ARC Review: The Assassin’s Masque

The Assassin's Masque
The Assassin’s Masque by Sarah Zettel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: January 12, 2016

Things are turning around for seventeen-year-old Peggy Fitzroy, a once-orphaned spy. Her father is back from the dead, and her unwanted engagement has been called off for good. But when a mysterious veiled woman shows up, Peggy uncovers a fresh slew of questions about her past, present, and future. Now Peggy is back at the palace, unsure of the loyalties she thought she held. With the Jacobite uprising stalking ever closer to the throne, it’s imperative that Peggy discover who she can really trust. Can she save herself and the royal family, or is she doomed as a pawn in this most deadly game?

The Palace of Spies series has so far been an entertaining series. Margaret ‘Peggy’ Fitzroy is a smart young girl, trained in the arts of espionage and forever troubled by the fashion of her era. She brings out the story alive with her humor and personality, and though the pastel background in the covers don’t suit the era, it certainly does suit her. All is not bright and shiny in her world, though, because even after having a fairly good life over the last two books (just one or two attempts of murder) she is now a bit worrisome over her future. She has her father back now but does not know how their relationship stands. On one hand, she is mystified by his intrigue and personality, while on the other she searches for vestiges of familial belonging.

During such a tumultuous emotional period, things in the court are starting to take a turn for the worse. The fact that Prince George is somewhat allying with others, especially those who are her enemies, makes her that much determined to uncover the plot to overthrow the throne. She is a brilliant spy, but the same cannot be said for her investigative skills. She comes up against plenty false leads, some ruinous exchanges and manages to get kidnapped yet again. Ultimately, our heroine perseveres and barely in the last few pages, we get an ending, albeit a rushed one. The storytelling style, thus, was engaging, right until the last chapter, when I was so worried things won’t be resolved. And hope springs eternal for any further installations of this really good series.

Received a free galley from HMH Books for Young Readers via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or the review.

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