Read Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel Online


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 miA 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....

Title : Palace of Spies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780544074118
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Palace of Spies Reviews

  • Tamora Pierce
    2019-05-12 21:41

    Tossed out on her ear by her uncle when she refuses to marry a young man who assaulted her the night before, Peggy is recruited by a mysterious gentleman and his crew to take the place of a lady-in-waiting at the royal court, to spy on nearly everyone. She even has to find out who tried (and succeeded) to murder the girl she's supposed to be.As in all good spy novels, Peggy learns she really can trust no one, not the dour maidservant who is assigned to her by her masters, not any of the other servants, not the other ladies-in-waiting to Princess Charlotte, daughter-in-law to King George I (and a very intelligent cookie herself), and perhaps not the two young men who are romancing her. (Peggy, not the princess.) There are all kinds of ins and outs, appalling descriptions of fashion, and tension that gets sharper and sharper throughout the book. I read it in one day. It's that good.

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    2019-05-07 00:40

    5 Words: Espionage, royalty, mystery, court, friendship.This was such a fun read, and I couldn't put it down. I don't know why I left it almost two years from adding it to my TBR to actually reading it. It was so good that I'm now struggling to get my review of it sorted!The best thing about this book is how fun it is. When I picked it up, yeah, I was looking for something to fill the Etiquette & Espionage gap as I wait for the final book. But what I got was far more than I expected and I've bought the second and pre-ordered the third. So get writing Sarah Zettel!As much as I love reading factually based historical novels, I also love it when authors make history their own. And when they do it as well as this you can really believe it happened in the past. Sarah Zettel has done a fantastic job with Palace of Spies. I've bought the second and pre-ordered the third.

  • Robert
    2019-05-08 22:53

    Margaret “Peggy” Fitzroy led a reasonably charmed life until she was kicked out on her keister and forced to delve in the palace of intrigue, suspicion, and ne’er-do-wells, many of whom have buckets of money, or like to pretend that the dowry extends forever in one direction, even if it dried up about fifty years ago. Sebastian Sandford, relegated to a minor role, showed his hands and his petulant attitude and his preponderance for fondling the merchandise before the appointed hour, with nary a care in the world. And Uncle Pierpont showed fangs and horns and bastard tendencies with relative ease, tossing out his niece faster than a banana peel and slamming the door hard enough to rock the foundation. But had he shown more normal tendencies and familial congeniality, PALACE OF SPIES never would have reached the atmosphere, so we can thank him for his complete and utter ridiculousness.Peggy had a slight aftertaste, not growing on me until a bit later in the tale, but when she did, I appreciated her and her firecracker ways. She had spunk and charm and held on to certain folks a bit too long and offered up some youthful naiveté in this historical tale. While some mysterious elements lingered, and a dead body or two appeared on scene, I’d say this was more historical with a bit of romance and some rather cryptic moments. The plot had a few dangling points and outliers that wrapped up a bit too nicely and maybe a bit too forcefully, and while research was conducted and historical accuracies appeared to be inflicted upon the story, this wasn’t a heavy read by any means. And it was easily consumable, like popcorn or Pez or candy corn.What really popped my balloon faster than a safety pin, though, was the murderer spouting off for no other reason than pure ego. Really? While it was a bit briefer this go round than the previous iteration, it still left me with a dry mouth and a slight headache. Can we move past the egomaniacs and psychotic miscreants and move toward more common ground? I promise we’ll all be happier, and we don’t even have to hold hands.I received this book for free through NetGalley.Cross-posted at Robert's Reads

  • Kim
    2019-05-04 20:41

    Content Note: Sexual assault, sexism, casual racismMy, after listing out that content note I really can't believe this is a book recommended for 12+. And when I say "sexual assault", I mean a rather upsetting and serious depiction of assault. It's possible that a good portion of my low rating has to do with how cavalierly this is dealt with and how absolutely unnecessary it was. Here's the impetus for the plot:We have our spirited heroine, Peggy, an orphan living off the "generosity" of her uncle. She is betrothed to a young man who it turns out is quite vile. He viciously assaults her at a party and the next day appears at her uncle's house to assert that Peggy behaved with impropriety and must be reprimanded. When she refuses and insists that she was assaulted by this man, her uncle literally throws her onto the street. With nowhere else to turn, Peggy answers the call of a mysterious man who claims to have known her mother and has a proposition for Peggy himself.For having suffered such a serious attack and finding herself homeless in the space of about 12 hours, Peggy shows an inhuman resilience. She does not dwell or even really think on what has happened to her that landed her in this spying predicament. I understand that this is not a book about assault and dealing with the ramifications of such, but it is extremely bothersome to me when a character suffers a traumatizing event that is played off so casually. Especially so when it happens in YA. It is merely a matter of plot, a way to get from A to B, and nothing more. There were a variety of ways to get Peggy into the spy scenario. Why have your character attacked in such a serious and damaging way? And then have her never think on it again? Now, the casual racism...Here's the most glaring example:"Nonsense, Peggy. No one would dream of sending an English girl to the tropics. You'd be sick in an instant, not to mention brown as an Indian." Pale skin was regarded as one of the many signs of rank and virtue, and therefore must be strictly cherished. We good English girls were constantly warned that ruination accompanied turning the least bit brown.Are you kidding me?? Yes, it's the 18th century, I get it. People were racist as all get out. Why do you have to put this in YA? It would be a different matter entirely if the explanation provided after the quoted character remarked on how such a comment itself is the real nonsense. That it is not a sentiment with which our heroine agrees. I really don't understand why such an anecdote needs to be included at all. The book could have easily been written without it. It is not essential to the plot or character development unless we are developing Peggy negatively. If the goal is to portray the awfulness of racism in society then make that clear, not neutral or ambivalent. Another point that kept me from enjoying the story: Peggy is posing as another young woman in the company of those who knew her well, some very well even. She pulls this off without question. A character who knows neither Peggy, nor the girl she is impersonating, particularly well catches this instantly, though. Perhaps I am meant to suspend my disbelief as a reader and just go with it but I really just couldn't. I should hope that if I was suddenly replaced by an imposter that my loved ones and colleagues would recognize that a look-a-like is not the real me.Other than that, the plot never really drew me in. I often found myself bored and actually daydreaming while reading. This is never a good sign. All of the above mentioned did keep me from throwing myself into this one as much as I had hoped. I was simply never really interested in who was or wasn't a Jacobite spy or even what had happened to Francesca. Oops.On the plus side, I simply adored the time and setting of the book. I'm an anglophile through and through and a history nerd to boot so any British historical fiction is hard for me to turn down. The descriptions of life at court are certainly interesting as are the political machinations and intrigue. Peggy is an enjoyable MC; smart, capable and witty. Her romantic interest is also quite the decent and wholesome young man though this is a book with only the barest hint of any actual romance.This had so much potential. Unfortunately, it just fell flat. The writing is actually quite good and done in an authentic and amusing style. I'm sure this is a very enjoyable book in the right hands. Sadly for me, all I listed above kept such hands from being mine.

