Saturday, 27 June 2015

Review: Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan

Title: Maid of Wonder (Maids of Honor #3)
Author: Jennifer McGowan

Release date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 328

Source: Edelweiss

“Death comes to Windsor.”

Sophia Dee, the most unusual spy of Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor, has run out of time for her psychic skills to fully manifest. A terrible new prophecy now haunts Windsor Castle, and the Queen demands answers before the next doomed soul dies.

Thrust into a dangerous and horrifying competition to solve the deadly prediction, Sophia finds herself pitted against the most celebrated mystics of Europe: John Dee, her devious uncle and the Queen’s personal astrologer. . . and Nostradamus, the renowned prophet-seer of France.

In a court where whispers of witchcraft, poisonous plots, and grim assassins threaten her at every turn, Sophia needs answers fast. But does she dare trust Marcus Quinn, her uncle’s striking and over-ambitious assistant? Or, instead, should she turn to the tortured dark angel of the spirit realm, who whispers to her only of sorrow and death?

As new dangers surface and dire prophecy sweeps toward its final victim, the five Maids of Honor prepare to do battle. Only then will the girl who so often sees the future finally discover if she can save the Crown—and herself.

So for starters, I love everything about this series - the history, the danger, the mystery. Maid of Wonder is no exception, and though it wasn't as fast-paced or riveting as the previous two books, I enjoyed it a lot.

Sophia's gifts have developed quite a lot since the last book, when they were just emerging. Now, she sees visions of the future and can communicate with the angels. But Sophia is still a novice, and her increasingly frequent visits to the other side of the spectral plane have consequences. She also sees that the Queen is in grave danger, but cannot gather enough proof to be taken seriously. On top of that, she has to deal with the return of her uncle whom she despises for the lies he told her, and the arrival of Marcus, her uncle's assistant and a man she feels a real connection to.

Sophia has always been the most elusive of the five spies. After all, the others have very distinct characteristics - Meg is sharp and witty, Jane is tough and dangerous, Anna is intelligent and prudent, and Beatrice is beguiling and seductive. But Sophia? I can't really describe her. So it was an interesting journey to get to know her in this book. We see that she has just as strong a character as the other maids. She's naive, yes, but also stubborn and curious and defiant. Though I didn't warm to Sophia as much as I did to Meg in the first book, I like her.

My favourite parts of the book were the times when Sophia would use her gift for scrying or to contact the angels. There is one in particular, the one she calls her dark angel, who is the most interesting. At first he scares Sophia, but she realizes he's protecting her. But why? And how is he different from the other angels? I was really eager to find out all the answers. The main plot, though, dragged a bit in my opinion. I don't care much for the Queen portrayed in this novel, so I didn't care about her impending danger at all. She's petty and can be quite cruel, and though I sympathize with her situation, I can't bring myself to like Elizabeth much.

I did really like Marcus. He seems like the perfect match for Sophia, and not just because of their shared abilities. Marcus is gentle and kind, and just the guy Sophia can count on and trust in this castle with betrayal at every corner. I also loved seeing all the other maids again, and even Master James from the circus. He and Jane still have a weird thing going on, and I wonder if those two come together at some point in Jane's book.

There wasn't much action in this novel since the focus is on Sophia's psychic powers, and I guess that made things feel slow to me. I prefer the more fast-paced environment we saw in the previous books. Regardless, I liked getting back into this historical world and I'm excited to see whose story comes next!

*Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3.5/5

1 comment:

  1. I've been curious about these books! I like historical fiction a lot, and it's interesting when there is a paranormal ish side to things, if I'm understanding correctly? I hope you enjoy the next book in the series, Richa :)

    Fabulous review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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