The Princess Spy
Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha---one of the few who speaks his language---understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself 'Lord Colin' is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy---not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.
I'm always pleased when I get a fairy tale retelling for review, and The Princess Spy is no exception.
First of all, I think Margaretha and Colin were some of the most likable and memorable of any of Mrs. Dickerson's main characters. She wove in "The Frog Prince" elements well, and there was a lot of action and intrigue. While I have always thought that the author's writing style tends to be a bit oversimple and even at times repetitive, I still really, really liked this one. I especially enjoyed the fact that characters- well, descendants of characters!- from The Merchant's Daughter were finally woven in to the rest of this series!
I also like the fact that the romance wasn't overwhelming; even when the characters were alone together for long periods of time, they didn't take advantage of that despite the fact that there was obvious romantically-inclined feelings going on ;)
This book does have its flaws (including some strong plot similarities to the other books in this series), but at the same time I couldn't put it down, and a Certain Character made me so mad that I seriously wished I could get straight into that book and deal with him myself! Overall, The Princess Spy is one of my favorites in this series, and if you enjoy fairy tale retellings, this is a great magic-free one with a gentle message of faith woven into the background.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.