  • Whitley Birks
    2019-05-01 20:27

    Read more reviews on my blogThis book had a voice that drew me in instantly, a fascinating setting, and a mystery that had me guessing all the way through. One of the best things about the book, in my opinion, was how convoluted the mystery was and how often the main character’s assumptions changed. I loved that Peggy was allowed to be wrong, repeatedly, and that this was seen as merely a natural part of the mystery unfolding. Although I was able to guess parts of it, I was never really sure of my guesses, which is always the mindset I want to be in when I read a mystery -- feeling good about myself, but not so sure that I can put the book down and call it a night.The book did lack background information for the mystery, which dealt heavily in the tension between the courts of George I and James the Pretender. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the time period or the parties in play, and I still can’t decide whether or not I like the book’s tactic of assuming I did. On the one hand, it was sort of irritating at first, and it made a few things confusing. On the other hand, my confusion smoothed out as I kept reading and was able to piece together the picture from context, because the book did give me all the pieces I needed eventually.The setting and descriptions of court life were fabulous, though I have no idea how accurate. Peggy does a fine job of being an entertaining narrator with a dry sense of humor, and she has a flair for descriptions in several spots. I laughed out loud more than once. Although the descriptions of court life and the comings and goings of the people there were interesting, they were mostly told in summary. I wish we’d gotten to see more of that as it happened, instead of telling us that such things were going on. They weren’t vital to the plot, so it’s good we weren’t bogged down in unnecessary details, so I guess I’m just wishing that court life was more integral to the plot instead of a backdrop for it. A lot of things were well done in this book, including one of the best sexual assault scenes I’ve seen, though it feels strange to type that. It was superfluous to the story (the same effect could have been accomplished with something less triggering) but I still appreciate that it brought up issues of victim-blaming and the helplessness of the victim both during and after that fact, and it did it with a degree of subtlety. That’s a side of the issue that needs to be brought up more, and it needs to be brought up in stories other than those that are just “about rape.”However, the book dropped the feminist ball a bit near the end, when it became clear that it viewed ‘looking for a husband’ girls as something contemptible. Since that was a time period where being married was the only way to gain political and social power, and since marriage came with a degree of autonomy and responsibility that was denied to maids, it’s terrible that the book decided to look down on girls for their ambitions. What’s the message here? “Well, you’re a girl, so if you want to do anything in politics you’d better just hope that you fall genuinely in love with the right guy because otherwise you’re just going to have to make peace with your place”? Come on, books, enough with the girl-on-girl hate.I’m still undecided on Peggy as a character. She was a great narrator, but a large part of that was the fact that she was a nearly invisible character. At the end of the book, I feel like I know nothing about her, because she spent the whole novel simply being a narrator instead of a character. I don’t feel like this detracted from the reading experience for me, because I was wrapped up in the story, but character-driven readers might find that off-putting.This was a galley copy provided free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Sabrina
    2019-05-16 03:24

    Short and Sweet:Palace of Spies is a fun book. The characters are full & vibrant and completely alive. Sarah Zettel excels at creating realistic people that are easy to visualize and connect to. It is a bit short on spies for a book of it's title though.... and my only big complaint is that I think the original title was more fitting (A Most Dangerous Deception) and equally exciting and likeable.To Elaborate....First of all, I want to say that I went into this book thinking it was going to be 'intense & serious' and instead found it to be 'fun & adventurous.' I felt like it had a similar vibe to Poison by Bridget Zinn. That is to say, I could see it made into a fun Ella Enchanted/Brave type movie. This is not to say there aren't serious factors at play, but only that they aren't overly dramatic or dark in their architecture or in my reception of them.Peggy is our MC, and after she is tossed out of her Uncle's house for refusing to accept an unpleasant arranged marriage, she is offered a position by the mysterious Mr. Tinderflint, impersonating a deceased 'lady in waiting.' She originally takes the position believing her predecessor, Lady Francesca, died of natural causes, but upon arrival at King George's palace she stumbles upon evidence that Fran may have actually been murdered.Unfortunately, Peggy has a much longer list of suspects than clues. It seems that someone knows Fran is dead and is playing along, but if Peggy doesn't discover who, she will likely find herself meeting the same fate sooner rather than later. Lastly, there is a bit of a love triangle, but I barely noticed it as it was always clear to me whom Peggy favored. ;)And I did struggle a bit between a 3.5 and 4 star rating here, but since Palace of Spies was truly a pleasure to read I settled on 4 very much deserved stars. ;)Dying to read this one too??? Lucky you! I happen to have a gorgeous, ARC copy for one lucky US winner! Stop by my blog to enter! Sabrina @I Heart Y.A. Fiction(Originally published at

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon
    2019-05-01 21:30

    First and foremost I have to say I hate the cover. The brightass pink and the stupid floating magnifying glass which looks like an absurdly large monocle... blech. But the title intrigued me, so I was able to look past the hideous cover and give it a go.It reminded me a bit of The Agency, but only a little bit - and one thing I liked was that it takes place during the time of King George I. Most books of this sort I come across either seem to be 1) Elizabeth 2) Victoria 3) Made-up, so I was glad to have something which introduced a bit more variety. (Though, lord, I can't imagine having to wear all that make-up and those wigs. Yeesh.)Anyway - this story sort of mixes the fish out of water story with both personal and political intrigue within the walls of the palace, but, being a YA story, focuses on the intrigue as it relates to our heroine, Peggy, which I liked because it didn't get overwhelming. We were introduced to people and situations and she was, and had to try to figure things out as they came. My main gripe was the spector of a love triangle - but this was actually sort of explained within the context of the story, and didn't become the main focus of the story, which was nice. It was decently handled by the end, too.Overall, I liked Peggy and the story, though it didn't quite wow me. It was a decent read and entertaining, and I'll continue with the series. I just hope the next cover isn't quite as horrid. ;)

  • Josiphine/Tessa
    2019-05-06 03:26

    2.5 stars. This book did hold my attention (to an extent--I skimmed the last fifty pages) but it never really made me care. Literally nothing happens in this book except that Peggy says stupid things, plays card games, and thinks. She thinks a lot. At least half the book is her thinking about what's happening. I was never once curious about what was going to happen, who was going to be evil, who was going to be nice. I was never once invested in the plot. Add to this the sweet-but-incredibly-dense friend and the flawless love interest and you have a totally stereotypical young adult novel.

  • Camly Nguyen
    2019-05-09 20:29

    Meh definitely not memorable. It's the typical story. The girl's an orphan( like usual), her stepfather is rude( like always), she's recruited to become a spy(lawd), she falls in love with random guys (yayy), she solve the mystery quite unrealistically.There ya go. Spare yourself and don't read.

