This title was provided by HMH Books for Young Readers, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of my review. This post contains affiliate links that may provide the post author with monetary compensation.
Palace of Spiesby Sarah Zettel
Series: Palace of Spies #1
Publication: HMH Books for Young Readers on November 5th 2013 [expected]
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: HMH Books for Young Readers, NetGalley
Better World Books • Book Depository • Goodreads
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.
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]f all the things I learned reading Palace of Spies, one thing stood out the most–never underestimate a girl with a fireplace poker.
Palace of Spies captured my attention from the start with its rich history, clever girls, and promise of mystery.
Peggy is a compelling heroine with a fun personality. I enjoyed her wit and following along as she unraveled the mysteries at court, making mistakes along the way, but never losing sight of what she thought was morally right. I loved the cast of supporting characters (especially Mrs. Abbott, Lord Tierney/Mr. Tinderflint, and Matthew) and the way their own stories unfolded around Peggy.
Something that did bother me, however, was that View Spoiler »Robert wouldn’t immediately realize that his paramour was an entirely different person than the last time she had been at court « Hide Spoiler! I understand that View Spoiler »Francesca had (supposedly) been ill and that no one had any reason to suspect she had been replaced by someone else entirely, but I found it very odd that he couldn’t recognize that this wasn’t the girl he had fallen in love with, even if they did bear similarities. « Hide Spoiler
While the ending resolved many questions, it also left a fair few unanswered–and that’s exactly the way it should be with a book like this. I was pleased to discover that some of my own revelations had been right all along–and just as pleased to discover that some had been completely wrong! I look forward to reading future installments in Peggy’s story to find out the answers to these lingering questions.
Overall, this book was a fast-paced, fun read full of clever quips and period-appropriate characterization, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!