Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies, #1)” as Want to Read:
Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Preview
Read Excerpt

Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies #1)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  734 ratings  ·  229 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
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Palace of Spies, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversStrands of Bronze and Gold by Jane NickersonNobody's Slave by Tim VicaryOut of the Easy by Ruta SepetysThe Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
YA Historical Fiction of 2013
28th out of 50 books — 189 voters
Palace of Spies by Sarah ZettelBrazen by Katherine LongshoreGoing Over by Beth KephartThe Iron Trial by Holly BlackThe Enemy by Charlie Higson
Papercuts Podcast (Random Shelf)
1st out of 34 books — 8 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
Tamora Pierce
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
...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
...more
Sabrina
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
...more
Whitley Birks
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
...more
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
...more
Sarah
Dec 29, 2013 Sarah added it
Shelves: set-aside
I couldn't get past the premise--that the protag replaced, at court, another girl who died but ... nobody was supposed to notice?
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
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
...more
Jaylia3
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
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
Maggie
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
...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
...more
heidi
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
...more
Rosalyn Eves
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
Stephanie
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
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
...more
Sara
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
...more
Melody
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
...more
Jennifer
Summary:
Margaret "Peggy" Fitzroy is an orphan. She is well-bred and suitable for a lady of high standing, but she refuses the hand of an approved suitor and is send out to live on the streets. This is when she meets Mr. Tindleflint. Mr. Tindleflint offers her the opportunity to serve as a lady in waiting in King George I's court in England. The only catch is that she has to pretend that she is someone else, Lady Francesca. She agrees and the intrigue begins. As Peggy moves through the frivolous
...more
Gena
Peggy Fitzroy is in a bit of a mess. Attacked by the young man her guardian wants her to marry she finds herself on the streets. With only one thin hope for a future she ends up a spy. Yeah, okay. I wanted to really like this book. I was hoping it would be as fun and cool as Gail Carriger's Finishing School series but alas, it was not. In fact, Peggy pretty much just stumbles around, falling into situations that could get her killed. She's suppose to impersonate a courtier who is only recently r ...more
McKinzie Smith
Yes, I realize I forgot to put this down in my currently reading list, but whatever. Anyhow, let's move on to the review.

PROS:
-Strong female characters. In historical fiction like this, a lot of female characters can come off as wimpy, but this was not the case with any of the girls here.
-Adding to that, the main character, Peggy, is one of the least annoying main characters I've seen in a book in a while.
-Great setting. It seems the author did a lot of research to make sure that this was all a
...more
Elizabeth
I'd give it a 3 out of 5, because of a pretty predictable ending. It's a little slow in spots, and Peggy goes from being really intelligent to being not too bright (she misses giant clues). Also, the description talks about romance between her and the artist Matthew, but there's not really any real emphasis put on it in the book (I don't really care that there wasn't romance, but I hate when a description says there'll be something and it ends up not being there). They kind of just meet, talk fo ...more
Sana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beverly
Feb 10, 2014 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 13-16
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/indiebound.org
Teen girls will fall in love with the new spy mystery series Palace of Spies. It is almost a retelling of The Three Musketeers with teen ladies in waiting to the queen instead of soldiers. The plots are similar. A conspiracy against the king with a palace full of possible revolution sympathizers, a beautiful popular young lady dead under mysterious circumstances, handsome suitors who may or may not be rebels, and a mysterious villain trying to sabotage the protagonist, Peggy Fitzroy. Peggy is yo ...more
Ally
Palace of Spies. Palace of Spies. Who wouldn't want to read it? In 1716 (yes, I remember the date because I was hoping there was something interesting about the colonies or something like that; apparently, King George didn't really care), Peggy is placed in the courts of King George I. Acting as the Lady-in-Waiting of the Princess of Wales, Peggy suspects the true cause of death of her predecessor. Was it murder or suicide or truly a cold?

I love Palace of Spies. It's really fun. There's a lot of
...more
Kimi
Jul 25, 2014 Kimi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I got off to a rocky start with this book, but then ended up really enjoying it for what it was.

This was another book that I made myself read because it wasn't something I'd normally pick out on my own and I'm trying to expand my horizons. The cover is hot pink and horrible. I thought for sure that I'd hate it.

I even thought I'd hate it in the first few chapters when she's sexually assaulted and then kicked out of the house for it. I understand that women were largely not in control of their own
...more
Andrea
Not my favorite read. For a spy novel it was surprisingly slow and also - unbelievable. The premise is this - a young orphaned girl (of questionable parentage) is living with her uncle and she becomes betrothed to the young swatch of the town. And then he tries to rape her. And then her uncle tries to force her to marry him and when she refuses kicks him out of the house. So she has no where to go, except at the same party where she was sexually assaulted a mysterious stranger saved her, told he ...more
Courtney
Peggy Fitzroy, an orphan with a wealthy extended family finds herself in a most unusual position when she encounters the rotund Mr. Tinderflint, who offers her a top secret offer of employment. Through a series of unfortunate mishaps, Peggy finds herself in no position to refuse. It turns out that Mr. Tinderflint is something of a spymaster. His previous charge, Lady Francesca, has recently died. The plan is to send Peggy in her place to the court of King George I. There, she will play the role ...more
Lorena
I liked this one better while I was reading it than after I was finished, if that makes sense. While I was reading, the pacing was brisk and the writing humorous and interesting, and there was still some hope that some of the logical inconsistencies might be explained. I mean, the character-training-to-impersonate-a-noble trope is fairly well-worn territory in fiction. In most versions, though, the character is taking the place of a person that either no one else has met before, or hasn't seen f ...more
Maeve Gilbert
I first read about this book in a magazine and then later saw it in our school library, so I got excited and checked it out. It turns out, it was a pretty good book but maybe not amazing. Peggy is a smart and witty main character(who also likes fireplace pokers way to much), and I also thought it was pretty cool how she could speak a bunch of different languages when I'm still working on conjugating Spanish verbs and doing English grammar. Anyway, Peggy gets kicked out of her uncle's home and ha ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
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  
  • Grains of Truth
  •  The Fire Horse Girl
  • Still Star-Crossed
  • Manor of Secrets
  • Blackwood
  • Love by the Morning Star
  • Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
  • Student Bodies (Poltergeeks, #2)
  • Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1)
  • The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)
  • Nobody's Secret
  • Blood Orange Soda
  • Buzz Kill
  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy (Dukovskaya #1)
  • The Loved and the Lost (The Verona Trilogy #3)
  • The Tenth Witness
  • The Extra
  • Beauty's Daughter: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy
110249
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)
Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1) In Camelot's Shadow (The Paths to Camelot, #1) A Taste of the Nightlife (Vampire Chef, #1) A Sorcerer's Treason (Isavalta, #1) Fool's War

Share This Book

“The man has more masks than a whole troupe of Italian players.” 2 likes
“The true lady treats the whole world as her dance floor,” 2 likes
More quotes…