  • Anka «Viva La Papaya»
    2019-05-23 04:26

    Hmmmm.Hmmmmmmmm.HmMmMmMMMMM what should I say about this bookI totally walked into this one as a book I was gonna read ironically (I don't like the cover) but then it turned into a fluff-read so here I am now, sipping papaya smoothies on my little island in purgatory, mentally berating myself for the mild amusement I got out of this.I don't know whether to rate it 3 or 3.5 stars. That's my dilemma.I guess either one works really I don't have a preference. I guess I can spell out why *I* enjoyed it first because this shit totally affected my rating.I'll even list it out, because we all know my secret love affair is with lists since they make everything look 1000x neater than just type-barfing words out. 1. I read it as a fluff bookOkay, yeah, we all have our books that we enjoy but are like "why the diddly hell am I doing this?" about. That's what this book was to me. I didn't go into it expecting a holy grail of books to appear and grace my perfectionist soul, as choirs of those fat little valentines day diaper angels fly around with their dangerous weapons to wreak havoc and shit. This was just an enjoyable read that kept me invested in the story and main character.2.What else I was readingI read this right after reading Conjured, which I didn't like, and Heartless, which I hate (and I'm still not done rip). So I think I'm a petty bitch but I also think that having something I sorta enjoyed instead of those books made me a happy Anka. 3. Peggy's characterShe was just enjoyable to read about. I'm no master of Victorian era stuff, and I don't usually read books like this, but I liked how she was a real lady, while still being progressive enough that it wasn't completely stifling. She was also pretty funny at times, and the writing wasn't kinda fake sounding; it sounded like it came from the era (sorta kinda???) as opposed to a 21st century person trying to sound like a Victorian lady.4. The intrigueA BOOK THAT ACTUALLY DOES POLITICAL INTRIGUE WELL I'M ON MY KNEES This book is mostly about life at court as a spy, and as someone who enjoys spy books and books with intrigue, I was basically tearing up with all the descriptions of court life. Yeah that's about it I dunno. Would I read the next one? Sure!

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-03 01:30

    As I am trying to clean off shelves this year especially my TBR shelf I came across this one, in fact it was the oldest book on my TBR shelf. I can honestly say after reading it I remembered why I added it. I went through a series Regency England phase and wanted to read anything and everything phase. Overall this book was well written and I enjoyed it, but I think had I read it back then I would have enjoyed it more as I am almost burned out a bit on England and the Regency era. (I know so shameful) The characters were well developed and the plot was certainly fun it just took a little while longer for me to get into this book than I would have liked. Overall this was a good book just not the right book for me right now.

  • QNPoohBear
    2019-05-19 23:36

    London, 1716: Margaret "Peggy" Fitzroy is a sixteen-year-old orphan living with her parsimonious Uncle Pierpont and family as a poor relation. Fortunately for Peggy, her cousin Olivia sees Peggy as a close friend and ally in whatever scheme they can come up with. Peggy's uncle has decided to marry her off to a young man she's never seen. While Olivia thinks of marriage in terms of freedom, Peggy is worried because she's never even laid eyes on the man. When she discovers his true nature, she refuses to marry him and is rewarded with a swift kick out the door with nothing but the clothes on her back. Enter Mr. Tinderflint, a foppish fellow who claims to have been a friend of Peggy's mother. Tinderflint and his confederates, the grim faced Mr. Peele and puritanical Mrs. Abbott, have an adventure in mind for Peggy. Her mission, should she choose to accept it, to pose as Lady Francesca Wallingham, maid of honor to Caroline, the new Princess of Wales. Pose as a Lady in a Hanoverian court just while the Jacobites plot to put the Pretender on the throne? Are they mad? Peggy really has no choice, at least until Olivia can find a way to rescue her. Peggy finds life at Court full in intrigue and danger. There's Francesca's secret beloved to fend off and the company of Tinderflint, Poole and Abbott. Not to mention Sophy, her fellow maid who, for some reason, can't stand Francesca/Peggy. There's also the kind painter's apprentice, Matthew Reade, who wants to be Fran/Peggy's friend. Then Peggy begins to realize not all is what it seems at Court and her very life may be in danger. Has she gotten herself too deep into a game she can't win? Is there anyone she can trust?This book in non-stop adventure. I couldn't put it down and stayed up far too late into the night reading. I didn't even finish it before I fell asleep. Just when I was going to put it down, something happened that made me need to read one more chapter, and then in the next chapter after that there were answers to the questions and before I knew it, it was past 2:00 a.m.! Needless to say I enjoyed the plot very much. I had a hard time figuring out what was going on and who could be trusted. I had no doubt how it would all turn out because there is a sequel, but getting there was thrilling. I did sort of guess at what Francesca had been up to before her death. I never really figured out how deep she was playing and why until Peggy figured it out. The book is chock full of period details, especially lengthy descriptions of fashion and getting dressed. The plot revolves around politics and I liked learning about the Hanovers in the time of George I. It seems that people at Court were more frivolous and earthy than their descendants at the time of George III and IV. I'm taking off points for lack of author's note. I was hoping an author's note would explain the politics a bit better and tell the reader the history behind the plot. I'm also taking off points for a near ravishment scene that goes a bit too far and also a depiction of a young woman and young man "rutting." Both bits were necessary to advance the plot but I didn't like either scene.I love the characters. Peggy is a plucky, intrepid young woman. She has a deep understanding of the way the world works but she's no Fanny Price like poor relation. Her cousin treats her as an equal so she feels capable of acting as an equal. Her talent for drama comes in handy quite often. She's very brave even when she hits rock bottom. She's a little naive at times but she doesn't have a choice but to trust people when she needs help. She's similar to other teen heroines of the later Georgian era like Cat Royall and Jacky Faber but I like her better than Jacky because she's not too over-the-top exaggerated. She's a teenage girl with real feelings. Also delightful is Peggy's cousin Olivia. She's very naive but not in a stupid way. Though her father is cheap, she's spoiled because she's lived a comfortable life. She goes through life treating each day like a stage drama and dreaming up adventures and schemes for she and Peggy. She does not have her head in the clouds though and she's able to think on her feet and come through when it counts. Mr. Tinderflint, Mr. Peele and Mrs. Abbott are also well-rounded characters. They're very mysterious and Peggy doesn't know really what they're up to or whether each has his or her own agenda. One of the three comes across as a bit two-dimensional once it's figured out what they're all about. The other two remain fully developed characters. I wish there was more Mr. Tinderflint in the story because I like him, especially the way he talks.The other characters are largely flat. Sophy is a typical mean girl. I kept hoping for more about her and why she hated Francesca/Peggy so much and how much she had figured out. Another character I loved to hate experiences a personality change and isn't quite developed on page enough. This exciting adventure novel will appeal to readers 13+, especially those who like Julia Golding's Cat Royall adventures and L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack adventures.

