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Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor #1)

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,493 ratings  ·  223 reviews
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 and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.

Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove us
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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YA Novels of 2013
266th out of 1,507 books — 10,401 voters
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversNobody's Slave by Tim VicaryStrands of Bronze and Gold by Jane NickersonOut of the Easy by Ruta SepetysThe Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
YA Historical Fiction of 2013
10th out of 50 books — 184 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
The Queen fairly screamed. "You failed in that charge and instead took it upon yourself to run about the castle after a Spaniard—and do not think I don’t understand the reasoning behind that little move.”

I’d chosen to run off after him, a young, handsome courtier who could possibly have nothing at all to do with the plot against the Queen.
What do you call a spy who falls in love?

Dead.




Or she would be, if the events in this book had any level of veracity. The main "maid" spy within this book is s
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Emily Anne
Maid of Secrets was a lot of fun! I know that based on the description, a lot of people would think it wouldn't be fun. Why not intriguing? Or thrilling? Beautifully written, fast paced or thought provoking?

And the truth is this novel is all of those things. But first and foremost it is fun. And I don't mean in a laugh-out-loud kind of way. I mean in a scary, awesome roller coaster kind of way. There is heart-pounding, action, interesting dialogue, quirky characters make this so enjoyable and no
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Henrietta
Would you rather be a thief or a spy?

Unfortunately, Meg has no choice but to accept her one-and-only option – to be trained as a spy in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. Being the newest member in the spy team, the lack of seniority means Meg has to bear the sarcasm and eye rolling from the existing members of the team. It also means she must succeed in completing her assignment and prove herself to be a useful member to the group. Can she excel at being a maid of honor for the Queen?

I adore Meg. She is
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Stephanie Redwine
Maid of Secrets is a story full of excitement, mystery and action. I loved this book and I believe that Jennifer McGowan did a magnificent job in developing the characters and the relationships in this book. Queen Elizabeth has just taken the throne and she is faced with people, foreign and close, who wish to see her off the throne. In order to uncover the truth of what is happening and to keep her crown safe, she has contracted five maids to be her spies. Meg is employed as the eyes and ears of ...more
Jessica
Meg is a thief working for a theatre troupe when she’s plucked from the streets and forced to work for Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster instead. She joins the Queen's special Maids of Honor, where her perfect memory and gift for mimicry are complemented by Beatrice, the beautiful high-born flirt; Anna, the clever codebreaker; Jane, the stealthy ninja; and Sophia, the Seer. Meg’s romance with a Spanish courtier is swoon-worthy, and the question of whether or not he’s really trustworthy is compelling, ...more
Richa
Originally posted at City of Books

Maid of Secrets is an awesome YA historical debut! I loved the mystery, the characters, and of course the writing. Even though this is a pretty long book, I finished it within a day, because I really couldn’t put it down. Meg is one of my new favourite YA heroines!

Meg is a part of the Golden Rose acting troupe. She doesn’t act, though. She’s employed as a thief, nicking wallets and other valuables from the audience as they watch the play, enraptured. However, wh
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Sel
Those who adore historical fiction like me and are waiting for this book every day can sign up for the blog tour taking place from May 1st to 14th!

UPDATE 22/1/2013: The tour is officially opened for sign-ups. Please fill in this form if you would like to join the tour :)

Totally rooting for Meg & Co. (and that hot Spanish spy) ;)
snowplum
If you're reading Robin LeFever's Fair Assassins trilogy, you'll understand exactly what I mean when I say that I'm not surprised that the top endorsement for the Maids of Honor series comes from Ms LeFevers... because these books are the next closest thing to works of her own. Empowered olde fashioned girls get involved in courtly politics; learn to fight, poison, steal, spy, and kill; make friends with other girls who are also spy assassins; have some romantic feelings and adventures but don't ...more
Geoffrey
Fun & smart. Girl power x 5. Meg Fellowes (1st-person narrator) has a unique and genuine voice throughout. Looking forward to the next books in the series. (Could be a great TV show also!) Good stuff.
Amber
Being a huge fan of historical fiction, I knew instantly I had to read Maid of Secrets. The cover alone made me curious about the secrets held within the pages.

“I had no way of knowing his smile would be my undoing.”

Meg Fellows was one of many in the Golden Rose acting troupe. They weren’t just your average acting group, they were street thieves. I felt sorry for Meg, the protagonist. The only possessions she owned were a slim book of verse and a set of golden pinlocks her grandfather had given
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Jessica
I was very excited to be accepted for this blog tour because this novel seemed to encompass some of my absolute favourite things in novels: historical setting, royalty, and spies. All three are winners for me, and may I just say: check, check, and check! This one totally delivered and I am a big fan!

In many ways this was a novel about characters, which I thought was used very powerfully. One aspect I really loved was Meg's connection to her troupe and how it wasn't cut off when she was brought i
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Jen
May 07, 2013 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jen by: Lauren
Shelves: reviewed
My Review:
This book, you guys. THIS BOOK. It was historical fiction at it's best. I know that sometimes people are weary of historical fiction. They might find it boring or drowned in too many historical details, but that is not the case with Maid of Secrets. As it's name indicates, this book is about a girl who is one of the several young women who are at the service of Queen Elizabeth in her court. And this court, as it's protagonist, Meg, are shrouded in secrets. And it was really fun to rea
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Kimba
The tale begins as we meet Meg Fellowes an orphan working with a performing traveling troupe. As the crowd gathers, she moves through the crowd picking pockets. Yes, Meg is a thief, a master at changing her look and quite good at it. When she picks the pocket of one of the Queen’s men, she finds her life forever changed as she is taken to the tower. Here she is given the choice of working for the royal service or rotting in a prison. She chooses to join the royal service where she meets four gif ...more
Mitchii
If you know me, I tread the YA Historical Fiction very carefully. But there were times that I hit the jackpot and ended up adoring the book, just like Throne of Glass & Burning Sky. And if you’re fan of Throne of Glass there’s a possibility that you will also like Jennifer McGowan’s Maid of Honor. It has the same components, a girl was caught doing something illegal but instead of throwing her in prison, she was offered a job instead, using the same ability that got her in trouble the first ...more
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at Novel Idea Reviews

RATING: 4/5 Stars

**We're currently hosting an ARC giveaway for the book!**


I already really love to read historical fiction, but there are few things in life more awesome than combining the genre with a little espionage. (Seriously, just look at that word: espionage. It’s thrilling all by itself. Right??) Maid of Secrets really does an amazing job incorporating a vivid historical setting — in this case, the court of a young Queen Elizabeth I — and all the cl
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Melissa Landers
Yes, yes, yes! I loved this book like whoa. It had everything: mystery, danger, betrayal, romance, all told from the POV of Meg, an incredibly sympathetic and fiercely-loyal heroine who remains true to her queen even when the regent (literally) walks all over her.

In full disclosure, I suppose I should mention that I know the author personally, but that doesn't diminish my recommendation of this book. It's superbly written, and if you enjoy historical romance and YA, you should read it, posthast
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Ann Warner
Maid of Secrets is a delightful opening act for a planned series of novels featuring five young women in the Elizabethan court. Each serves Elizabeth with a unique ability. In Maid of Secrets, the heroine, Meg, can perfectly recall conversations she has overheard.

Although labeled YA, this is sophisticated fare that any fan of historical romance, regardless of age, will enjoy. McGowan, with a wonderful command of language and historical details, has produced an intriguing and entertaining tale.
Jaye
Was fortunate to read an ARC of this novel. Elizabethan era story about spy girls in Elizabeth's Windsor castle! Sisterhood, romance, friendship, and danger - Jenn McGowan covers all the bases in this well-researched novel. You'll love main character, Meg Fellowes, and follow her breathlessly as she grapples with Spanish noblemen, watery dungeons, and two-timing confidantes. A rolicking good read for the historical fiction and Girl Power! lover in you.
Catherine Bradford
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 and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable 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
...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I probably would have skipped Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan completely if it weren't for Shae singing its praises so loudly. And that would have been so sad because this is a fun and exciting beginning to what I hope is a five book sequence. (I know that it has a sequel and another book scheduled for 2015. But that will still leave my TWO FAVORITES without books. They better get books.)

Basically? Yay for smart girls who spy, study,
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Celeste_pewter
Exciting, well-written and basically perfect. Review to come soon.
A Canadian Girl
You know those books that although you liked, still disappointed you because you were expecting more from them? Well, that was my experience with Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan.

