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 will love! Maid Of Secrets is a mystery set in the court of Queen Elizabeth during a visit from members of the Spanish court. There were a bunch of unpredictable plot-twists and turns that kept me reading. Maid Of Secrets pulls off an intriguing mystery filled with suspense and surprises. Even though there have been countless books about Elizabeth and the English, Maid Of Secrets is still an extremely original novel. The author blends historical and romance plot points to make this book an entertaining read. The author definitely created distinct and interesting characters in this book. All of the maids were very different from each other and I could easily distinguish them. I have only one complaint about one of the maids is how McGowan didn't really take advantage at all of Sophia being a seer and I expected there to be a bit of paranormal aspects because of her ability. Her ability didn't really contribute to the plot unlike the other girls' abilities. It kind of felt like Sophia was kind of useless because her lack of activity in this book. I definitely would like to see more of the other girls in the next books and see their abilities challenged further by political obstacles. The romance in this book doesn't take up a big portion of this book. The romance helps contribute to the plot and I liked how the author intertwined the romance in a subtle way. I would have liked to see a bit more chemistry between the love interests but I liked how the author progressed Meg and Rafe's relationship. I definitely liked how the author progressed at a realistic pace but at times I felt like I wanted them to fall in love a bit faster. I also would have liked to see the other maids interact more with their beaus. My favorite character in this novel is Queen Elizabeth by far and I loved the way McGowan painted a picture of Elizabeth in my mind. The author created this dignified aura around Elizabeth that made me really respect her character. She helped illustrate how powerful and influential Elizabeth was in her court despite all of the threats to her position. I know that Queen Elizabeth was a real person but the way McGowan brought her to life in a way that was truly remarkable. I admired her strength and courage even when it fell like catastrophe was going to strike in the English court. I definitely could see why she was so admired, loved, and feared at the same time by members of the court.This quote perfectly describes just how fantastic Queen Elizabeth is in this book: "With every movement the Queen commanded the eye; each word from her lips pricked the ears and sent a shiver down the skin; each glance could send a heart aflutter or a stomach plunging in fear." I felt all those feelings surging through me while reading about Queen Elizabeth and the way McGowan developed her character was just spectacular. Maid Of Secrets is definitely one entertaining, intense historical fiction novel. I could easily see the Maids Of Honor series becoming one of my all-time favorite series. Jennifer McGowan definitely exceeded all expectations that I had for this novel. McGowan is definitely an author to watch out for because I can tell she's capable of writing the next big historical fiction novel. I'd definitely recommend Maid Of Secrets and I think it definitely deserves more hype.