Blog Tour: An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker


Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult historical romance
Format/Source: ARC, ALA annual conference
Status: standalone

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

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—kill the queen herself.

Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play—it's a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.

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 original story based on real life events.

One of Assassin's Guide's greatest strengths is newcomers Toby and Katherine. Not only do our narrators have clear, distinct voices and well-rounded characterizations, they fold very easily into the Elizabethan world. They feel like they could have been real. And good heavens, the tension between them is AMAZING.

I love romance in most of my books because if done well and not forced for the sake of having a romance, it adds a layer of complexity to the story. That's how it is with Toby and Kit. Because on the one hand spycraft and intrigue, assassination and the prevention thereof, but on the other, TENSION and KISSING and FEELINGS. And for these two, it's even more complex because of Katherine's disguise as a boy and Toby's attempts to understand his bisexuality. AND THEY'RE PUTTING ON TWELFTH NIGHT, WHICH IS ABOUT THESE THINGS. Shakespeare would be so proud of this story!

I also think Shakespeare would be proud of the way Virginia writes the historical figures. Shakespeare and Elizabeth made me smile every time they were on page. Shakespeare is the flighty, mood-driven artiste. He's got a keen eye and a sharp tongue, and I LOVE how he's written. Elizabeth is equal parts powerful ruler who suffers no fools (as we all know) and naughty old lady. She's so saucy, especially in her scenes with Toby, but she still displays the steel backbone history shows us she possessed.

Like the My Lady Jane series, An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason shakes up history and creates something new and slightly irreverent. It's based on reality and historical fact creates a solid foundation for this unique story that adds a twist to one of Shakespeare's best works. With humor, religious tension, romance, and intrigue, Assassin's Guide is a fabulous addition to bookshelves everywhere!

Purchase Links:
About the Author:
Virginia Boecker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of The Witch Hunter. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and spends her days writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children, a cat named Thomas and a dog named George.

In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick. She is represented by John Cusick at Folio Literary Management.

Author Links:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason. Open US Only.


  1. I'm also not generally a fan of historical fiction, but if this book has good romance and intrigue, then I think I'd enjoy it! Lovely review :)

    Amy @A Magical World of Words

  2. I don't usually read historical fiction too,it's always better to have some tension. Love the review.