I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: Palace of Spies

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies #1)
by Sarah Zettel

Plot Summary:

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.


The voice of the main character, Peggy, is very candid and sincere and her open personality lifted this story from the myriad of deceptions and hidden motives that sometimes bogged the story down.  The first few chapters were excellent though in setting up Peggy's character and the situation that led to her needing to pretend to be someone else.  The author adds realism to her heroine's plight with all the little details of the dress and habits of 18th century lords and ladies and I think these points made it so easy to immerse myself into this story of adventure and intrigue.

The plot does get a little convoluted at times - with the many different scenarios that are presented as Peggy tries to uncover what happened to the real Lady Francesca.  And there were so many possibilities that when the conclusion is finally revealed, it all felt a bit overwhelming and it was difficult to concentrate on the action while trying to order all the events in my mind.  I think this is a minor quibble though because the mystery aspect of this story was very difficult to decipher and the fact that there were so many red herrings helped that.

The romance that develops in this story between Peggy and the handsome young artist is very incidental I felt to the whole narrative - it's nice for Peggy after a pretty horrid experience with a gentlemen earlier,  and the author weaves in Peggy's gradual trust for Matthew very well into the narrative.  Matthew was unfortunately not very clearly portrayed, and I had a difficult time connecting to him as a character.  But it was easy to like him because he was so kind and charming, and there's room for further development in this series.

The history of King George and the Jacobite rebellion supporting the Pretender James rounds out the "history and mystery" that makes this such an engaging read.  I loved getting such an interesting look at the court politics during this time through such an entertaining story, and the author really worked in all those details so well.  I would highly recommend this book to readers who want a light, entertaining read filled with intrigue and mystery and historical drama.

I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review. (I obtained this book through Around the World Arc Tours and later Netgalley as well)

This book releases November 5th.



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  1. I love how many bookish events you host and get involved in and have also appreciated you taking the time to visit my blog, so I've nominated you for the Shine On award. Thanks for being so awesome :) (PS when going to your about page to leave a comment, I noticed you'd gotten this award already, so if you prefer not to do a post for it again, that's completely ok!)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too, I liked the historical details and Peggy's narration too. I'm excited for the next book! :) Great review!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland