavin and Lilac is called a Renovian witch, Hansen decides it is time for them to stand together as a unit, and produce an heir to unite their kingdoms. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  6. 5 out of 5

    lyia

    *2.5 stars Uhm... what? I really struggled to get through The Queen's Assassin. Like, it-almost-took-me-a-month-to-read-it kind of struggle. Luckily, this book was strangely short so it wasn't too hard to get through. (That was the first thing I noticed- this book was really small compared to the first book in the duology.) That's about as much as I can dredge up in ways of something positive. If you did not enjoy the characters of the first book, I can assure you that they do not get any better. *2.5 stars Uhm... what? I really struggled to get through The Queen's Assassin. Like, it-almost-took-me-a-month-to-read-it kind of struggle. Luckily, this book was strangely short so it wasn't too hard to get through. (That was the first thing I noticed- this book was really small compared to the first book in the duology.) That's about as much as I can dredge up in ways of something positive. If you did not enjoy the characters of the first book, I can assure you that they do not get any better. Cal and Shadow spend the entirety of the book pining after each other to no avail. I think they have one conversation. When they are not thinking about each other, they are literally just not thinking. Seriously. Their internal monologue can be reduced down to "Ooh, I wonder if I can see Cal/Shadow, and ooh, I wonder if I can get Cal/Shadow to be jealous, and ooh, I wonder if I can just get Cal/Shadow alone for a moment." Apart from Cal and Shadow being annoying, I can't even tell you what the plot was because nothing actually happened. The big ending was literally one page, and apart from that, there was no action. Cal would ride out to solve some big problem and would literally run back to the palace. Isn't this guy supposed to be the Queen's Assassin? I don't even know what to say about the ending. (view spoiler)[ After all that desperate pining and hopelessness, all she had to do was... talk to her husband? Also, what was this whole pregnancy thing? Her willingness to give up one of her twin children was worrying, to say the least. Perhaps the funniest thing is that she had approximately 0 conversations with Cal in reference to being pregnant with his child and running away with him. (hide spoiler)] It was rough, if anything. I feel like my opinion is a bit of an outlier because people seem to feel otherwise about this book. Subjectively, there was little I found myself enjoying. But hey, you might see something in this duology that I didn't. Give it a try.

  7. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie

    I really wanted to love this book. The idea of the book is an intriguing one, and I feel like it could have been a really captivating story, but it fell flat for me. I think part of the issue is that this book seems a little too young for me, but the main issue was that nothing really interesting happened until I was 75% into the book. I realized that I could skip pages at a time, and not really miss any information. Also, the big conflict in the book was resolved over the course of like four pa I really wanted to love this book. The idea of the book is an intriguing one, and I feel like it could have been a really captivating story, but it fell flat for me. I think part of the issue is that this book seems a little too young for me, but the main issue was that nothing really interesting happened until I was 75% into the book. I realized that I could skip pages at a time, and not really miss any information. Also, the big conflict in the book was resolved over the course of like four pages. It felt extremely anticlimactic, and honestly a little rushed. There was a lot going on with the storyline, and a lot of the plot just seemed like fluff. I also really wanted to love these characters, but I did not. Lilac and Cal spent the entire book talking about their feelings but still never really acting upon them. I was unable to get into the story enough to where I cared what happened. This book has all the potential to be a great fantasy story, but the execution needs a lot of work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    @fantasyandfolklore on Bookstagram I really enjoyed the first book of this duology, The Queen’s Assassin, but the sequel was a little disappointing... part of what made book one so good was the MCs’ banter and angst-filled relationship. Sadly, the scenes between them in book two are so sparse (and lacking banter!), you forget why you were rooting for them in the first place. The ship sunk. 🚢 There was a lot of potential with new characters, and possible obstacles to overcome, but they felt underd @fantasyandfolklore on Bookstagram I really enjoyed the first book of this duology, The Queen’s Assassin, but the sequel was a little disappointing... part of what made book one so good was the MCs’ banter and angst-filled relationship. Sadly, the scenes between them in book two are so sparse (and lacking banter!), you forget why you were rooting for them in the first place. The ship sunk. 🚢 There was a lot of potential with new characters, and possible obstacles to overcome, but they felt underdeveloped. It almost felt more like a middle grade read apart from some of the more mature content. It is an easy read and I did enjoy the first half of the book, but then things went off the rails and it felt like the story was just trying to wrap up just so it could wrap up. And I was disappointed by the ending. I was waiting for Lilac’s smash-the-patriarchy moment but it never really came.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ryhanna