  • Kiersten
    2019-05-15 22:28

    See more of my reviews at We Live and Breathe BooksHello, everyone! It has been such a long time since I’ve written a review that I barely even know where to begin! I received Palace of Spies from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group on Netgalley. I was really intrigued by the description and the cover is just so pretty! Sadly, I had to wait a long time to read this one, but now that I’ve finally gotten a chance to read it, I have to say that it was worth the wait. Palace of Spies is an invigorating tale of a girl, Peggy Fitzroy, who is kicked out of home and has to figure out what to do from there. Prior to getting kicked out, Peggy encountered a mysterious man by the name of Tinderflint, who claimed to know her deceased mother. Having nowhere else to go, Peggy goes to Tinderflint. Little does she know that going to this man will lead to taking up the name of Lady Francesca and journeying to the palace, officially as a maid to Princess Caroline, but also as a spy. While Peggy is under the guise of Lady Francesca, she finds that Francesca may not have been as upfront about what she was doing there as everyone thought. Peggy sets out to figure out what Francesca was up to, which leads her into even more dangerous territory than she ever thought.I absolutely love Peggy. Truly. I often find that even in characters I really like, there are times when I’m annoyed with them or think they’re stupid. This did not happen for me with Peggy. From the very start of this book you can tell just how great Peggy is. She is the perfect mix of sassy, independent, strong, and curious. She’s brave, but in a smart way rather than a ridiculous and dangerous way. The way she interacts with others shows how well she can handle herself in different situations. She adjusts her behavior depending on whom she is with and what will help the most. Sarah Zettel did a beautiful job making sure that even with these changes in character, Peggy’s actions were still consistent with who she is and believable given her past.Besides Peggy, there are also several great supporting characters – namely Mrs. Abbott and Matthew. The way Peggy’s perspective on Mrs. Abbott changes throughout the story was truly wonderful. As a reader, I fully understood why Peggy felt the way she did about Abbott and was able to understand why these opinions changed – the opinions changed to me too! While I first felt Abbott was a mean, old lady, I really began to empathize with her later on. Abbott had a lot of depth and I appreciated the way it was implicitly portrayed and allowed the reader to gather her own understanding. Oh, Matthew. He is so great. I really loved the relationship building between Matthew and Peggy throughout the story. Matthew is someone Peggy knows she can trust when everyone in the palace seems to have some sort of ulterior motive. Without Matthew helping her along, Peggy would probably never figure out the mystery of Lady Francesca. Then there are the awful characters – not awful in the sense that they are poorly written, but just that I don’t like them.Robert. Just… ew. He acts all sweet and nice to Peggy, but it’s clear from the beginning that he is a sneak. If you read this book (you really should), you’ll see what I mean – Sarah Zettel does a great job to balance Robert’s deceptive side with his sweet side while keeping him mysterious enough, making his actions both shocking and believable.Then there’s the truly awful Sophy Howe. She is a meanie pants – the meaniest meanie pants that ever was. As soon as Peggy first encounters Sophy Howe, it’s clear how dreadful she is. She seems to have distaste for Francesca, the girl who Peggy is acting as, although Peggy cannot determine why. The less than pleasant disposition of Sophy is one of the biggest mysteries Peggy has to solve while disguised as Lady Francesca, along with how to handle such a vile human being. Besides the characters, there are also beautiful descriptions of the clothing. I know many people may find the descriptions superfluous, but as a costume design major, it makes me so happy. I could totally visualize all the prettiness of Peggy’s dresses. So pretty. I also found the book well researched, in the sense that Sarah Zettel did a good job researching the time period in order to make the characters act in a period appropriate way. She also did a great job explaining those things in a way people unfamiliar with the period could understand. For example, one might not know what a mantua is off the top of her head, but not to worry – it is explained! Overall, Palace of Spies is a fantastic book filled with mystery, romance, spies, pretty dresses, and more! The pacing was perfect and I could hardly put it down. I haven’t read any other works by Sarah Zettel, but with how much I enjoyed Palace of Spies, I’m interested in reading more of her work. I definitely recommend Palace of Spies to everyone. I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait for the next book in the series! (Please write another book. I’m begging you.)

  • Ruth
    2019-05-04 02:46

    4.5 Stars. Margaret "Peggy" Preston Fitzroy has few friends and fewer prospects. Following her father's disappearance and her mother's subsequent death, at the tender age of eight Peggy was left saddled with the burden of her dubious parental antecedents. Sent to live off the largesse of aunt and uncle, she serves as a companion to their only daughter, Olivia. While she and Olivia become fast friends, now sixteen Peggy is ever more increasingly aware of her tenuous status in her uncle's household. When he arranges a wholly unsuitable engagement solely for the purpose of ridding himself of an unwanted familial expenditure -- namely, herself -- Peggy's refusal to comply sees her cast on the streets with little more than the clothes on her back.Her only hope is to pursue the acquaintance of Mr. Tinderflint, a gentleman who claimed to have been her mother's friend and who expressed a keen interest in doing the daughter a good turn, should her fortune and interest desire. Through Tinderflint and his associates Mr. Peele and Mrs. Abbott, Peggy becomes a reluctant player in an intrigue reaching the crown itself. The unlikely trio train Peggy to infiltrate the court of George I by assuming the identity of the recently -- and secretly -- deceased Lady Francesca Wallingham. Assuming that lady's position as maid of honor to Caroline, Princess of Wales, Peggy would then be ideally placed to pass along intelligence on the doings and intrigues of the court to her trio of spymasters.With no other option, Peggy accepts, embarking on the most dangerous game of her young life -- and quickly learning that everything she was taught about her predecessor was a lie. In a court riddled with Jacobite spies, where lord and lady alike jockey for position and favor, one misstep in this intrigue could cost Peggy her life. But in this great game of kings and pretenders, the most important player of all may turn out to be a masquerading maid.Thanks to its youthful protagonist and candy-colored cover, Palace of Spies is positioned and marketed as a young adult novel, but like the best stories it transcends categorization -- this is a frothy spy caper, yes, but solidly grounded in its historical context. Those who look to the television show Reign and its ilk would do better to look within these pages for their historical drama fix. For while Zettel brings the 18th century royal English court to life with enough beautiful, bright young things and romantic intrigue to satisfy the most die-hard historical soap opera aficiando, hers are not merely modern characters dressed in period costume. Peggy is quite intelligent and forward-thinking, but Zettel is careful to make her very much a girl of her time, well aware of the social expectations vis-a-vis women in the world in which she lived.Zettel peppers the narrative with facts on dress, make-up, hair, and court customs and procedure, grounding the incredible adventure in which Peggy finds herself involved in historical fact and realities. For those who cut their teeth on stories of aristocratic intrigue as I did, such as The Scarlet Pimpernel or The Man in the Iron Mask, there is much to love in watching Peggy's dangerous chess match of political intrigue unfold. Except here, unlike most classic tales featuring male protagonists, a heroine is center stage, arguably ill-equipped but a determined survivor, her greatest assets her quick wit and keen intelligence.Peggy is the type of heroine I absolutely adore -- smart, resourceful, and compassionate. Part Nancy Drew, part Peggy Carter, with a dash of an Austen heroine's sensibilities, Peggy's first adventure in George I's court is perfect gateway historical fiction. Palace of Spies has all the energy and rapid pacing of modern filmmaking, grounded in history and character development sure to leave readers craving more. There's the promise of romance with Matthew Reade, the handsome artist's apprentice, a blossoming relationship rife with swoon-worthy sparks, but more importantly built on a foundation of friendship and mutual regard. Between Matthew and her cousin, Peggy has formed an unlikely team with which to tackle the mightiest political forces of her day -- a team I can't wait to see in action in future installments! Palace of Spies is a breezy, fast-paced read set in a time period too little explored in historical fiction, laced with intrigue and historical flavor, a welcome addition to YA lit and above all, a rollicking fun read.Note: This is a slightly edited version of my original review first published in July 2015.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-25 01:41