When we first meet Meg, she’s a thief who’s looking forward to leading the street thieves of her acting troupe and hoping to eventually have enough money to live the life that she wants. One mistake, however, results in Meg ending up as a spy for Queen Elizabeth I or risk having the other members of the Golden Rose t
...more
Stephanie Ward
4.5 Stars

'Maid of Secrets' is the first book in a young adult historical fiction/mystery series that follows a group of young women who provide a special service to the young Queen Elizabeth - they are her personal spies. Meg Fellowes was enjoying her life of freedom as part of an acting troupe where she was one of the best thieves in town, until the day that she was caught by the royal guards and hauled off to join the hidden ranks of the Queen's spies. On her first mission, Meg must eavesdrop
...more
K. Bird
4.5 stars, actually

Robin LaFevers has a blurb on the book, and if you liked her newest YA Nun-Assasins (His Fair Assasin Trilogy) then you will definitely like Maid of Secrets.

We are introduced to Meg-- until recently part of the Golden Rose traveling group of thespians at the start of Queen Elizabeth's reign-- her skills as a pick-pocket were more oft used than that of her theater skills.

But she comes under the eye of one the Queen's Spymasters and is plucked off the streets to join a secret ca
...more
Maria Mitchell
Maid of Secrets by author Jennifer McGowan was one of the best Historical Young Adult novels I've read in a while! Peasant and thief Meg Followes crimes land her in service as a maid and spy for Queen Elizabeth's court.

Meg agrees to service due to her crimes and to protect the gang of thieves and actors she runs with. She must spy for Elizabeth and her advisers and even is told to spy on the queen for her advisers. She learns the tricks of the spy trade along with several other girls in the cas
...more
Jon
Jun 21, 2013 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans Of Grave Mercy!
Check out Scott Reads It for reviews, giveaways & more!

"When you couldn't trust your own instincts, what could you trust at all?"

The thing that allured me into reading Maid Of Secrets was how this book's description reminded me of Grave Mercy! Another thing that tempted me into requesting an ARC of this book was the cover which I love because it's unlike most YA covers. Maid Of Secrets is definitely a promising start to a new series that fans of Robin LaFevers and historical fiction wil
...more
Emily
Aug 17, 2014 Emily added it
Intense suspense and never-ending questioning. Captivating historical aspects and complicated romance. A protagonist who finds the best of friends in the most unlikely of places and a setting saturated with secrets. With these things and more, Maid of Secrets is a dazzling debut that insidiously captures readers' minds and drags them along for a nonstop series of events sure to leave them spinning in the best possible way.

This book's immediate hook is, of course, its Ally Carter-esque plotting t
...more
Kim (Book Swoon)
Why You May Like The Book: Jennifer McGowan's debut book Maid of Secrets is a delightful new addition to the young adult genre, and is set apart from the rest of the crowd with it's lavish historical setting and intriguing mystery. Set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth's court, and featuring a strong female lead character, Maid of Secrets should please fans of historical romantic fiction as well as fans of spy thrillers. For those of you who are on the look out for a new series featuring a bol ...more
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YA Today Book Club: Discussion #20: Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan 1 14 Aug 06, 2013 02:30AM  
  • Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
  • Belle Epoque
  • The Cadet of Tildor
  • Tarnish
  • The Caged Graves
  • Vengeance Bound
  • Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1)
  • Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies, #1)
  • Heart of Glass (Cross My Heart, #2)
  • The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)
  •  The Fire Horse Girl
  • The Art of Wishing (The Art of Wishing, #1)
  • Legacy of the Clockwork Key (The Secret Order, #1)
  • Chantress (Chantress, #1)
  • Starstruck (Starstruck, #1)
  • Spy for the Queen of Scots
  • Starglass (Starglass, #1)
  • Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
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Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her novels in the Maids of Honor series include MAID OF SECRETS, MAID OF DECEPTION and the upcoming MAID OF WONDER
More about Jennifer McGowan...

Other Books in the Series

Maids of Honor (2 books)
  • Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2)
Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2) A Thief Before Christmas (Maids of Honor, #0.5) Ni Key Stage 3 English: Bk. 2, Year 9

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