Princess Contessa of Constantinopolie has a pretty good life. Shes an expert shopper, has parents who love her and are good rulers, and is looking forward to her upcoming engagement to Prince Garett of Misdev. So what if a few pesky assassins try to get in her way? Shes been well trained to ward them off, shes not worried.
Oh but she should be. Prince Garett, not taking the advice of his father arrives in Constantinopolie early, almost six full months before the formal engagement is announced. His untimely arrival forces Tesss parents to come clean: shes not the true princess, but a child bought from the street to pose as the princess and ward off assassin.
Things cant get worse for Tess. Or so she thinks. After Garett takes the castle by force and murders her parents. Tess is forced to run for her life, something thats hard to do for a girl whos hardly ever stepped foot outside the city. Only by befriending a cheat and finally finding her old tutor does Tess realize that bigger things are at stake than just the kingdom, lives of many hang in the balance, and shes the only one who can stop the events that could lead her and everyone she loves into utter destruction.
I was a little tentative when I first started The Decoy Princess. The first chapter started out pretty cheesy, the main character being a spoiled brat who ordered her tutor around like he was scum. But slowly Cook drew me in. I soon realized that my first impression of Tess was quite wrong and she blossomed into a likeable and relatable heroine.
While I cant classify The Decoy Princess a page-turner, I sincerely enjoyed the characters, the world Cook created, and the excitement she produced in me towards the end when I absolutely had to know what was going to happen. Ok, so I lied, it got pretty page-turning towards the end. Cook has a rare talent in that she can take a mystery and make it non-confusing. The pieces really fell into place quite nicely for The Decoy Princess, yet were in no way predictable.
Cook has definitely come up with an original plotline here and her characters are ones definitely worth visiting. I cant wait to read the sequel Princess at Sea.
Four and ½ stars.
Excellent creation of a fantasy world---and Contessa the Princess (not) is no mewling little miss prepared to sit in her tower and wait to be rescued. But she is also not some sinewy Amazon taking the world on with brute force. She---and her thoughts and actions---are surprisingly realistic, if you grew up thinking you were a princess with a fleet of assasins after you and then finding out you aren't, but just a Pawn in something called The Game, but in which you can become a Player. Seriously, it's good. Read it.
Surprisingly fun. I'm always wary of books that tout reviews from the "Romantic Times" but I hoped it was more of an adventure story, and indeed it was entirely an adventure story just with the usual roles reversed - a female lead, and a male love interest.
Tess is faced with an identity crisis when she learns that she's not a princess after all. This is a fast paced fantasy romp, and is appropriate for young adults.
Although this is technically a Young Adult title, adults will enjoy it as well. I like the interesting premise the author has devised, as well as some of the defense and other training that takes place. She's a plucky little heroine, which makes it an interesting, but light, read.
Princess Contessa of Costenopolie knows everything a royal should about diplomacy, self-defense, politics...and shopping. She ought to. She had every reason to believe that she was groomed to rule. But her next lesson is in betrayal...
This was a delightful book. I was pleased that the plot had a premise I haven't encountered before and it kept me guessing. The characters are a little predictable, but still people I was interested in and sympathetic to. I'll be looking for the next book in the series, Princess at Sea.
I love this book. It is fast moving and keeps you involved. The main character becomes more and more endearing as the book goes on! I love strong female characters in books and this lives up to that!!
The Decoy Princess is a very well written book, the world-building is fantastic, and the growth of the characters through-out the two book series is very well done. I enjoyed this book tremendously! I wish she would write another book in this world!
From the back of the book
Princess Contessa of Constenipolie knows everything a royal should about diplomacy, self defense, politics and shopping. She ought to. She had every reason to believe that she was groomed to rule. But her next lesson is in betrayal.
The sudden arrival of her Betrothed, a prince from the kingdom of Misdev, has forced Tess's parents to come clean. She's no princess. Their real daughter was raised in a nunnery for fear of assassins. Tess is nothing but a beggars child bought off the street as an infant and reared as a decoy.
So what's a royal highness to do when she discovers she's a royal target? Ditch the Misdev soldiers occupying the palace, use magical abilities she didn't even know she had, restore the real princess to the throne, and save her own neck. But first tess has to deal with the scoundrel who;s urging her to run away from it all and the Misdev captain who's determined to thwart her plans.
I really enjoyed these books. They were light and fun, with the sprinkling of fantasy. A bit on the YA side but still engaging. I finished this in about a day.
This is the first book in Cook's Princess duology. Dawn Cook also writes as Kim Harrison. I enjoyed this fun fantasy adventure novel. The book is very YA in tone and is mostly about the heroine figuring out who she is (both in an actual and more philosophical sense).
I listened to this on audiobook and it was decently done. It wasn't my favorite audiobook because I didn't like the voice the narrator used for Tess and found it distracting. I never really got used to it. I would recommend reading this on in paperback rather than listening to it.
Tess has been raised as the crown princess of Costenopolie for her whole life (at least as much of her life as she can remember). However when a neighboring kingdom makes a bid for the throne through marriage Tess finds out she's just a decoy.
This leaves Tess reeling. She is fleeing for her life and desperate to do what she can to help her people and kingdom...except they aren't really her people or her kingdom now...so where does that leave her? Tess is an interesting heroine; she has mad ninja-like skills from her training but is also strangely naive because of her sheltered upbringing in the castle. This gets her into trouble more than once.
I really enjoyed our heroine and her struggles with her own identity and purpose in life. They were easy to relate to and fun to read about. There is a lot of action and adventures in this book as well. There is some romance but it is fairly light and not a huge part of the story.
Overall I enjoyed this YA fantasy adventure and plan on reading the second book in the series. Tess is a fun heroine and entertaining. I would recommend to those who enjoy YA fantasy adventure âprincessâ stories.
different cover--same ISBN