    : Palace of Spies is a unique novel that combines historical facts, thrilling adventure, mystery, and of course – spies. Choosing a rather unique time period of 1778 (roughly), this entire novel documents that trials and tribulations of young Peggy. Peggy, an orphan, is left in the care of her overbearing and strict uncle. The novel starts off with the announcement of Peggy's betrothal to a wild, obnoxious man whom Peggy has never met. Upon their first meeting, the young man assaults Peggy. Peggy is only freed from a worse fate by the appearance (and help) of a mysterious man – who offers her his assistance if the need should ever arise in the future. When Peggy tells her uncle, he doesn't believe her and instead tosses her out of the house with nothing but the clothing on her back. Peggy is forced to turn to the help of the mysterious man from the previous evening. It turns out the man is a part of a partnership and they have need for a young woman to take the place of a lady of the court who has recently passed away under suspicious circumstances. Peggy agrees to the job position and the rest of the novel is focused on her adventures. Peggy soon finds herself the center of attention in the court of Princess Caroline, Princess of Wales. She is thrown into all the petty fights, political games, and mystery that come with being a member of the court. What Peggy does not expect is to find out that the young lady of the court she is replacing soon turns out to be what appears to be a spy and her death may not have been as natural as everyone is pretending it to be. Peggy works to uncover the mystery surrounding the lady of the court's death, while seeing who exactly she is working for as a spy. Palace of Spies is a great novel for those that love historical fiction and are looking for something a little out of the norm when it comes to this type of genre. There is mystery, romance, and spy espionage. If none of this appeals to you, it probably is not a novel that would be for you as it doesn't really offer much else. I found Palace of Spies to be mediocre. The beginning was extremely slow moving. Considering this is a first novel of a series, readers are treated to a lot of descriptions and forced to 'get to know' the characters in the novel. Unfortunately, I found myself not really liking anyone in the novel. I was indifferent to Peggy; the ladies of the court were secondary characters and didn't play a huge role in the novel. I did enjoy Peggy's cousin, but she didn't really show up until the end of the novel. (She'll have a bigger part in other books). I think a major part of why I did not like the characters is because of how the novel was written. It is written in the first person narrative of Peggy. Peggy's style is to talk about events, but put in little 'asides' to the reader. It wasn't a bad style to write in, it just did not make the main character appealing to me at all. While I didn't really care for the characters, I did find the amount of historical detail – while maybe not 100% accurate – amazing and captivating. I also enjoyed the mystery element to the novel. I found myself wondering what side the previous lady of the court was playing, what her scheme was, and what happened to her. I really feel if there hadn't been such a mysterious element to it, I would have stopped reading after the first few chapters. Palace of Spies is the first novel in a series. While the main plot of the mystery surrounding the lady of the court who died is solved, there are hundreds of other 'lose ends' left out there for readers. In fact, I walked away with more questions than I expected. If you do not like cliffhangers, this is not a book for you. Overall, I found Palace of Spies to be 'alright'. I enjoyed it, as I love historical fantasy books about England and found the time period unique, but not really connecting with characters made it less than enjoyable. I will probably wait to see how the second book is in the series before deciding.

  • Muse-ic ♬
    2019-05-05 02:30

    I'm teetering between a 2.5 and a 3.I had high hopes for this book. And I did like it, but it took a while for things to get cooking.It was a bit slow and didn't get exciting until like 70% through the book.Peggy. I feel like she could have had more characterization.I didn't like the blurbs at the beginning of each chapter. They basically spoiled each chapter for me. I honestly didn't understand their purpose. I like the mysterious aspect of books. So why do away with it?Before we move on, can I just ask how pretty much nobody noticed that the real Francesca was replaced? Lets evaluate the differences, shall we?Peggy is probably a different age.Peggy would have a different body shape.Peggy would have a different eye color, and since there were no colored contacts back then, I fail to see how this wouldn't be a problem....especially when Fran's "love" Robert is constantly looking into her eyes.Peggy would have a different sounding voice.Peggy would have different facial features, and trust me, makeup cannot hide everything!Peggy would have a different height.seriously? seriously? seriously? SERIOUSLY?Are these people blind?? Look at all the factors I listed above that may contribute to unmasking the phony Francesca. The only one that noticed anything was the artist Matthew Reade because he was the only on that bothered to observe.I also really really wish there was way more dialogue. Most of the book was from Peggy's head and just straight up expression of her thoughts. It was rather boring. I found myself drifting off several times because I couldn't keep my attention on the book.Most of the characters need more characterization. I still have very little information about Mr. Tinderflint (Lord Tierney....whatever). None of the characters stand out spectacularly. Matthew is okay and Sophy is pretty good too. Mrs. Abbott wasn't bad. They weren't horribly characterized, just a bit dull. From the beginning I was debating between Robert and Sophy being the murderers. I didn't suspect Mr. Peele because I knew nothing about him or cared because he barely showed up enough to warrant any noticeable significance. But Robert was suspicious from the beginning.Back to Matthew for a second. I couldn't fall in love with him like Peggy because I barely knew him :(I couldn't really tell the difference between Molly and Mary.So Robert is a Jacobite, or a member of the group of people who oppose the current monarchy. Francesca was one as well, but from what I gathered (I may be wrong), Francesca was pretending to love Robert while hiding information from him. We know nothing. I felt like everything was so vague.Also on a side note: can I just say that the cover incorrectly depicts powdered wigs? Which happen to be white, by the way, while Peggy's hair on the cover is brown and probably her own. I realize this isn't a big deal, but when I didn't really enjoy a book too much, I a lot of things in a negative light.Umm also, their happens to be a woman named Lady Cowper......Solid....real solid.Fun fact: I came across the word "victuals" in this book. I literally haven't heard that word since I read Great Expectations in freshman year of high school. That was the worst book I've ever read, by the way.Thank God Olivia didn't die drinking that wine that was actually....eye shine liquid? This was one example of the stupid chapter summaries. When this happened I was totally expecting it because the freaking chapter summary told readers that something bad was going to happen to Olivia! There was no surprise factor whatsoever. I will also say that it lost the interest factor as well.Oh and we may find her father or information of said father in the next book.I really hope this gets better!

  • Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay)
    2019-04-29 00:48

    Peggy Fitzroy (nod to the royal bastard of the Tudor era here, maybe?) is an orphan living on the charity of her stern and dour Uncle. But when he arranges for her to marry a notorious rake against her wishes, Peggy decides to meet up with a mysterious man, Mr. Tinderflint, who claimed to have known her Mother and take him up on a job offer. It turns out he and a group of others have a scheme to get Peggy into the court of King George as a spy - by impersonating Lady Francesca who's a recently deceased, orphaned noblewoman who is a lady in waiting to the Princess Catherine. Peggy decides to participate in the charade, but finds herself in over her head when confronted by a secret lover of Fran's, drawings depicting court happenings that could get her tried for treason and the very real possibility that Fran herself might have been murdered for her own not quite so Crown-loyal activities. Can Peggy pull off becoming Fran without raising suspicions and being exposed? And will she manage to outwit whoever murdered the real Fran, who may not have really been as innocent as she made herself seem to everyone around her? While trying to deal with a mystery Peggy might just also find herself in love, which presents all sorts of problems all its own.....I really enjoyed this novel and Peggy was definitely an interesting character. I did get the feeling like a lot of other readers, that things in regards to the language and narration were a little too modern to be a truly good historical fiction novel. Peggy, as a girl with nothing, has nothing to lose in deciding to impersonate Lady Francesca in King George's court. I did like the banter between her and her cousin in the beginning pages of the novel and the reintroduction of her cousin into her new, crazily mixed-up life later on in the narrative. It was a fairly enjoyable, funny play at a historical spy novel. The romantic aspect between Peggy and the artist's apprentice Matthew Reade, plus her confused feelings for Fran's secret love, a footman in the palace were very well-drawn. At times the love triangle got slightly angsty, but I always kind of knew who Peggy was going to end up with even at the beginning - which was perfectly okay with me as someone not fond of love triangles being drawn out. As someone who doesn't really know a lot about that period of time in the history of the English crown/royal genealogy, I didn't find myself picking at things the author might have changed. I might have even learned something. I found it interesting that there was a rebellion between George, who wasn't the closest descendant by blood to the throne but was King, and James who WAS closest to the throne but was exiled and called "The Pretender." The spy plot in this book is all about proper claim to the throne, and possible plots to overthrow current rule by King George. As much as I liked the rompy, slow-building action of the court intrigue in this book I did find myself a little disappointed in it's predictability. The evil fellow lady-in-waiting Sophy Howe, and her true intentions, the realities of Francesca and her real parentage/status/personality and actions, & the dual resolution/open ended spying plot. Overall, this book was really a fun read and it gave me a reprieve from all the heavy books I've read lately. I enjoyed the humor of it and the enthusiasm of the main character and the author. I'll definitely be reading the next one, even if it just turns out to be a fun and fluffy series instead of anything truly long-lasting in my reading life. I'd recommend it to fans of lighter historical fare, who aren't nitpickers.VERDICT: 3.75/5 Stars*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication is November 5th, 2013.*

  • Leah
    2019-05-08 04:48

    this review will go live on the blog 11/01After the death of her mother, Margaret - Peggy - Fitzroy was taken in by her uncle and was raised in his estate. Despite their difference in status, Peggy and her cousin Olivia are more like sisters and Peggy knows that when the day comes where Olivia will be married, she'll be right there by her cousin's side. Much to her surprise, it's Peggy who receives a marriage proposal - and after a disaster of a first meeting she's swiftly forced out of her uncle's house.All alone with nothing to her name, Peggy is taken in by Mr. Tinderflint and his associates Mr. Peele and Mrs. Abbott. Under their careful instruction Peggy is transformed into Lady Fran, maid of honor to Princess Caroline. Disguised as Lady Francesca, Peggy will enter the court of King George I at a time when tensions ran thick - loyalties were split between George and James the Pretender. The more time she spends around the other maids the more Peggy begins to have her suspicions about what really caused Francesca's death.Palace of Spies was fantastic! I was intrigued when I first heard about the book, so when it was available to Read Now it was a total no-brainer. Peggy's narration is fun and clever - and more than once I laughed out loud. She thinks for herself during a period when women were ruled by their husbands and fathers. She isn't afraid to speak her mind (though that tends to come with grave consequences) and she's an expert cards player.I've read my share of Historical Fiction and while I enjoy the genre, I have to admit I've never read anything set during this particular time period! Palace of Spies provided enough background that I wasn't completely bewildered, but as a history buff, I would never argue with more. Tell me more about King George I! Tell me more about James the Pretender and his claim to the throne! The events at the end of the novel lead me to believe more will come out of this in the next book and quite frankly, I can't wait.Guys, the romance in Palace of Spies is definitely worth reading! Yes there's a love triangle, but don't forget that the entire court believes Peggy to be Lady Fran. Just because she looks like the girl it doesn't mean she has the same taste in men. Also, I'm very excited to see how the relationship will play out - there's a bit of handholding in this novel and that's only due to sneaking around pitch-black manors. This definitely seems to be a slow burn romance and I absolutely love it.Unfortunately there's one sense in particular that could be triggering. It was graphic enough that I certainly raised my eyebrows at the young age group this novel is targeted toward and it didn't seem to serve much purpose other than showing Peggy's betrothed is a terrible person (and that could have been accomplished in a number of other ways). Despite this, however, I had such a wonderful time with Palace of Spies and am eagerly awaiting the next!

