Series: Maids of Honor #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2013)
Paperback (406 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, 2016 Royal Challenge, 2016 What's In A Name?, Read 2016
If God won't save the Queen...they will.
Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth I and pressed into royal service. With a faked noble identity, Meg joins four other skilled girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.
Meg's natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: not everyone is who they appear to be. Meg’s mission tests every talent she possesses, even her loyalty to her fellow Maids. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?
If you know me, it will come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed a book set in Elizabethan England. I find this time period in history rather fascinating. This era has had a lasting impact on world history as well as church history.
This novel follows Meg, an orphan taken from the streets of London and trained to be a spy for the young Queen Elizabeth. Once a pickpocket for an acting troupe, Meg now plays the part of an orphaned ward of the Queen. Meg is placed with four other young ladies: Beatrice, Jane, Anna, and Sophia. Together these five are the Maids of Honor and their only job is to protect the Queen at all costs.
I still don’t quite understand how Meg was picked to be a part of this group. Cecil didn’t even know her name until he had her arrested off the London streets. Then Ceil would rather have kept her locked in prison forever but the Queen intervened. What I still want to know is how the Queen even knew what was going on and how they managed to pick Meg out of all the young ladies in London.
Back to Meg. She is intelligent and adept at playing any role that needs to be played. Apparently growing up with an acting troupe helps with that. Oh, and she has perfect recall. Hearing something once, even in a language she doesn’t understand, Meg can recite it back perfectly. Now that I’m in grad school again, I totally wish I had this talent.
Meg and her fellow Maids of Honor have their assignments. Meg’s main task is to put an end to the disturbances that have been occuring at Court. In order to do this, Meg will have to rely on her skills and find someone to trust. The only problem is that she doesn’t fully trust the other Maids of Honor or anyone else in the palace.
Rafe Luis Medina, the dashing Spanish Count de Martine, is also part of Meg’s assignment. The worry is that he may be a spy for King Phillip or even the Pope. Meg is going to have to be careful to guard her heart while investigating the handsome Spaniard.
Overall, I really enjoyed Maid of Secrets. I was intrigued by the plot and drawn into a time period that I love reading about.