THE SPY PRINCESS by Sherwood Smith


Age Range: 8 - 12
Email this review


A middle-grade fantasy squashes an entire trilogy into one volume.

In the first part, 12-year-old Lilah, who tells the tale, strives to have adventures not suitable for a princess, a conundrum she solves in the usual way, by disguising herself as a scruffy boy. She learns quickly that the townsfolk are taxed to the limit by her father and her uncle, the king, and that her adored older brother, Peitar, despite his crippled leg, is in league with revolutionaries led by Derek, a friend of many years. In the second part, the uses of magic, barely mentioned earlier, become clearer, as Lilah finds refuge from the bloody revolution in a magical place beloved of her dead mother. In part three, Peitar and Derek, whose revolution has fallen apart in chaos, are captured by Lilah and Peitar’s uncle, and Lilah, with her loyal band, finds a way to help make things right. There is very little onstage violence, and the language is relatively simple. Readers may find themselves a bit nonplussed as various types of magic appear without warning and the physical dangers of revolution are noted but not made real.

The well-meaning adventure suffers from the unwieldy compression of events and tropes. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-670-06341-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2012


ChildrenSTRANGER by Rachel Manija Brown
by Rachel Manija Brown
ChildrenCROWN DUEL by Sherwood Smith
by Sherwood Smith
ChildrenWREN'S WAR by Sherwood Smith
by Sherwood Smith


ChildrenTHE CASTLE BEHIND THORNS by Merrie Haskell
by Merrie Haskell
IndieIf Crows Know Best by Aimee L. Gross
by Aimee L. Gross
ChildrenPALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale
by Shannon Hale
ChildrenLEVIATHAN  by Scott Westerfeld
by Scott Westerfeld