  • Maggie
    2019-05-12 02:52

    2.5 starsOy, this book. I’ll admit, I probably only read it because I got an email from Netgalley that it was a read-now title. Plus the cover, I really love absolutely everything about the cover. But the rest of it? Meh.The book starts out with poor Peggy Fitzroy, orphan who’s the ward of her evil (obviously) uncle. Peggy’s assumed she’ll grow up to be a spinster and take care of her cousin (who was thankfully not evil) and her cousin’s future children. But then her uncle tries to marry her off to this terrible horndog of a guy and when Peggy refuses she’s tossed out onto the street.Peggy than falls in with this mysterious man who promises her a place as a lady in waiting to the Princess of Wales. Peggy gets a place in the palace by pretending to be the recently deceased Lady Francesca. Fran left the court when she became ill and her protector, the mysterious man who approaches Peggy, kept her death a secret so he could replace her at court. Peggy isn’t quite sure why they want to send someone to court so badly, but she eventually figures out she’s some kind of spy, although she’s not sure which side she’s on.There were two strange things about this book to me. First, I guess this is when I should mention that the book takes place in the early eighteenth century. Something that I don’t think is ever said, but it’s during the Jacobite and Hanoverian unrest in Great Britain and that was during that time period (I had to look this up). Besides being told that the book was set in history there was nothing about the book that felt like history. Yes, there were the outfits and social customs, but otherwise it just all felt so modern. I actually liked Peggy quite a bit, but I think it’s because she was so opinionated, independent, and in charge. Something that I just don’t think was realistic for a woman during that time period.Second, while the writing in the book was fine, I never felt like I really got into the story, got to know the characters that well, or had a solid idea what was actually going on. YET, I couldn’t stop reading. The author is seriously the master of cliffhangers at the end of chapters. Even though I wanted to stop reading the book altogether many times I would get to the end of a chapter and need to know what happens next. Eventually I was halfway through the book and I figured I might as well finish.Bottom Line: This book is just too strange for me to be able to recommend. I love historical fiction, yet this didn’t feel like historical fiction. I love spies and mysteries, but somehow the intrigue here never really felt that interesting. The writing is fine and it’s an interesting idea, but for me the execution just wasn’t there.I received an electric review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!). All opinions are my own. This review first appeared on my blog.

  • heidi
    2019-05-08 00:43

    You know what's better than Jacobite conspiracy?Pretty much nothing! Ok, that's a personal opinion, but it's an engine that drives a lot of satisfying fiction because there's no one right answer to the whole Pretendership problem. Also, there is some really great costuming detail going on in that era. The regency has a regrettable lack of INFRASTRUCTURE, clothing-wise.The narrative voice in this book was just splendid.As a result, I was kept at Uncle Pierpont’s house like a bad-tempered horse is kept in a good stable. That is, grudgingly on my uncle’s part and with a strong urge to kick on mine.or this:My experience with princesses, however, was both recent and extensive , and I knew for a certainty they were not permitted to run freely about the meadows or the mazes. I suspected this rule was observed all the more strictly for the ones rendered in miniature.I loved Peggy, and the way she handled her sometimes extremely-limited set of choices with as much kindness and wit as she could muster. She's very interesting in people's motives, even when they behave badly to her.The reason this is not a mid-grade book is that some people behave very badly indeed. I mean, in addition to the grisly murders and poisonings incumbent on any reasonable palace intrigue. Her hated rival seduces someone she thought she could trust. There's no one she can actually trust -- her guardian is cruel, and those who rescue her have their own agendas. Then she is thrust into the snakepit of court, and that's a whole different level of complexity. But possibly the worst thing, horror-wise, is (view spoiler)[attempted the date-rape scene. It's really interestingly handled. At first, she is grateful to her bethrothed, for rescuing her and being kind to her. She thinks he is pretty and kind and she is willing to trust herself alone with him because he got her out of a bad spot. But then he wants to touch her in ways that she is not excited about, her refusal makes him angry and mean, and he comes after her in more sexually aggressive ways, because after all, doesn't he have a right? And isn't she being a tease? And doesn't she deserve it? Wasn't she practically asking for it? (hide spoiler)]. So THAT happens, and I thought it was really interesting to see how Zettel handled Peggy's emotions in the heat of the moment.Read if: You love a good costume romance. You like imposter stories. Fake it till you make it is a great plot as far as you're concerned.Skip if: You are triggered by sexual coercion, you don't ever want to read about stomachers and wigs.Also read: The Masqueraders, for another disguise-and-jacobite adventure.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-23 01:23

    The hot pink cover of Palace of Spies doesn’t really scream “18th century,” but underneath all that fuchsia is a fun tale of historical fiction. Peggy Fitzroy is an orphan in England, living under the guardianship of her wealthy uncle. While she has all the necessities provided for her, along with a close relationship with her cousin, Olivia, Peggy’s uncle makes it very clear that his support is solely a result of his sense of familial duty. To get Peggy out of his hair, he arranges a marriage that looks good on paper. But when this lovely suitor attempts to rape Peggy, she informs her uncle that there will be no marriage. Enraged, he takes advantage of this opportunity to toss her out on the street. A strange man with the fantastic name of Mr. Tinderflint comes to Peggy’s rescue. In return, he wants her help. She must pose as Francesca, a lady-in-waiting to Princess Caroline, to gather information on a possible plot to overthrow of King Geroge I. The real Francesca is dead, but no one at court knows this; it’s believed that she is merely ill.This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.3.5 starsSo, pose as someone you’ve never met, risk being found out and executed, and attempt to spy while you’re at it. Sounds like an easy task, right? Even if Peggy looks identical to Francesca, how can she mimic her voice and mannerisms? How can she have conversations with people who knew the real Francesca? This is where reminding yourself that this is a work of fiction comes in handy. Before being sent to court, Peggy is given lessons on how to behave like an upper-class lady by Tinderflint and his associates. They also tell her what they know about Francesca and her relationships. But what they don’t tell her is their true motivations behind the scheme.Zettel does well depicting life at court, with both the frivolities and potential danger it entails. Francesca’s friends and enemies are now Peggy’s friends and enemies, and she must navigate these relationships without blowing her cover. The story successfully builds the tension and intrigue, as neither we nor Peggy know exactly what to expect from the outcome of this scheme. There are some surprising revelations, setting the stage for the second book in the series. Peggy’s interactions with Princess Caroline were limited in this story, but that should change with the sequel. It will also be nice to (hopefully) see more of Peggy’s independence come through, when she’s better able steer her own story.Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Dianne
    2019-05-11 00:46

    Young Adult intrigue in King George’s court! Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel pits a spirited young lady against the deceit and treachery that runs amok at the palace. A plot is foot to steal the throne, and Peggy is to spy on courtly goings on, playing the part of the late “Francesca”, a young woman who, it seems may have died under suspicious circumstances. Who is for the King, who is against him, who can the outspoken Peggy trust? Sarah Zettel has done well in creating that historical feel to her work. Adding a mystery and some intrigue for the heroine to sink her teeth into creates some tense moments while never making the solutions obvious! There are moments of witty banter, and even some rather comical moments as we are privy to the thoughts of young Peggy. Does her brain ever stop? How long can she endure some of the people at court? Is she really fooling them into believing she is Francesca?For YA historical fiction readers, this should prove an interesting book, not too deep, with characters that sometimes seem to need a little more color, but definitely a trip back in time that moves at a quick pace through the maze of mysteries!I received an ARC edition in exchange for my honest review from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group.Series: Palace of Spies, #1Publication Date: November 5, 2013Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group ISBN-10: 0544074114 (Hardcover)Genre: Historical MysteryAvailable from: Amazon / Barnes & NobleFor more reviews check out Tome Tender's Book Blog or find us on Facebook.Age Recommendation: YA

