Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Distiller: Doni Faber
Rating: 5/5

Palace of Lies
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon and Schuster BFYR
April 7, 2015
(357 pages)

Desmia and her twelve sister-princesses are on the brink of signing a treaty with their long-time enemy, Fridesia when their palace goes up in flames. The next thing she knows, Desmia is being held captive and accused of killing the other princesses. Luckily, she has some friends she didn't know about to help her out.

I loved this book! It is the best in the series. The first book is based loosely on Cinderella. But the author, Haddix has no trouble spinning out the story from the meager beginnings of the fairy tale. The second book is from the perspective of Cecilia, one of the true princesses hidden as a commoner. And the third book is from the perspective of Desmia, the princess who grew up in the castle. In Cecilia's story, Desmia is portrayed as nothing but a delicate puppet. But in this story, it is demonstrated how fully capable of a ruler she is.

I love how believable her interior monologue is. From the beginning, she is watching for manipulation and intrigue from everyone, just as you might expect royalty to do. Another detail that makes her all the more credible is her reaction when she first steps out from the palace. She panics at the expansive sky with nothing to block its way. This is something I never would have thought of including as a writer.

I feel like other reviewers haven't given Haddix the credit that she is due. They lump her together with other fantasy authors, but I felt like Haddix succeeded in telling a truly original tale.


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