Parents' Guide to

Palace of Spies

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Lots of history, little emotional depth in palace intrigue.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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In PALACE OF SPIES, Sarah Zettel, author of the American Fairy trilogy, leaves fantasy behind and instead focuses on palace intrigue, blackmail, and murder -- a change that's not for the better. Although the story's rich in historical detail (ever tried on a mantua?), its emotional engagement remains pretty shallow. Characters lack the kind of telling details that would make us truly care about them. The even pacing reveals secrets slowly; then comes an over-the-top violent confrontation at the end.

History-loving kids will find plenty to enjoy about a world where everything hinges on who said what and who was seen with whom. An enjoyable-enough light read, Palace of Spies offers lots of interesting tidbits that don't quite make an emotionally satisfying meal.

Book Details

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