Cecilia is the actual princess of Suala, living out her life in hiding in a peasant village far from the capitol, away from menacing foreign enemies who might want to end her life the same way they killed her parents. Every night she studies princess lessons with her knight/tutor Sir Stephen, and wonders about Desmia, the decoy princess on the throne, living the life that Cecilia should have.
Urged on by her good friend Archer, Cecilia and Archer set off to the capitol to reclaim her rightful place on the throne. But it turns out that Desmia has grown up hearing a different story, and they may all be in danger from an enemy that's much closer to them than they expected.
PALACE OF MIRRORS is a charming companion novel to Haddix's endearing JUST ELLA. Of course, this book is not Ella's story, though the feisty heroine of the previous book plays a fairly important role in this novel. Readers will connect to Cecilia's uncertainty about her identity and destiny, as well as her confusing feelings for and relationship with Archer. PALACE OF MIRRORS is full of spunky, appealing characters, and even if the plot seems a little unevenâtoo slow at the beginning, too quickly wrapped up, too anticlimacticâit is still a decent read for late elementary and middle school girls who want a lighthearted romance set in an exciting world.