Palace of Spies

Sarah Zettel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-544-07411-8
Sixteen-year old Peggy Fitzroy becomes a spy in the 18th-century English court in the first book in a planned series from Zettel (the American Fairy trilogy). An orphan, Peggy has been raised by her aunt and uncle, who plan to marry her to a handsome but unpleasant nobleman. Instead, a mysterious trio appears and asks Peggy to take on the role of a deceased lady-in-waiting to Princess Caroline. In the guise of Lady Francesca Wallingham, Peggy is quickly ensconced in palace intrigue surrounding the Jacobite/Hanoverian conflicts. Although the complexities of the religious wars might alienate less historically savvy readers, Zettel explains the conflict well, and Peggy’s basic complications are enticing: a jealous rival, a suitor with questionable intentions, and a budding romance with an apprentice artist. The mysteries of allegiance reveal themselves in an action-packed climax as Peggy learns the truth about her parents and comes into her own. Peggy’s voice is light and accessible, and the plot moves quickly. A solid opening volley in a promising series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Shawna McCarthy, the McCarthy Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-544-07375-3
Paperback - 374 pages - 978-0-544-33617-9
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