    I barely tolerated the last book but I despise this one. I skimmed through the whole thing, incredibly bored and regretting my choices. I wish I never laid my eyes on this, I am now condemned to forever wonder. Both covers were pretty, which is why I bought it in the first place. Good marketing but I just wish it actually had some plot that didn't bore me to death. If one were to punish me, I think they would walk over to my bookshelf, pick up this book and force me to reread it. I barely tolerated the last book but I despise this one. I skimmed through the whole thing, incredibly bored and regretting my choices. I wish I never laid my eyes on this, I am now condemned to forever wonder. Both covers were pretty, which is why I bought it in the first place. Good marketing but I just wish it actually had some plot that didn't bore me to death. If one were to punish me, I think they would walk over to my bookshelf, pick up this book and force me to reread it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin (erinevelynreads)

    Lilac is the princess of Renovia by birth, and the queen of Stavin from her marriage to King Hansen. But her heart belongs to Cal, an assassin sworn to protect the queen. For awhile Hansen and Lilac have an arrangement, they are married in name only, and each has lovers in secret. But when a series of strange events begin occurring in the kingdom of Stavin, Hansen decides it is time for them to stand together as a unit, and produce an heir to unite their kingdoms. But strange things continue to Lilac is the princess of Renovia by birth, and the queen of Stavin from her marriage to King Hansen. But her heart belongs to Cal, an assassin sworn to protect the queen. For awhile Hansen and Lilac have an arrangement, they are married in name only, and each has lovers in secret. But when a series of strange events begin occurring in the kingdom of Stavin, Hansen decides it is time for them to stand together as a unit, and produce an heir to unite their kingdoms. But strange things continue to occur, and Lilac and Cal race to figure out who is behind them before it is too late. I loved the first book in this duo-logy, but the second one just fell a bit flat for me. It was enjoyable to read, and I loved being back in the world of Avantine, but the elements I loved from the Queen’s Assassin were sorely lacking from The Queen’s Secret, such as the epic quest and the witty banter between the two leads. What I didn’t like was that there were not enough scenes between the two leads. I liked how it ended, but it took a while to get there. I wish I had taken the time to re-read The Queen’s Assassin before reading The Queen’s Secret. There was so much that I had forgotten, and many of the world-building topics are not re-explained as they are revisited in the second book. This will not be an issue for those that are reading the two books together, but if it’s been a few months since you read the first book, I would recommend skimming or rereading the first book. Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The first was wonderful. I feel like this one was slow, slow, BOOM BOOM rushed! Ending.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kiele

    ***3.5 stars*** I was expecting The Queen's Secret to disappoint me, and since my expectations were so low, it didn't. It was actually better than I had been expecting. Though it definitely wasn't as good as the first book, The Queen's Assassin, I still thought it was okay. I think that The Queen's Assassin easily could have, and probably should have, been a standalone, this book wasn't awful. I liked seeing how everything played out. ***3.5 stars*** I was expecting The Queen's Secret to disappoint me, and since my expectations were so low, it didn't. It was actually better than I had been expecting. Though it definitely wasn't as good as the first book, The Queen's Assassin, I still thought it was okay. I think that The Queen's Assassin easily could have, and probably should have, been a standalone, this book wasn't awful. I liked seeing how everything played out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meenu

    2.5 stars. What did I just read? I thought the first book was okay.But this book was really bad.The story dragged till the end and the ending was so underwhelming.First book had a plot and character development even though it was slow.But this book ruined it. Shadow/Lilac had a purpose in the first book. But here she has nothing, literally NOTHING to do other than worry about producing an heir while pining for Cal. I thought Cal and Lilac were good in the first book but here both were so annoying 2.5 stars. What did I just read? I thought the first book was okay.But this book was really bad.The story dragged till the end and the ending was so underwhelming.First book had a plot and character development even though it was slow.But this book ruined it. Shadow/Lilac had a purpose in the first book. But here she has nothing, literally NOTHING to do other than worry about producing an heir while pining for Cal. I thought Cal and Lilac were good in the first book but here both were so annoying being jealous and arguing all the time.Whatever danger/mystery they had was solved just like that in the last moments with lazy writing.And when we talk about lazy writing how can we not mention Hansen.What was he doing in the whole book? And Hansen and Rhema? Seriously? Was it REALLY necessary for them to end up like that without any development? It seemed like the author planned for something big, but got bored of it and then finished it with a lame plot. I'm sorry but this book is a huge disappointment.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zoe and MB

    4/5⭐️ This was such a good book. But I have to admit, it seriously tortured me. The main love interests being constantly forced apart was absolutely killing me. My heart just aches for them. Altogether this book was pretty good and finished the duology really well. Most books that I have read have gone in a different direction to forcing lovers apart, which made this book so interesting and made me feel so much more strongly for the characters. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wh 4/5⭐️ This was such a good book. But I have to admit, it seriously tortured me. The main love interests being constantly forced apart was absolutely killing me. My heart just aches for them. Altogether this book was pretty good and finished the duology really well. Most books that I have read have gone in a different direction to forcing lovers apart, which made this book so interesting and made me feel so much more strongly for the characters. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes high society, assassins, magic undertones, and heartache.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Like the first book, what should be the main plot is in the background for most of the book and then resolved in like 5 pages. Most of the book is just awkward distance jealousy. And all the characters are flat and not very likeable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    payton

    SO SO GOOD. i think i like queen’s assassin better bc cal and lilac were together more, but this one was still amazing. i used to literally hate hansen, but in the last like 10 pages i’m like long love the king asf 🙌

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bertha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Meh, ending was dumb and way too convenient. Could have seen this being a trilogy instead for sure.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diana-christie Biancardi

    Gosh the first one was way better than this one! Vastly different. I could not keep my interest going with this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    About the ending....

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elisa (The Overflowing Bookshelf)

    If I’m being honest, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to. This book seemed too focused on Lilac and Cal’s forbidden romance that the rest of the plot felt cast aside and rushed at the end. And the whole point to Cal’s blood oath from the first book seems irrelevant until the very end of book two. Another thing I was disappointed with was the character development. In The Queen’s Assassin, most of the plot rests on Shadow/Lilac and Cal so the character development wasn’t really an If I’m being honest, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to. This book seemed too focused on Lilac and Cal’s forbidden romance that the rest of the plot felt cast aside and rushed at the end. And the whole point to Cal’s blood oath from the first book seems irrelevant until the very end of book two. Another thing I was disappointed with was the character development. In The Queen’s Assassin, most of the plot rests on Shadow/Lilac and Cal so the character development wasn’t really an issue. However, in The Queen’s Secret, there are many more characters with semi-prominent roles in the plot that barely get any development or enhancement. While I love a good fantasy/romance book. I felt that the plot got sacrificed for the sake of the romantic elements that weren’t even all the satisfying in the end. So while I was not disappointed with the first book in this duology, I was a little disappointed with this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nia Dragin

    Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop The Queen’s Secret picks up right after the events of The Queen’s Assassin. However, it suffers from much of the same problems, leaving readers underwhelmed. Writing Style The biggest problem here is that it does not feel like Melissa de la Cruz. De la Cruz has a talent for reinvention, but that is missing with this series. The Queen’s Secret lacks passion. It has a story, but it feels generic, as if the author’s heart was not it. Following Caledon and Lilac, no Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop The Queen’s Secret picks up right after the events of The Queen’s Assassin. However, it suffers from much of the same problems, leaving readers underwhelmed. Writing Style The biggest problem here is that it does not feel like Melissa de la Cruz. De la Cruz has a talent for reinvention, but that is missing with this series. The Queen’s Secret lacks passion. It has a story, but it feels generic, as if the author’s heart was not it. Following Caledon and Lilac, now queen who are lovers even though she is married to a King. It is a purely political marriage, but when strange things start happening, dark magic is linking itself to Lilac, turning the people of the country she married against her. Of course, it is the work of the evil shapeshifting king and his followers. The reader knows this but the movement and pacing of the story, pulling in so many directions. Following Caledon on his quest and Lilac in the castle, taking the reader on this long and tedious journey. When reading, the reader continues to ask the question, “okay, where are we going with this?” However, it is not a question brought on by intrigue; it is one brought on by boredom. This is the conclusion to this duology, and it takes far too long to develop. Moreover, when it finally reaches the revelation, it is incredibly anticlimactic. The ending comes in rushed and leaves so much to be desired. Characterization Admittedly, there is one aspect of the novel that is marginally improved upon. The characters have slightly more personality in The Queen’s Secret than in the previous novel, making the romance between Caledon and Lilac more believable. Much of their interactions are arguments due to the state of their relationships and each one’s insecurities. These are the scenes with passion, but they also make the reader want to smack these characters because of how stupid they are. Other than that, once again, without one another, they fail to shine. Final Thoughts The Queen’s Secret has promise, but the novel and the series fail to be engaging and are ultimately just a generic young adult fantasy. See more reviews at Cyn's Workshop and follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Spotify Podcast | YouTube | BookBub | Goodreads+ | LinkedIn

