Orphan and talented pickpocket Meg Fellowes gets more excitement than she bargained for when she is appointed spy and maid of honor to none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I in this swashbuckling tale of murder and intrigue in high places.
Meg is violently snatched away from her street life as a member of the Golden Rose acting troupe and taken to Windsor Castle by the sinister Sir William Cecil. There she joins a select cadre of young girls being trained as spies and guardians of the queen’s honor. This is a challenge for Meg as, although she has the power of total recall, she has never learned to read. The story plays out against a backdrop of rivalry and betrayal among courtiers vying for the queen’s favor, the tricky foreign nobles she has to manage and the maids themselves, who are by turns supportive and ruthless. Meg’s twin talents of total recall of speech and sleight of hand ultimately keep her in good standing with the court’s powers that be, and her quick wits and loyalty to her monarch save her from a nasty fate in a flooded basement prison cell.
This lively and fast-paced debut has plenty of action and plot twists to keep readers fully engaged. (Historical fiction. 12-17)