Palace of Mirrors
by Margaret Peterson HaddixSyndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9781416939153]
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A lively companion to Just Ella (S & S, 1999). Cecilia, 14, has a secret. Despite her peasant appearance, she is the true princess of Suala, hidden from birth to protect her from the conspirators who murdered her parents. To evade capture, she leaves her village with her friend Harper and heads for the capital city to claim her throne. Imagine her surprise when Desmia, the figure-head princess, reveals 11 other "true princesses" locked in the palace dungeons. Visiting from Fridesia, Ella turns up to help Desmia, Cecilia, and Harper unravel this political intrigue. Palace of Mirrors sits nicely alongside Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 2007) and Shannon Hale's Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2005). Much of the humor stems from Cecilia's misconceptions, and from the wit of her friend-turned-beau, Harper. The plot will be a familiar one to genre readers, but they will happily travel it again to see Cecilia's identity unfold. The suspense builds to a well-paced climax and conclusion with few pauses in an action-packed story. While the setting is less defined than the characters and plot, readers will be too focused on the protagonist's many concerns to notice.—Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
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