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Overall I am rating this book 3.5/4 stars. I was very excited to for this sequel because the ending of The Queen' Assassin left me a bit speechless. I was a bit disappointed with the overall plot of The Queen's Secret and the lack of any real development in the relationship between Shadow/Lilac and Cal. The two main characters were barely with each other for the duration of the book and w Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Overall I am rating this book 3.5/4 stars. I was very excited to for this sequel because the ending of The Queen' Assassin left me a bit speechless. I was a bit disappointed with the overall plot of The Queen's Secret and the lack of any real development in the relationship between Shadow/Lilac and Cal. The two main characters were barely with each other for the duration of the book and when they were together they were fighting. Honestly, I was a bit tired of Lilac and her woe is me attitude. I understand that now as the Queen she has certain responsibilities but what happened to the strong, warrior we met in The Queen's Assassin? I was waiting for her to step up and be the the same heroine from the first book but all we got was one shining moment at the end of the book. Also, what happened to the magic that she had from the first book? There was no development on that front when so much of the book could have been focused on that instead of her sitting in the castle. Cal was only slightly better throughout the book and I wish we had seen a bit more character development from both of them. Their relationship does rely heavily on the angst and it did break my heart a bit every time they had to say goodbye to each other. I was surprised with the ending of the book but in a good way. Without giving away to much, I do appreciate that Melissa de la Cruz gave us a very unexpected ending. She took a route that I have never read in a book especially a YA book. While it was a bit surprising I personally appreciated that it did not end in the perfect happily ever after tied up with a neat bow. The ending stayed true to the entire relationship between Lilac and Cal and left me satisfied. Overall this is a series that I would recommend to other readers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aliya loves books

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I throughly enjoyed The Queens Assassin it is one of my all time favorite books. However I do feel that the second book The Queens Secret wasn't as compelling of a story as the first. Shadow (Queen Lilac) in the first book was a young girl thristing for adventure, she was strong and an amazing character, but in this book I feel as though Shadow and Lilac were meant to be two completely different people. Which I feel wasn't as strong as if it would have been if Lilac had more of the same traits a I throughly enjoyed The Queens Assassin it is one of my all time favorite books. However I do feel that the second book The Queens Secret wasn't as compelling of a story as the first. Shadow (Queen Lilac) in the first book was a young girl thristing for adventure, she was strong and an amazing character, but in this book I feel as though Shadow and Lilac were meant to be two completely different people. Which I feel wasn't as strong as if it would have been if Lilac had more of the same traits as she had as Shadow. Cal's character in this book was more of a lovesick prince like character than the assassin he was in the fist book. Cal and Lilac's relationship in this book was not as strong and endearing as in the first book. I think keeping them apart and making their love being separated the majority of the plot was not as good as the adventure in the Queens Assassin. I felt some of the other characters in this book didn't really have the best development, Rhema for example. She could have been one of my favorite characters if she was not constantly compared to Shadow. The King I also felt did not have that great of a storyline, his feelings and thoughts flipped and floped over and over again, and his relationship with Rhema seemed to be a bit random. Overall there were some really great parts in this book, I think my favorite was Jander and the Crows, that part was so very interesting, the magic and witchcraft was simply so good. I think that this book was good, but I also completely think that the first book in the duology was significantly better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cheyene Van Dinter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I honestly only read this because I read The Queen’s Assassin and felt obligated to read The Queen’s Secret. This book really disappointed me though. It let me down more than I thought it would. The book was boring and I was a little confused with little details here and there. I felt like this book wasn’t needed in any way. I think it was only written to get Cal out of the blood oath, return the Deian scrolls, and allow him to do what he wanted, otherwise, I see no other reason for this book to I honestly only read this because I read The Queen’s Assassin and felt obligated to read The Queen’s Secret. This book really disappointed me though. It let me down more than I thought it would. The book was boring and I was a little confused with little details here and there. I felt like this book wasn’t needed in any way. I think it was only written to get Cal out of the blood oath, return the Deian scrolls, and allow him to do what he wanted, otherwise, I see no other reason for this book to be written or needed. For 2/3 of the book, it’s really just Cal wanting to be with Lilac (Shadow), Queen Lilac being treated like garbage from every person, and every person trying to keep Cal and Lilac separated from each other. Lilac isn’t a badass character like she was in the first book. She does three things that remind us of the strong female lead she used to be, but that’s it, in the whole book. She went from a powerful character to a weak one. It was super disappointing. I also felt like the end was super rushed. Like the whole book was really annoying and I was confused on the storyline and the plot, and then the last 50 pages just pulled the story together and gave us an ending. The ending that Cal and Lilac get kinda bothers me because I think it’s stupid that Cal is kinda just thrown to the side and not really give the opportunity to be the husband he wants to be to Lilac. I think he deserved better.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Becca Mee

