Philippa Gregory meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this witty and thrilling action-adventure novel of star-crossed assassins in Elizabethan England. Perfect for fans of My Lady Jane and A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.
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.
Early praise for An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason
“[Virginia Boecker] paints a thrilling picture of Tudor England with all the intrigue, romance, and danger a lover of historical fiction could want.”—Sharon Biggs Waller, author of The Forbidden Orchid and A Mad, Wicked Folly
“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.”―Angela Mann, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park CA
“An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason is the Shakespeare book I’ve been waiting for. 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.”―Rachel Strolle, Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
“I think, in time, you’ll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory.”
Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule—namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.
Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. It’s up to her to stop Blackwell from turning the tide of battle against them, but at what cost? War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.
In the sequel to the Witch Hunter, Virginia Boecker delivers a powerful tale full of action, suspense, camaraderie, and romance.
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.
Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.
Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.
But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
Praise for The Witch Hunter
“Boecker’s confident debut takes the familiar elements of many strains of YA fantasy—epic setting, alternate history, wizardry, paranormal enforcers—and stirs them into an explosive cocktail of high-stakes adventure….The first-person, present-tense narration is rendered masterfully; coupled with the cinematic vividness of the descriptions, the whole makes for a page-turning delight.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
“Boecker has created an alternate sixteenth-century world whose characters are as intriguing as the magical world they inhabit, and the violence as bloody and pain-filled as it is prevalent. Woven within the complex fantasy is a new understanding of friendship and a tenuous but sweet Romeo and Juliet–like love story that promises to blossom, along with the witchcraft, mystery, and bloodletting.”—Booklist
“Debut author Boecker’s first-person, present tense narrative creates a suspenseful mood by allowing readers to see Elizabeth’s secrets, doubts, and fears…The book has plenty of action-sword fights, battles with monsters, black magic, and betrayal-but there is also camaraderie and romance…Fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (Houghton Harcourt, 2008) will see similarities in this story of a girl with deadly skills who begins to question using her services to benefit a brutal ruler. This action-packed tale will be a welcome addition to most YA fantasy collections.” —School Library Journal
“Sassy and smart, this page-turning fantasy is full of action, wit, and magic. I ate it up in one sitting and demand more…now! —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe and The Body Electric.
“Boecker’s rich, witch-hunting, witch-burning world is filled with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal. Elizabeth Grey is a tough, feisty protagonist whose fearless heart takes more twists and turns than the narrow city alleys in which the story opens. A fun, corpse-ridden, blood-drenched debut.” —April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
“Crisp writing, a fast pace with bloody action, and the all-important monster rats make this story of a bold but more-vulnerable-than-she-realizes witch hunter a strong fantasy debut.”—Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic and Court of Fives
“Elizabeth is an endearingly flawed heroine, and the other characters are just as nuanced and delightful. With an immersive world and fast-paced, addictive plot, The Witch Hunter is perfect for those looking for their next fantastical adventure.”—Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of Illusive
—A Junior Library Guild selection
—A YALSA 2016 Teens Top Ten Nominee