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"de la Cruz's trademark tight construction, detailed world building, and action-packed romance are all at work in this sure-to-be-popular new series." --Booklist
"A classic plucky heroine fantasy in the vein of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore." --Kirkus Reviews
"The action-packed narrative captures readers' attention from the start, expertly weaving plot twists, betrayal, magical elements, and traces of humor throughout." --School Library Journal
Something or someone is following me. I've been wandering the woods for quite a while, but now it feels as if something-or someone-is watching. I thought it was one of my aunts at first-it was odd they didn't chase after me this time. Maybe they didn't expect me to go very far. But it's not them.
I stop and pull my hood back to listen to the forest around me. There is only the wind whistling through the branches and the sound of my own breathing.
Whoever is following me is very good at hiding. But I am not afraid.
Slivers of light penetrate the dense foliage in spots, shining streaks onto the blanket of decaying leaves and mud under my boots. As I slice through thick vines and clamber over rotting logs, speckled thrushes take flight from the forest floor before disappearing overhead. I pause to listen to them sing to one another, chirping elegant messages back and forth, a beautiful song carrying warnings, no doubt, about the stranger stomping through their home.
Being out here helps me clear my head. I feel more peaceful here among the wild creatures, closer to my true self. After this morning's argument at home, it's precisely what I need-some peace. Some space. Time to myself.
My aunts taught me that sometimes when the world is too much, when life starts to feel overwhelming, we must strip away what's unnecessary, seek out the quiet, and listen to the dirt and trees. "All the answers you seek are there, but only if you are willing to hear them," Aunt Moriah always says.
That's all I'm doing, I tell myself. Following their advice. Perhaps that's why they allowed me to run off into the woods. Except they're probably hoping I'll find their answers here, not my own. That I'll finally come to my senses.
Anger bubbles up inside me. All I have ever wanted is to follow in their footsteps and join the ranks of the Hearthstone Guild. It's the one thing I've wanted more than anything. We don't just sell honey in the market. They've practically been training me for the Guild all my life-how can they deny me? I kick the nearest tree as hard as I can, slamming the sole of my boot into its solid trunk. That doesn't make me feel much better, though, and I freeze, wondering if whatever or whoever is following me has heard.
I know it is a dangerous path, but what nobler task is there than to continue the Guild's quest? To recover the Deian Scrolls and exact revenge upon our enemies. They can't expect me to sit by and watch as others take on the challenge.
All the women I look up to-Ma, my aunt Moriah, and Moriah's wife, my aunt Mesha-belong to the Guild; they are trained combatants and wise women. They are devotees of Deia, the One Mother, source of everything in the world of Avantine, from the clouds overhead to the dirt underfoot. Deia worship was common once but not anymore, and those who keep to its beliefs have the Guild to thank for preserving the old ways. Otherwise that knowledge would have disappeared long ago when the Aphrasians confiscated it from the people. The other kingdoms no longer keep to the old ways, even as they conspire to learn our magic.
As wise women they know how to tap into the world around us, to harness the energy that people have long forgotten but other creatures have not. My mother and aunts taught me how to access the deepest levels of my instincts, the way that animals do, to sense danger and smell fear. To become deeply in tune with the universal language of nature that exists just below the surface of human perception, the parts we have been conditioned not to hear anymore.
While I call them my aunts, they are not truly related to me, even if Aunt Moriah and my mother grew up as close as sisters. I was fostered here because my mother's work at the palace is so important that it leaves little time for raising a child.
A gray squirrel runs across my path and halfway up a nearby tr
A New York Times and Indie Bestseller!
Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Red Queen, this is the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect from #1 NYT bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz.
Caledon Holt is the kingdom's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in speed, strength, or brains, which is why he's the Hearthstone Guild's most dangerous member. Cal is also the Queen's Assassin, bound to her by magic and unable to leave her service until the task she's set for him is fulfilled.
Shadow of the Honey Glade has been training all her life to join the Guild, hoping that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Cal. But Shadow's mother and aunts expect her to serve the crown as a lady of the Renovian Court.
When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they're forced to team up as assassin and apprentice. Even though Shadow's life belongs to the court and Cal's belongs to the queen, they cannot deny their attraction to each other. But now, with war on the horizon and true love at risk, Shadow and Cal will uncover a shocking web of lies that will change their paths forever.
Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher's Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her books have topped USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and been published in more than twenty countries. She is best-known for her Blue Bloods series (with more than three million copies in print), The Descendants books based on the Disney Channel films, and the Witches of East End novels, which were turned into a two-season drama series on Lifetime Television. Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood with her husband and daughter.
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|Titel:||The Queen's Assassin|
|Verlag:||Penguin US; G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers|
|209 mm x 139 mm|
|ab 14 Jahre|
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