Although she’s a princess, Charlie’s life hasn’t been easy. In the five years since her mother’s disappearance, her father hasn’t been himself. Instead of ruling the country or taking care of Charlie, he spends his time making elaborate castles out of playing cards. In some ways, this isn’t so bad because it means that Charlie can pretty much do as she pleases as far as entertaining herself. However, the housekeeper who has taken on the responsibility of “caring” for Charlie has no intention of providing any real care.
However, everything in Charlie’s life changes when she discovers a message from her mother. She doesn’t know who to turn to for help and accidentally sets off a series of events that turns her world upside down. Suddenly she has unexpected allies, powerful enemies, and a myriad of plots to unravel if she wants to find her mother, save her father, and protect her country from both an encroaching empire and the dangerous prime minster her parents thought of as their greatest friend.
Quick moving and intricately plotted, this novel is hard to put down. Charlie is both strong-willed and vulnerable. Her transformation from clever ragamuffin to insightful princess is portrayed convincingly, and although the immediate dangers are resolved at the end of the book, there are enough external threats remaining to make a sequel distinctly appealing.
Reviewed by Melendra