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Maid of Secrets

(Maids of Honor #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,927 ratings  ·  377 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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  2,927 ratings  ·  377 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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?


Or she would be, if the events in this book had any level of veracity. The main "maid" spy within this book i
Emily Anne
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z-2018, riveted-lit, ebk
"There are moments in my life that I believe I'll remember forever. A perfect Sunset, the sight of ships coming into port, the first breath of spring." And I, I will remember this book. It is known that I have a predilection for historical fiction and for YA. Mix those two, and I just discovered a new series that I will love for sure! I loved how the female characters were strong despite the era, when women were known for their frivolity. The plot was great too, and no stranger to why I devoured ...more
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Stephanie Redwine
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 give
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 2013, 5-star-reads
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
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

I anticipated this being as boring as the other book I read recently that also took place in Elizabethan England. And guess what? I was right. A lot of people compared this to His Fair Assassin trilogy, and I can see those comparisons, but that trilogy was better than this one. Why? Because at least the main characters were good at their job! They were trained to be spies and assassins, and it showed.

In this book, the main character was a TERRIBLE spy! She didn't really seem
Melissa Landers
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lucky-13s
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
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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) ;)
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Exciting, well-written and basically perfect. Review to come soon.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Leigh
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
I feel like nothing really happened til the last 20 pages
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog-tour, top-reads
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
Small Review
That was fun! I'll be reading the sequel for sure. Full review to come.

Originally posted on Small Review

This is the book I wanted the Palace of Spies series to be. Both series follow a maid of honor/ladies in waiting type of group and involves courtly mysteries and an interesting historical backdrop (with minor appearances by real people). However, of the two, I much prefer the Maids of Honor series.

While the series isn't amazing, it does have likable characters (and nice camaraderie between th
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 plac ...more
Emily (theBookishLounge)
3.5 stars

SPIES! ASSASSINS! MURDER! And historical fiction – literally (almost) all my loves. A fun read but I honestly expected more. It engaged me most of the time but there were some cringeworthy scenes. Set in Tutor times, some events or reactions to certain events didn’t seem plausible, especially in terms of punishments (can you tell I wanted more gore?).

I was very optimistic going into this book because it promised some thrilling adventures, crime and mysteries. Sounds great right? And it
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-favorites
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
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!
Diversity Rating: 0 – What Diversity?
Disability: 0
Intersectionality: 0

I’m semi-proud to call Maid of Secrets a book I bought twice, but that’s not entirely on purpose. My cat Shadow threw up all over my hardcover, which had my preferred cover, so I had to buy the ebook to read it. Y’all don’t even want to know how thoroughly she wrecked that book with her upset belly. BUT ABOUT THE BOOK. It was absolutely worth buying twice beca
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
"If God won't save the Queen... we will."

Once I finished reading, two things came to my mind: a. I need the second book and b. if this book is any indication, I should read more YA historical fiction. Maid of Secrets is a fast-paced story full of intrigues, plot twists and secrets. It's an amazing book that will keep you guessing, and I'm honestly surprised that it's not more popular!

The book drew me in immediately and I didn't want it to end. I realised that I'm more and more fond of "palac
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I basically quit reading historical fiction that involves real people years ago after I realized how mad historical inaccuracy made me. The Elizabethan era in particular seems doomed to haunt me. I took a chance with Maid of Secrets, though, because the plot sounded promising. And it turned out to be...decent, for YA. I enjoyed it. I might find the sequel. But I don't know that I recommend it. There is nothing new here, but it still makes a fun read.
While the story-line has some good action and
A story set in the court of Elizabeth, a castle, beautiful dresses, five maids who are also spies, secrets passages, missions and a bit of romance in between, what more could i ask?
I love it when the narration is set on the past and especially in an English court. The idea of maids who would work as spies for the queen was very clever indeed and for once i enjoyed the fact that the first thought of the characters wasn't always about the man that they love except for Beatrice maybe. That of cours
Apr 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
In lieu of a review, I present the following conversation about this book. It is both true and accurate.

Me: I'm reading the stupidest book

Friend: What's it about?

Me: It is set in 1559 and Queen Elizabeth has kidnapped/recruited five teenage girls to be her spies. One is very academically bright, one is psychic, one is beautiful, one is skilled at killing, the other (the one we follow) is a skilled thief and actress with the improbable ability to automatically memorize everything she hears includ
Ann Warner
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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

Other books in the series

Maids of Honor (3 books)
  • Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2)
  • Maid of Wonder (Maids of Honor, #3)

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