Young Adult Review: Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel


Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel

Age Range: 12 and up

Grade Level: 7 and up

Series: Palace of Spies (Book 1)

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (November 5, 2013)

Language: English

Genre: Historical fiction/mystery

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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.

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble


* “A rollicking spy caper in corsets. . . . This witty romp will delight fans of historical fiction as well as mystery lovers.”
Kirkus, starred review

has created a dynamic, immensely likable heroine in Peggy, and she
folds in history, both cultural and political. . . . A sequel is in the
works, and it will be eagerly anticipated by fans of Libba Bray.”

“A solid opening volley in a promising series.”
Publishers Weekly

“The protagonist, clever and witty, makes a compelling heroine.”
School Library Journal

About the Author:

 Sarah Zettel, author of the American Fairy trilogy, is an acclaimed
science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery writer. She lives in
Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her rocket-scientist husband, her son, and a
cat named Buffy the Vermin Slayer. Visit her website at

My Thoughts:

Palace of Spies is a funny, adventure filled romp through the historical
setting of the royal palace during the rein of King George. It has just
about everything a girl could want out of a book. Pretty dresses,
intrigue, sword fights, scandal, and a splash of romance. First and
foremost, this book is a mystery. Peggy find herself in an unlikely
situation and takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the
girl she is impersonating.

I’m not going to lie – I loved the story. The plot was fast paced and
fun. I loved Peggy as the narrator. She kept things interesting with her
sarcasm and her wit. The characters were all very lively and
interesting. The book is free of innuendo, cursing, and graphic
violence. There is an instance of assault and one where Peggy stumbles
across a tryst, but other than that, the book is clean.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that some of the details
are murky and the motives behind some of the characters remained
confusing and unclear. I still can’t figure out Robert and whether or
not I should like him, hate him, pity him, or despise him. Maybe that’s
how I’m supposed to feel about him, but his character is one that feels
unresolved. Regardless, I am definitely reading the next book!

Content: One instance of sexual assault which gets interrupted and one instance of Peggy stumbling upon a hookup.


Previous Story
Next Story


  • Reply
    December 24, 2013 at 5:38 am

    I thought this one sounded cute! I'll definitely have to watch for it, I think I might enjoy it a lot!

  • Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: