Saturday, December 14, 2013
Review: Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel
Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel
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...
After a time of not-really-reading-a-whole-lot, it's nice to get back into the swing of things with a book exactly like this one. Palace of Spies is not going to be the next Twilight or the next Hunger Games, and there's nothing wrong with that. Instead, it's a historical fiction-plus-mystery with a dash of romance tossed in for good measure.
After losing just about everything, Peggy finds herself in the company of people who ask her to take the place of a recently deceased courtier and spy for them. Of course this plot requires a certain willing suspension of disbelief: no one except perhaps identical twins looks that alike, and even with weeks of training and drills it would be hard to take on both the attitude and behaviors of someone you have never met. However, once you have beaten your disbelief into dust, you are left with a delightful story that skips along cheerfully and doesn't fail to satisfy.
The initial court scenes introduce a panoply of characters that each carry some mystery. As she tries to figure out details for her benefactors, she starts to uncover evidence that perhaps her lookalike was murdered - and was perhaps part of a plot far more sinister than simply an illicit love affair. There aer plenty of historical facts worked into the narrative to please those who are craving a little HF and there is enough goo-goo eyed scenes to sate the romance craving as well. Mystery! Politics! History! Romance! What else could you want? However, this is the first book in a projected series, so don't expect everything to be wrapped up neatly with a bow at the end.
I don't have much else to say about this book. It's fun, it has its high points, and it's a quick read. Recommended!
4 out of 5 stars!