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Palace of Mirrors

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Gr 5-8-Margaret Peterson Haddix's novel (2008), a companion book to Just Ella (1999, both S & S), is the tale of 14-year-old princess Cecilia who has been raised as a commoner in a remote village to protect her from her parents' murderers. When her true identity is discovered, she and her friend Harper set out for the capital of Suala, where Cecilia is determined to claim her throne. When they are captured and imprisoned in a tower, they discover that there are 11 other young maidens in the dungeon, each believing she is the true princess. With the help of the acting princess Desmia and Ella (from Just Ella), who is visiting from Fridesia, they manage to sort things out and come to a most unusual solution to the problem and uncover the identity of the traitor responsible for the deaths of the king and queen. Polly Lee does a fine job of narrating the tale, giving each character a unique voice and personality. This title can stand alone and would be a great addition to middle school or public library collections.-Kathy Miller, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin City, KS Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Aficionados of Gail Carson Levine and Shanno Hale will find much to like in this welcome addition to the ver-growing canon of smart-princess stories."--"Booklist" "Haddix's skill with vivid descriptions and believable characters make this tale a standout in the retold fairy tale genre....a story that feels both familiar and fresh. It is a sure hit for those who want to cultivate their rough-and-tumble inner princess."--"VOYA" ""Palace of Mirrors" sits nicely alongside Gail Carson Levine's "Ella Enchanted "and Shannon Hale's "Princess Academy"...The suspense builds to a well-paced climax and conclusion with few pauses in an action-packed story."--"School Library Journal" "Plenty of fun here from a superior author."--"Kirkus Reviews"

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