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palace of spies

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.


Rating: 4.5/5

It’s been about 5 days since I’ve finished this book, but I still get all the happy feels when I think about it. I am honestly so delighted with this book that if anyone were to ask me about it, I’d just be all like…

puking rainbows

(Yes, I’m a unicorn, and I puke rainbows when I’m happy. Deal with it.)

Seriously though, I’d have verbal diarrhoea, because there are way too many things about this book that I love.

I had high hopes for this book, and it did not disappoint me at all. Within the first 5 pages, I was sure that I would fall hopelessly in love with the rest of it. And I did. It was fun, witty, and filled with mystery and adventure. I was hooked throughout.

It is written in the form of an autobiography, and I absolutely ADORED it. Peggy is an orphan who stayed at her uncle’s house until she was kicked out. Penniless and homeless, she decided to go seek help from a guy that she met at a party. Little did she know that that would mark the start of her career as a spy in the palace. And so, her adventurous life began…

Peggy is a smart, quick-witted, humorous girl who is sometimes too headstrong and impulsive for her own good. Some people might go ‘tsk’ at her lack of control, but I actually love her all the more for it. Being the kind of person that just smiles and walks away from insults, I admire her ability to stand up for herself and hurl some insults back.

This was what happened when Lady Clarenda decided to use Peggy’s orphan status against her:

“Of course, I’m sure that has nothing to do with why you’ve had no offers yet. Neither could it be because of the walk you took with Jamie
Finnmore at the Winstons’ garden party last summer. Was it your handkerchief you’d lost that time? Oh, no, I recall now, it was a ring. The kerchief was when you went walking with Sir Adam-”

Crack! The blow fell hard against my cheek and snapped my head back.

“You little brat!” Lady Clarenda lowered the fan she’s used against me. “How dare you?”

Oddly, I didn’t feel anything. Even more oddly, I smiled. “Because everybody already know what I am, Lady Clarenda. Now they know the same about you.”

I have to say, while it might not be the wisest idea to insult the birthday girl at her birthday party, that was a pretty good comeback. I don’t see why she should have to sit there and take all that crap. Lady Clarenda got BURNEDDDDD.

Even though she might be impulsive, she didn’t really do anything that I actually consider TSTL (Too Stupid To Live). She got herself into certain unnecessary situations, but when you’re fueled by certain emotions (like anger), your brain tends to get shoved aside. That’s why many of us say things that we don’t mean. So, I understand her, and I forgive her.

Even though Peggy is my favourite character, I really liked the other female characters too. Well, with the exceptions of Lady Clarenda and Sophy Howe. I found the princess to be really intelligent, and not at all fluffy. I just somehow have the perception that most princesses are fluttery and have little to no substance. Princess Caroline was just great to read about. Olivia is such a darling. She might be a proper English lady, but dang, is she bold and daring. Travelling with a man she doesn’t know to such a faraway place just to meet her cousin? In the early 1700s? I applaud her for the bravery. Mrs. Abbott turned out to be a really nice, caring woman whom I really felt for. It must have been difficult for her the entire time she was in the palace helping Peggy. All in all, I found most of the female characters really likable, which increased my enjoyment of this book considerably.

The romance between Peggy and Matthew is so cute! It wasn’t insta-love, which is fan-freaking-tastic. Instead, it was developed over several encounters, and certain events. Matthew has proven himself to be really loyal friend to Peggy, and I’m glad that it has developed into something beautiful for the both of them.

I think that this is the first time that I’ve read a book about espionage. I’m thrilled that it has been such a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to read the sequel! Recommended for anyone who loves a fun and quick read!

I was resolved. I was going to make it the fashion for women to wear an iron poker at their side to fend off all over-enthusiastic suitors. It would become the mission of my life.