Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Review: Palace of Spies

Palace of SpiesAuthor: Sarah Zettel
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Series: Palace of Spies # 1

A warning to all young ladies of delicate breeding who wish to embark upon lives of adventure: Don't.

Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she's impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in love...

History and mystery spark in this effervescent series debut.

“You’ve a taste for comedy, Margaret. Well. Such a scene needs two players.”

“You – you’re saying my mother was a spy!”

Become Lady Francesca. They had brought me to this house to ask me to assume the place of someone I’d never met, in a station to which I was untrained and unsuited. I looked from one man to the other. Neither betrayed any hint of being other than perfectly serious.

After being thrown out of her uncle’s house for refusing to marry a rather ghastly young man chosen for her by her uncle, Peggy Fitzroy finds herself on the streets with nowhere to turn for help or aid. Until she meets a man claiming to have been friends with her mother before her passing, and who is now offering her a job where she will assume the identity of a dead lady-in-waiting in King George’s court! Peggy hesitantly accepts, but soon finds herself in the path of mystery, intrigue, some romance, and a whole lot of danger!

I am really anxious for more of this series because Peggy Fitzroy is such a moldable character. I am intrigued with her mother’s past life, apparently a spy, and I think that this area might be revisited later on in the series. Peggy is free-spirited and very spunky. These are two characteristics that always make a character relatable for me. From the very start of this book when Peggy rejects the forward passes of a boy she is being forced to marry, she had my vote!

My favorite scenes occurred while Peggy was pretending to be this dead lady-in-waiting. Her time in the court was definitely suspenseful and her risk of danger grew higher. I liked the interactions she shared with the other ladies-in-waiting, who proved to be very catty in their behavior. A little romance is mixed in with this book as well, not enough to take over the whole plot but enough to keep it saucy! Sarah Zettel does a fantastic job of describing the time and era in which Peggy lived! I am so excited for more of this series!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review***

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