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

The Decoy Princess (Princess #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  4,309 Ratings  ·  211 Reviews
Princess Contessa of Costenopolie knows everything a royal should about diplomacy, self-defense, politics... and shopping. She ought to. She had every reason to believe that she was groomed to rule. But her next lesson is in betrayal...

The sudden arrival of her betrothed, a prince from the kingdom of Misdev, has forced Tess's parents to come clean: She's no princess. Their
...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Ace
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 The Decoy Princess, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Decoy Princess

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Becky
I'm really not sure what annoyed me more about this book. Well I had a list of things but everything seems so vague now. Evidently the biggest flaw is how boring it was.

No no I remember! It's the girl. The girl is the most annoying part. She's very idiotic. And yet also very turned on. By men.

If she mentioned how big Jeck's shoulders were one more time. Like I do not need to be reminded of that shit. I got it. Oh but here we go about how broad his scarred up back is...well oh gee golly get you
...more
Anne Osterlund
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tess is not a princess. She was brought up as one, but sadly the secret is out. She is a decoy, raised to die in the real princess’s place.

However, Tess isn’t easily killed, as a variety of assassins have learned over the years. She is, in fact, highly skilled at throwing poison darts.

But it will take more than that to defeat her former intended and his Misdev soldiers suddenly occupying the palace. As well a certain maddeningly unshakable captain bent on hunting her down.

The Decoy Princess is a
...more
Hallie
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. At points, it was nudging a 5, but at others... Very uneven, but had a lot of good stuff in it. (Including the fact that Tess's supposed parents weren't the monsters that the King and Queen in Eilis O'Neal's The False Princess were.) With a lot of tightening-up, this could have been awesome instead of enjoyable.
Elizabeth (Liz)
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This girl totally rocks. She was trained to be a princess but while she was being trained to be that, she was being trained for something better. I love the strategies and how complicated, how human the characters are.
Julie
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Princess Contessa of Constantinopolie has a pretty good life. She's an expert shopper, has parents who love her and are good rulers, and is looking forward to her upcoming engagement to Prince Garett of Misdev. So what if a few pesky assassins try to get in her way? She's been well trained to ward them off, she's not worried.

Oh but she should be. Prince Garett, not taking the advice of his father arrives in Constantinopolie early, almost six full months before the formal engagement is announced.
...more
Janet
Jul 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fluff fantasy fans
It's rare that I will put a book down without finishing it, and I hacked my way through three-quarters of the novel before I dropped this one, but by that point I was only reading to see if she got together with The Guy (I skipped ahead - that storyline gets dropped almost altogether.) The prose is clunky and overblown, with every single hand gesture being described in vivid detail as if we are watching a movie instead of reading a book. Her curls, for example, are described again, and again, an ...more
Kathy
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really enjoyed Dawn Cook's Truth Series so was looking forward to reading this one. Honestly it took me quite a while to get into it. I started it multiple times over the period of a month. It just wouldn't hook me and I kept putting it down. I finally had a long car ride and listened to it on audio. Once I made it through the first five or six chapters I really started to enjoy it. It's not a favorite but it had plenty of originality and I immediately started the 2nd book when I finished this ...more
P. Aaron Potter
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
You ever get the feeling that the author switched horses about halfway through the book? That was the sense I got reading The Decoy Princess. I picked this one up at our favorite local used book store thinking it was a nice crossover for Michele & I: a touch of historic fantasy, a light romance, some action and intrigue...

What I got was an oddity. It feels as though Cook started off writing this as an adventure romance, something occuping the same neighborhood as Laura Kinsale's The Shadow a
...more
Elf M.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I really didn't want to like The Decoy Princess, by Dawn Cook. After all, it follows in the same vein as too many of my own fantasy stories: young woman from a commoner's background thrust into intrigue. Now, my stories frequently involve inappropriate pairings of woman and dragon, and nothing like that happens in this book.

When I read the first three chapters, I was disappointed. We, the readers, already know the big revelation coming up: Tess is going to be told that her whole life is a lie, t
...more
Miss Clark
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kara-karina
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I had an opportunity to review Kim Harrison writing YA fantasy under a pseudonym Dawn Cook, I knew I had to take it!

