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An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,080 ratings  ·  298 reviews
When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn't the only secret he's been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and to take it one step further- ...more
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Saarah Niña Searched it up- the book I was reminded of was The Devil And His Boy by Anthony Horowitz. And main difference is the protagonist in that sets out to…moreSearched it up- the book I was reminded of was The Devil And His Boy by Anthony Horowitz. And main difference is the protagonist in that sets out to protect the queen.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,080 ratings  ·  298 reviews


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Mackenzi
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blurb of Officialness: "An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason is a thrilling, immersive romp through Shakespeare's London, and all the intrigue, alliances, and politics that shaped it. Helmed by two feisty leading players who I fell in love with as they fell for each other, and with snappy, energetic prose that will appeal to both fans of historicals and contemporaries, there's something here for everyone. I devoured this book with ravenous joy. Bravo!"
Lola
Two years ago, I read the first book in the author’s fantasy series – The Witch Hunter – and, surprisingly, I rated it 3.5 stars as well.

What does this mean? Well, like The Witch Hunter, this one was easy to read and fast-paced. I enjoyed reading about the two main characters, two people who both have distinct personalities and back-stories that help us understand where they’re coming from.

The concept is also original. Who has ever heard of putting on a play to kill a king or queen? This was th
...more
Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell

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🦇 Read for the Unapologetic Romance Readers Halloween 2018 Reading Challenge for the category of: A romance where one of the characters is a murderer 🦇



I was initially going to post lots of status updates for this book, because I feel like that is what you are supposed to do when you manage to finagle a prized ARC like this one - but instead I knocked it back like it was a glass of drinkable wine and I was trying to get drunk off of it. Wh
...more
Sylvie
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4/5 Stars

Pre reading thoughts:

This book has all the ingredients I never knew I needed to see gathered in one book:

Elizabethian era ✔
Girl disguises herself as a boy ✔
Takes place during the Anglo-Spanish War ✔
Plotting an assassination against Elizabeth I ✔
Both protagonists have to perform in a Shakespearean play, presumably "Twelfth Night" ✔
Young spy ✔
Revenge ✔
From enemies to lovers (probably) ✔

What I liked about this book:

-Basically everything, most of them I mentioned in my pre-reading thoug
...more
may ❀
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
ehhhhh, i liked the ~*idea*~ of this book more than the actual book

the characters were alright, they had good backstories but i found the more the story progressed, the more it wasn't coming together. the stakes were pretty HIGH but it didn't feel like it. it felt pretty relaxed the whole way through

and dont get me wrong, im a really big shipper, but for some reason, i felt NO chemistry between the characters. they were developed so quickly and honestly it was becoming a chore to read

so, guess
...more
Lisa
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, arc
This is such a fun unique take on historical fiction. Shakespeare, romance, disguised gender and, you know, plotting murder, made for one excellent story.

This is a great standalone I highly recommend.
Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5/4 stars
i enjoyed this much more than i expected to (once I read past the first 100 pages and considered DNFing it)
the author clearly did her research and knows her stuff - making the plot and story very wholesome to read.
I love the story, I love Katherine and Toby, and honestly I think i relate to Shakespeare the most in the entire book (but I'm nowhere as talented lmao).
y'all
i just wish there was more at the end ahhhhhhh
hope this short review makes sense.
Katherine Moore
Did you know that Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was written to capture the would-be assassin of Queen Elizabeth I?!
And what do you get when you combine a cross-dressing Catholic called Katherine Arundell, out to avenge the death of her father, and put her slap-dab in the middle of merry old London?

‘An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason’, of course, and it’s quite scrumptious.
This romp through 1601 will have you questioning any history you may think you’ve learned about Elizabethan London, abou
...more
Virginia Boecker
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
*peeks*

*sees nice reviews*

*smiles*

*runs away*
Elise (TheBookishActress)
THIS SAID GAY RIGHTS and I have no idea why I stalled on it for two months it fully slapped review to come

Arc received from the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review. [ releases: November 2018.]
Rachel Strolle
An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason is the Shakespeare book I've been waiting for. Not only does it feature the Bard himself, it features opposing protagonists who aren't aware they are in opposition. Boecker cleverly intertwines classic Shakespearean tropes with a story that feels fresh and original. In addition to revolving around Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, it has the spirit and fun of A Knight's Tale and a charm all its own. It instantly found a place on my all time favorites shelf.
Lauren Stoolfire
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
That was awesome! I need more YA historical fiction like this. Like Mackenzi Lee and A Knight's Tale? Then I have a feeling you'll love this too.
Fatma
Enjoyable, but not the best thing I've ever read.
Nicki Chapelway
Nov 16, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF-55 pages

It is with a heavy heart that I decide that I will not be finishing this book. I wanted so, so badly to like it. The second that I saw that it had released I ordered it from the library. It was still processing, I was the first person from my library to get it. But unfortunately, this book just isn't what I had hoped it would be.

