"“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."
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
The Maids of Honor series is a fascinating and brilliant mixture of historical fact and fiction, but the latest installment, Maid of Wonder, elevates the series further by adding fantasy into the mix. Each novel focuses on a specific member of the Maids of Honor of Queen Elizabeth I, a fictitious group of young women hand-selected by the queen to keep tabs on the court - and act on that information for the safety of the queen. While talents of the two young women that the first two novels (Maid of Secrets and Maid of Deception) each focused on (Meg and Beatrice) are quite within the boundaries of natural talents (deception and emotional manipulation, respectively), Sophia's talents are decidedly supernatural. Blessed - or perhaps cursed - with 'the Sight,' or the ability to see into and communicate with beings in the supernatural realm, Sophia was stolen away from her parents by her 'uncle' John Dee, the queen's astrologer, for his own personal ends when she was young - but now that her powers have been realized, her position with the queen is (theoretically) more secure. But the queen's temperament proves to the greatest risk to Sophia's position in court, although Sophia's concerns are of a far deadlier nature. The spirits have told her that an attempt on the queen's life (as well as the death of another) will happen soon, but with precious few information - and to make matters worse, she's forced to compete against John Dee and the famed Seer Nostradamus to see who can discover the most information first. Throughout everything, the other maids are determined to support Sophia any way they can, though they understand even less than she does. Sophia's story vastly differs from the narratives of the first book - the tone in this book has shifted to match Sophia's quiet and introspective nature, and quite a bit of the plot is devoted to her time in the spirit world. The spirit world, a realm previously unexplored, is described with the perfect amount of detail and explanation - enough to get an adequate picture of things, but not overbearing or overly descriptive. The balance between the spirit world and the human one is a bit disjointed and chaotic at times, but meant to parallel Sophia's overwhelmed confusion - an achievement more than adequately met and brilliantly pulled off. So much of Sophia's story takes place either in her head or among the spirits, so she never played much of a role in the previous novels (other than to occasionally offer cryptic advice); now that we get a glimpse inside her story, she might very well be the most fascinating maid of all.
Maid of Wonder is a fantastic read, perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction and court intrigue with a serving of the supernatural on the side.
Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.