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Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies #1)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  1,212 Ratings  ·  289 Reviews
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 mi
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Melody It's an excerpt, which means they want you to read it and get interested, so you'll go out and buy the book.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tamora Pierce
May 26, 2014 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-yr, historical
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 se
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Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
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
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Robert
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 ...more
Kim
Content Note: Sexual assault, sexism, casual racism

My, 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 uncl
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Whitley Birks
Sep 11, 2013 Whitley Birks rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Read more reviews on my blog

This 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
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Sabrina
Jul 07, 2013 Sabrina rated it really liked it
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 b
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colleen the convivial curmudgeon
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
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Josiphine
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-den
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Camly Nguyen
Aug 16, 2016 Camly Nguyen rated it it was ok
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.
QNPoohBear
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 ref ...more
Kiersten
See more of my reviews at We Live and Breathe Books

Hello, 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
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Ruth
Oct 04, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 househol ...more
Cindy
Jan 16, 2014 Cindy rated it liked it
: 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. Pegg
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Muse-ic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
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 d ...more
Leah
this review will go live on the blog 11/01

After 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 uncl
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Maggie
Sep 11, 2013 Maggie rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Oy, 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
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heidi
Oct 17, 2013 heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, romance, reviewed, ya
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
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Stephanie
Sep 01, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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 t ...more
Dianne
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
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Rosalyn Eves
Jan 12, 2014 Rosalyn Eves rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
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
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Jaylia3
Nov 06, 2013 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it
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 a ...more
Jocelin
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 wit
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Sara
Dec 17, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing
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
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Melody
Jul 18, 2013 Melody rated it really liked it
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 Car
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Amy
Aug 07, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
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!
hope
Aug 14, 2014 hope rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
i loved this sooo much partly because i love the time era and the position the Pegy is. i liked that the questions were always there but you had to wait for the answer and kept me wanting to read and read some more
Kristen
Jan 09, 2015 Kristen added it
Shelves: abandoned, dnf
DNFing for now because I stopped reading it for other books and haven't had the desire to come back to it. I think I'll be picking it up again in the future.
Ian Wood
This is the complete review of this novel as it appears on my reading-writing-TV-& movies blog. Note that links which may appear in the blog review are not reprodiced here, and any future modificaitosn or updates to the blog review will not be replicated here.

Note: SPOILERS!

Despite the unfortunate initials of this novel's title (PoS!), I loved the title page which said,

Being a true, accurate, and complete account of the scandalous and wholly remarkable adventures of Margaret Preston Fitzroy
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 26, 2015 07:18AM  
The Young Adult H...: Palace of Spies, by Sarah Zettel - April's Read 5 18 Apr 23, 2014 12:23PM  
Young Adult Histo...: Palace of Spies - December 2013 1 16 Dec 06, 2013 04:35AM  
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Sarah Zettel is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, spanning the full range of genre fiction. Her debut novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second release, Fool’s War, was a 1997 New York Times Notable Book, and the American Library Association named Playing God one of the Best Books for Young Adults of 1999. Her novel Bitter Angels won the Phi ...more
More about Sarah Zettel...

Other Books in the Series

Palace of Spies (3 books)
  • Dangerous Deceptions (Palace of Spies, #2)
  • The Assassin's Masque (Palace of Spies, #3)

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“The man has more masks than a whole troupe of Italian players.” 3 likes
“The true lady treats the whole world as her dance floor,” 3 likes
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