It has far too much content. The swear words are not only unnecessary, but also unrealistic. I'm not an expert on swear word etymology but I am pretty sure t
...more
Jackie
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book! And I did like the characters, the setting, and parts of the plot. But something was missing. I think this book would have been great if there was one more book involved. The ending was to quick and happy. Left me wanting more. Additionally I felt that the romance by the two MCs became a bit ridiculous. Kit is trying to kill the queen and she’s dressed like a man. But then is more than willing to give up her identity in a moment of passion. Which didn’t feel ri ...more
Jenn
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short, stunned take: Absolutely brilliant.
Actual blurb: A tour de force blending wrenchingly complicated romance, vibrant theatre history, and deadly Elizabethan politics, AN ASSASSIN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON seduced me completely.
Unofficial blurb: OMG I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK READ IT READ IT NOW
Sheharzad ⚘
if the TITLE didn't already have my hands itching for this book, then that BLURB surely had me screaming at that release date!!

granted, october 2018 isn't that far but... i'm also an impatient little shit who doesn't believe in the combo of intriguing storyline + ridiculous months-long release dates. it's torturous for us book lovers. absolutely abhorrent. how dare they dangle such interesting ideas in front of us and make us wait?! smh 100% unimpressed.
USOM
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't get over how clever An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason is. For the inner English Lit nerd, watching all the pieces of this book come together was me just yelling, "YES!" over and over again. That's almost what it was like watching me read this book. Except I was in a government building. So it was more just happy sighing over and over again. But besides the cleverness of the writing, what I loved was the assassins, weapon training, conspiracies, and love story.

full review: https://u
...more
Keplers
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this so much I blurbed it
"Assassins, spies, a forbidden romance, a plot to kill the queen, and secrets aplenty - all centering around Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Be still my Shakespeare-loving fangirl heart."
Vernie♡
Jun 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
Hmm.. that title and that cover remind me greatly of A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue.. but since Mackenzi Lee herself enjoyed it, I'll give it a go.
Christine
4.5! This was a great romp that also had me very worried that things would not turn out alright -- no traumatically tragic ending here though, hurrah!

This has spies, secret identities, girls dressing up as boys dressed as girls, and lots of feelings about Kit Marlowe. GOOD TIMES.
Erin Arkin
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I read the synopsis of An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker, I knew I had to read it. This book is a standalone and it has a fast pace to keep the story moving and if you like historical books focused on a plot for murder, I think you should pick this one up.

The story focuses on two main characters, Lady Katherine and Toby Ellis. Everything really kicks off when Katherine’s father is executed for being a practicing Catholic, a dangerous thing in those times. K
...more
Miri ♪ Book Dragoness ♪
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a dramatic historical fiction
My review is also posted on my blog, right here

First off, thank you to the publisher and my teen librarian for the ARC. I received this review copy from my librarian to suggest whether to purchase this book or not.

My verdict: Absolutely yes. I really enjoyed this book and I can imagine lots of teens liking it too.

You know you've read a great historical fiction book when you get interested in that era afterwards! Now I'm more curious about Elizabethan England. Also, I need to get Twelfth Night by
...more
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
Katherine goes to London dressed as a boy with the singular purpose of assassinating Queen Elizabeth. Toby is a spy charged with discovering who’s behind this plot. Both use the production of Shakespeare’s new play Twelfth Night to execute their plans.

I was highly anticipating this book, out 10/23 from Hachette/Little Brown*, and I really enjoyed An Assassin’s Guide. The characters were definitely the highlight for me, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. Toby is bisexual, and actual
...more
Lea (drumsofautumn)
HOLY SHIT THIS QUEEN IS BACK AND WITH WHAT KIND OF BOOK MAN!! SHE IS TRYING TO KILL ME AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT!!!
I loved the The Witch Hunter duology so much and this one sounds even more perfect I AM GONNA PEE MYSELF!
Mary H
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Historical is one of my least read genres. Although people and events from history are interesting, if I read historical, I don't want an exact recounting like a textbook. I want something that adds to the past and makes it unique and fun. Assassin's Guide takes people you know such as Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare (who are two of my favorites already) and adds danger, intrigue, romance, sass, humor (a must-have for my historical reads!), along with original characters who feel real and an o ...more
K.
Trigger warnings: death of a loved one, torture, violence, animal death, religious discrimination/anti-Catholic sentiment(??? IDK if this is triggering, but whatever).

Let's start with the obvious here: I'm not a huge fan of this title. Yes, it does what it says on the tin. But it's a little TOO similar to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue/The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. And as a result, I went into it half expecting the same level of fun and adventure. And instead I got a story
...more
Alexa
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
3.5 stars. AN ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON is a novel that I’d been looking forward to reading since I first heard about it, and on the whole, it didn’t disappoint! It was surprisingly readable and pretty compelling (in spite of the fact that I never particularly felt like either of the main characters would be in true danger of a terrible end), and I enjoyed all the historical aspects (real and fictional), the way Twelfth Night is woven in (it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare plays afte ...more
Lynn
Original storyline and setting for a YA. It dragged for me but don't let that scare you away. It is well written for most people's tastes and I think plenty of people will enjoy it. I got bogged down in the pretty words and descriptions and found the plodding plot to drag. I like more action versus set up and atmosphere and this book was more about the latter. It was a bit fantastical too which I don't usually mind but for some reason didn't work quite as well for me here.

I think the ultimate pr
...more
Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions)
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!
Same Review Also Posted On My Blog: Dreamy Addictions

I thought I would love this book, but sadly it was not what I had expected.  I haven't read Virgina Boecker's The Witch Hunter series, but I really wanted to give this a shot because I couldn't resist a spy novel.   I was hoping for a  suspenseful YA historical spy novel with a dash of romance but what I got is a dramatic YA romance between two Star crossed lovers. Honestly, It has a good concept but I think this one i
...more
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Virginia Boecker is the author of The Witch Hunter series and An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason. A graduate of the University of Texas, she had a decade-long career in technology before quitting to become a full-time writer. When she isn't writing, Virginia likes running, reading, traveling, and trying new things (most recently: learning to drive a boat). She has lived all over the world but ...more