    This book left me irritated. It started off well enough. I liked the premise of Lilac having to juggle her love for Cal and her duty to her country and her husband. I loved the forbidden romance between Lilac and Cal and all of the tension it caused both for them and for the plot as a whole. Also, De l;a Cruz's writing style and her worldbuilding are both pretty solid. But other than that? Well, I was left wanting more from this book. This book reads so dang rushed, like the author was just tryi This book left me irritated. It started off well enough. I liked the premise of Lilac having to juggle her love for Cal and her duty to her country and her husband. I loved the forbidden romance between Lilac and Cal and all of the tension it caused both for them and for the plot as a whole. Also, De l;a Cruz's writing style and her worldbuilding are both pretty solid. But other than that? Well, I was left wanting more from this book. This book reads so dang rushed, like the author was just trying to finish it without tying up all the loose ends, of which there were an abundant amount come book's end. Not just that, but the characters themselves were just awful. Hansen was ugh. Even Lilac and Cal had their self-pitying moments of miscommunication that was just so grating to read. And all that rushing through the plot left me with an ending I found to be utterly inconsistent with the character development of the first book. I don't want spoilers, so I won't elaborate on that but I just did not love that ending. I'm really tired of conclusions of duologies being so rushed and not getting the ending that characters or readers deserve. With a little more consistency in character development and more development of the plot itself, this could have been a decent read. But alas, it left this reader wanting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    The Queen’s Secret is the ending of a duology and I felt both sad to see it end but also fulfilled at its outcome. YA fantasy is one of those genres where sometimes one has to suspend belief and just go with it, this is, in fact, why I love the genre so much. This being said, Lilac is still a tough heroine and one that I admired for her choices, she’s put aside many of Shadow’s warrior tendencies and taken on more of a Queenly role but there’s a reason for this and it doesn’t show until the very The Queen’s Secret is the ending of a duology and I felt both sad to see it end but also fulfilled at its outcome. YA fantasy is one of those genres where sometimes one has to suspend belief and just go with it, this is, in fact, why I love the genre so much. This being said, Lilac is still a tough heroine and one that I admired for her choices, she’s put aside many of Shadow’s warrior tendencies and taken on more of a Queenly role but there’s a reason for this and it doesn’t show until the very end of the book. I was a bit disappointed that Lilac didn’t maintain some of the things I loved about her from The Queen’s Assassin. And then there’s Cal, oh Cal! My heart wept for you so many times. So much want and angst The intrigue and magic along with the world building are complex and compelling, the evil characters are, indeed, evil and I liked the suspense they created. There’s a lot going on in The Queen’s Secret and the creativity of the magical system is one of the things I loved most about it; the magical attacks bring in a whole new set of worries and battles that kept me on edge wondering what would happen next. My thanks to Penguin Teen for gifting me a copy of The Queen’s Secret in exchange for my review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    *Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review THE QUEEN'S SECRET was an good conclusion to this duology. Cal and Lilac are back for an entertaining sequel about the continuation of their romance but also the escalation of some dark magic in the kingdom. I really liked being back in this world, it's really simple to understand and the world itself is really immersive. There were a few things I didn't love (but didn't really hate either) about *Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review THE QUEEN'S SECRET was an good conclusion to this duology. Cal and Lilac are back for an entertaining sequel about the continuation of their romance but also the escalation of some dark magic in the kingdom. I really liked being back in this world, it's really simple to understand and the world itself is really immersive. There were a few things I didn't love (but didn't really hate either) about the book: One is that I didn't love what happened between Cal and Lilac and their relationship. I get that it was likely to happen but I also wish it hadn't just because I dislike that trope. I also think the ending was kind of convenient; it something that was trying to be prevented the whole book but it ended up wrapping up that way and everyone was mysteriously okay with it. I just think in general things weren't as developed as I wanted them to be, from characters to relationships etc. I almost believe that this would have been best off as a longer standalone book. I preferred the first book in the series but overall this was a pretty satisfying ending.

  28. 4 out of 5

    ♡Ellie

    This Cover is absolutely gorgeous! It pairs perfectly with the first book in this series THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN. I really enjoyed the first novel, I enjoyed it when I read it a year ago, and I enjoyed it even more recently after having listened to the audiobook version. I highly recommend reading/listening to it before tackling The Queen’s Secret. In doing my best to not give any spoilers, The Queen’s Secret dives deeper into the relationship between Lilac and Cal that we were introduced to in the This Cover is absolutely gorgeous! It pairs perfectly with the first book in this series THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN. I really enjoyed the first novel, I enjoyed it when I read it a year ago, and I enjoyed it even more recently after having listened to the audiobook version. I highly recommend reading/listening to it before tackling The Queen’s Secret. In doing my best to not give any spoilers, The Queen’s Secret dives deeper into the relationship between Lilac and Cal that we were introduced to in the first book. I felt like it was more focused on they character development as individuals, and well as their relationship. It was heart breaking at moments (read it to find out why). I appreciated the in depth writing, and the magical world surrounding the story. I can’t wait to listen to this audiobook version as well. If you’re a fan of titles like, An Ember in the Ashes, and Caraval, this one’s for you!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    I loved The Queens Assassin, especially the witty banter and the growing relationship between Shadow and Cal. Honestly discovering Shadow was really Lilac was a bit disappointing. That said, seeing how Lilac behaves as a queen was surprisingly interesting. This book really tied things up nicely though I wish I’d re read the Queens Assassin before reading this book as I’d forgotten a lot of different elements to the story that weren’t revisited. While The Queens Secret was enjoyable to read I real I loved The Queens Assassin, especially the witty banter and the growing relationship between Shadow and Cal. Honestly discovering Shadow was really Lilac was a bit disappointing. That said, seeing how Lilac behaves as a queen was surprisingly interesting. This book really tied things up nicely though I wish I’d re read the Queens Assassin before reading this book as I’d forgotten a lot of different elements to the story that weren’t revisited. While The Queens Secret was enjoyable to read I really missed the interaction between Cal and Lilac. They rarely got to be together in this book and while the motivations for this made sense I definitely wish they’d interacted more with one another. Despite that one little thing I honestly enjoyed this book and felt the ending tied everything together nicely. The end is happy and not at the same time and that is oddly refreshing to see in this genre.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sonakshi

    This book has and incredible plot for a sequel. It started off very boring and not very fun. I think if I had not forced myself to read this only because this was a sequel, I would probably have put the book down in the first chapter. It was not what I was expecting because the first book was quite good. I really enjoyed the first one mainly for its suspense and war. This book has absolutely no war and no suspense (until the end though). Melissa De La Cruz could have done a slightly better job i This book has and incredible plot for a sequel. It started off very boring and not very fun. I think if I had not forced myself to read this only because this was a sequel, I would probably have put the book down in the first chapter. It was not what I was expecting because the first book was quite good. I really enjoyed the first one mainly for its suspense and war. This book has absolutely no war and no suspense (until the end though). Melissa De La Cruz could have done a slightly better job in the beginning, the ending was very entertaining although. This book was also harder to understand comparing it to the first one. Its characters are sort of messed up. If I speak of the pros in this book, again I will say the plot. This book was not very long so you wouldn't have to hate so much. The first half had me disappointed but once you read the second, it is outstanding. Overall, I've given this book 4/5, this is the most I can give it.

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