  • Rosalyn Eves
    2019-04-25 03:23

    This has a lot of elements I enjoy: a smart female protagonist, intrigue, and an interesting historical setting (early 17th Century, in the midst of the Jacobite uprising). Peggy is an orphan living on her uncle's reluctant charity. The only bright spot in her life is her cousin Olivia, who genuinely loves her. But then Peggy is informed about a betrothal to a man she scarcely knows--a man who then proceeds to assault her in the garden at a party. When she tells her uncle she will not marry this man, her uncle kicks her out of the house. With no money and nowhere to go, Peggy follows the address given her a by a mysterious gentleman (who saved her from the assault at the party). There she finds that the gentleman and his business partner want her for a daring and dangerous plot: to take the part of one of the princess's maids of honor (a young girl who recently died).Peggy agrees, somewhat relunctantly, and the plot takes off from there. The plot is admittedly a little slow as Peggy struggles to get used to the expectations of the court and the intrigues and rivalries with other maids. Then there's the footman who presumes an awful lot on his relationship with Francesca (the girl Peggy is replacing), and the young artist who's drawn Peggy's attention. It's only when Peggy begins to fear the real Francesca's death was no accident that she realizes she must solve the mysteries surrounding her new life, or she might face the same fate.As I review this, it occurs to me that there are several plot holes: how is it that no one realized Francesca was replaced? She'd been ill, yes, and yes, the custom of the time was for a great deal of face paint (some of it lead, yikes!), but still, someone should have realized it. (Like maybe her former lover?). But I had a lot of fun reading the story, so I'm willing to overlook some of those gaps. There is, as mentioned above, a sexual assault early on that is pretty disturbing, so even though this book is written for a YA audience, it's probably not appropriate for very young readers.

  • Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
    2019-05-16 23:29

    Palace Of Spies is the first book in The Palace Of Spies series by Sarah Zettel.Set amidst the intrigue of King George I and his life in court, with the possibility of a Jacobite uprising, this book will keep you on your toes as you navigate your way through this deceptively, intriguing story of mystery and deceit, as we try to unravel the secret plots and plans of the spies in the King's court.Young and poor orphan Margaret 'Peggy', is thrown out of her Uncle's house after she refuses to marry the man that she is betrothed to, luckily for her she is the spitting image of a Lady Francesca, lady in waiting of Princess Caroline, after the death of Francesca, Peggy takes on the identity of Francesca and resumes her place at court.She soon discovers that Francesca may have been murdered because of something she knew, not knowing who to trust or who may or may not be a spy Peggy becomes friends with an artist's apprentice Matthew whom she soon develops feelings for, but is he secretly a spy, or could it be Francesca's secret lover Robert a footman soldier who may have fallen into the clutches of Francesca's enemy Sophy, who is out to get Francesca any way she can.When she uncovers a plot against the current ruler who can she trust to help her?Will she survive long enough to reveal this secret?This was such an extremely well written historical novel, with enough heart pumping action to keep you turning the pages in a hurry to get to the thrilling end, Zettel has written an amazing story that I can't wait to continue on with in the next book.

  • Jaylia3
    2019-05-07 20:30

    Author Sarah Zettel has picked out an interesting and, I think, under-used era for her witty YA spy thriller set during the reign of the first of the Hanover Georges, when Jacobites still schemed to put a Stuart back on England’s throne. Sixteen year old orphan Peggy Fitzroy has been well educated, but she’s forced to accept a dubious offer of employment from a man claiming to have been a friend of her mother when her uncle throws her out of his house because she refused the odious marriage he arranged. After a crash course in the complicated manners and politics of the royal court and with a copious application of court makeup to aid her disguise, Peggy is set up to masquerade as Francesca, a lady in waiting to Caroline, Princess of Wales. Her purpose is to gather information, but Peggy is not at all sure who she is working for. Hanover supporters? Jacobites? A criminal intending to blackmail? A royal court wannabe hoping to gain influence? Adding to the intrigue and danger, the Lady Francesca who Peggy is impersonating disappeared from court under mysterious, probably sinister circumstances and is likely dead, possibly murdered. The idea that Peggy could successfully stand in for Lady Francesca among people who knew her well stretches credibility, but I enjoyed the story’s rich historical setting, lively first person narration, and risky, madcap adventures too much to care about that. The first of a series, I’ll be watching out for the next installment. I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley; the opinions in this review are mine.

  • Jocelin
    2019-05-04 02:23

    When I first started this novel, I was really into it. Then as the story progressed, the plot did not. I enjoyed the heroine of the story. I thought she was feisty, smart, and courageous. I was looking for a lot of intrigue in the story, but sadly I did not find any.This is a book where the main character outshines the story. This was the only reason that I was able to continue with this book.Of course, at the end there was the prerequisite "gotcha" moment that will make you want to continue with the series. If it is available @ my Cobb County Library, I may pick it up. This could be a series that starts slow and finishes strong. I may give it another try.

  • Sara
    2019-05-10 04:23

    Palace of Spies stars Peggy who finds herself impersonating a girl who died at Court after being kicked out of her home. Peggy soon finds herself wrapped in the scandalous world of the royal court (complete with loads and loads of complicated clothes) and wonders what really happened to the girl whose life she has taken over and is she safe?I loved this book. It had everything I like in a historical novel, loads of clothes, titled men, scandal and romance. Though the book was long I found myself unable to put it down. I look forward to the next book in the series.Appropriateness: There's no adult content in this book. I recommend it to readers 13+

  • Melody
    2019-04-27 22:40

    This is a charming story of a young English lady who finds herself compelled to become a spy during the time of King George I. She has a dry wit with such humerous observations as "He drew out a lace handkerchief with ambitions of becoming a tablecloth..." Also, "It is not often in life that one encounters an entirely sperical individual, but Mr Tinderflint was a apparently striving to achieve that perfection of form." Fans of the Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School) series by Gail Carriger will likely enjoy this book.

  • Joanna (joreadsalot)
    2019-05-14 01:44

    This book just dragged. I have thought to DNF it but I only had 40 pages left so I just trudged on through. Oh man. It really is about pacing. The book just seemed to lack much dynamics and I found my self putting down this book multiple times and finishing three other books in the intern. Anyways I don't think I'll continue this series. Or I won't continue it right away. Maybe later cause I am interested to see if it does get any better in the next book.

  • Amy
    2019-05-17 04:47

    A fun, zesty novel with a witty heroine. I have no idea how historically accurate it was but I like that it handles an era in British history other than Tudor or Regency England. I got a little annoyed with Peggy falling for every guy around. She normally stands her ground quite well but guys improbably set her aflutter. The story occasionally dragged and I got a little confused in the middle but overall it came out well.I'm looking forward to the sequel, and more of Peggy's cousin!