Marguerite Gavin as a narrator was perfect, creating saucy, vibrant characters and keeping it fun. At first glance, The Decoy Princess reads like a lighthearted, easy YA fantasy book with a spoiled, self-entitled princess as a heroine, but don't be fooled. There is darkness here, a fair amount of bloodshed, and some very difficult choices.

Princess Tess is a young, boisterous 2
...more
Elizabeth
Nov 18, 2008 marked it as to-read
All her life, Princess Contessa of Costenopolie has been raised as a proper princess should, well-versed in fashion, diplomacy, politics, and shopping. However, she's also been trained quite thoroughly in how to protect herself, by Chancellor Kravenlow, who has spent years teaching her how to use various easily-hidden weapons, including venom-laced darts. Tess has never thought much about it, really. Being a princess is a dangerous job, and sometimes a girl has to protect herself. However, every ...more
M. B.
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dorri
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-urban
At first I was leary about reading this book. I've loved Dawn Cook's alter ego - Kim Harrison - for some time. She writes delicious urban fantasy. As such, the idea of switching gears for a high fantasy novel seemed odd to me. I wasn't ready. I kept putting it off. I was an idiot.

The premise behind The Decoy Princess is the reverse tale of rags to riches. Princess Contessa, Tess to those who know her, is happily living the life of luxury and about to be engaged. It all comes to a screaming halt
...more
Aiyaruk
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: read-fiction
I'm frustrated about writing this review. I ADORED this book. I really did. In fact, I was thoroughly excited about the sequel, and ate up the sequel as soon as it hit the bookshelf (in fact, I preordered it!). What a shame, though.. I was so disappointed by the sequel that I tossed both books away and haven't looked at them since. Perhaps I was just angry because she didn't wind up with the guy I wanted her to (don't worry, I won't say who), but I think it was more than that. I'm not sure. My s ...more
Anne Osterlund
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tess is not a princess. She was brought up as one, but sadly the secret is out. She is a decoy, raised to die in the real princess’s place.

However, Tess isn’t easily killed, as a variety of assassins have learned over the years. She is, in fact, highly skilled at throwing poison darts.

But it will take more than that to defeat her former intended and his Misdev soldiers suddenly occupying the palace. As well a certain maddeningly unshakable captain bent on hunting her down.

The Decoy Princess is a
...more
Gina Mora
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2011
I love Kim Harrison, and this book shows some of her best skills: a new, complete, believable world; a spunky heroine; and cool heroes. However, I had some issues with it as a whole: (1) for a spunky princess with kick-butt skills-she gets caught A LOT and (2) it seems to be luck most of the time and not her own skills. Tess is amazingly self-absorbed for most of the book and Duncan seems like a doormat to her sometimes. Other than that, the plot is fun and I have a feeling that the second in th ...more
Saral
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. The strong female lead, a love triangle, a kingdom to save, deceit, hidden strength.... and even m agic. What more could I ask for in a book? What made me give it a 5 star was the ongoing romance... Because even at the end of this first book, we didn't know who she'll end up zith. Personally, I'm a HUGE Jeck fan.
Banaticus
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it
A fun read, but not one of my favorites. Dawn Cook has great characters, and I'm excited to read the second one for more development in their relationships. Tess is a fun mix of girlish princess and assassin. I would have liked her to kick some batooty with her whip, but the darts were fun, too. Can't wait to see more of Jeck!
Jenna
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I probably shouldn't give this a 5, since I don't actually remember it very well (I read it at a high-stress time, and it didn't get a chance to fully sink in) but I remember I loved it enormously. I mean, a princess who stores darts in her hair and can actually use them? Awesome!
Karissa
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in Cook’s Princess duology. Dawn Cook also writes as Kim Harrison. I enjoyed this fun fantasy adventure novel. The book is very YA in tone and is mostly about the heroine figuring out who she is (both in an actual and more philosophical sense).

I listened to this on audiobook and it was decently done. It wasn’t my favorite audiobook because I didn’t like the voice the narrator used for Tess and found it distracting. I never really got used to it. I would recommend reading t
...more
Annye
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Decoy Princess starts out very slow, and I struggled to maintain interest, but after the first twist (and you’ll recognize it as soon as you get to it), the book picks up significantly and doesn’t ever really let up.



Though the main, surface-level story is great, the teases to an underlying world are intriguing, and the best part of the book.

Most of the characters are unashamed tropes, but it works well and it results in some really interesting characterization. In particular, there is a rela
...more
Kelly Tse
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This has been on my TBR for YEARS, since I was a child and found out about the Truth series by Dawn Cook (aka Kim Harrison). It was recommended to me by Kim’s husband, Tim, who said that he liked the Princess series even more than the Truth series, so I just *had* to read it! Overall thoughts on the two series: the child in me still delights in the Truth series, but the Princess series was still an enjoyable read!
Julie
It starts as a decent adventure story, then goes weird and never recovers. I'm sure the most common word in this book is "darts." And her name is Princess Contessa? Still better than Sinjin St. John, but it's getting close.
Kathy Kennerley
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I much prefer Urban Fantasy over Fantasy but since I was starved for a new Kim Harrison/Dawn Cook novel I decided to give this a shot. I loved it! This author is one of the best writers out there.
Katie
rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2017
Anoush Emrazian
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: princess, davis-co
Tess has been raised as a princess of Constenopolie for 16 years, but when her betrothed comes to visit, she finds that she's been a decoy princess, a place-holder for the real princess and a target for those trying to assassinate the true heir. This go south quickly. Tess' castle is taken and she barely escapes with her life, bent on revenge but also with responsibility for her unknown "sister."

This book is a grand adventure similar to Crown Duel, which is one of my favorite books of all time.
...more
Nazurka
Die Abenteuer von Tess 01. Die Tochter der Königin - Dawn Cook
Ein toller Auftakt zu den Abenteuern um Tess!

Die Tochter der Königin

Klappentext:

"Tess - oder auch Prinzessin Contessa von Costenpolis - kann sehr gut auf sich selbst aufpassen, denn der Kanzler des Reiches ist der Ansicht, dass eine gute Ausbildung besser schützt als jeder Leibwächter. Doch als ihre Eltern ermordet werden, muss Tess nicht nur für sich, sondern um das Schicksal des ganzen Königreichs kämpfen - auch als sie erfährt, da
...more
Margaret Fisk
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I picked up this book because of a recommendation, but still had some difficulty getting into it at first. However, once I connected to the story, I couldn’t put it down. I realized the problem came because of the title, not because of the story, so I’m going to “spoil” the book for you despite my normal efforts not to. The spoilage is this: the knowledge that she is a decoy, despite being something Tess is unaware of for the first 31 pages, is only the tip of the iceberg where the book is conce ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 24, 2015 09:34AM  
Characters 2 35 Oct 29, 2008 01:08PM  
  • The Hero Strikes Back (Hero, #2)
  • Twice a Prince (Sasharia en Garde!, #2)
  • Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1)
  • The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares #3)
  • Princess of the Sword (Nine Kingdoms, #3)
  • To Play the Lady (Sevalian Chronicles, #1)
  • Song in the Silence (The Tale of Lanen Kaelar, #1)
64216
aka Kim Harrison

Dawn Cook was born on 1966 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She grew up in the Midwest as the only girl in a family of boys, and is a self-proclaimed "former tomboy". She grew up reading science fiction and fairytales. She discovered her talent for writing at the age of 15, when she began writing down the stories that she conceived. Despite her love of writing, she took an unorthodox app
...more
More about Dawn Cook...

Other Books in the Series

Princess (2 books)
  • Princess at Sea (Princess, #2)
“See Pitch over there?" he asked, pointing with his chin. "Try to get her to come to you."

Pitch had wandered from the other horses, trying to get at the hay in the wagon’s bed. My eyebrows rose, giving him a pained look. "You mean, here, horsy, horsy, horsy..."

He gave me a severe look, but his eyes were glittering in a repressed amusement.”
14 likes
More quotes…