Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson--Book Review

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson follows the story of Margaretha and Colin in this historical retelling of the and the Frog fairy tale. Margaretha has been courted by man suitors, but none have been her idea of "true love." When Lord Claybrook arrives to court her, she thinks he could be the one until Colin, the son of an Earl from England, arrives and reveals to her of Lord Claybrook's shady past and dirty crimes, which include murder. Lord Claybrook takes Margaretha's castle under siege and it's up to her and her new friend, Colin, to save her family, her castle, and herself.

The story line itself was intriguing and full of excitement. There's lots of sneaking around and spying, hence the name, as well as running for one's life. Of Melanie Dickerson's other fairy-tale retellings, The Princess Spy might be the most action-packed (it's been a while since I read the others and I haven't read all of them yet).

The characters are more developed than the actual fairy tale characters, which is not a surprise. I like Margaretha for her courage and strength in the face of adversity. I think it was a strong character point to have in such a story. However, I didn't feel this story was anything like the Princess and the Frog. There are a few elements that reference the story, but overall, it stands on its own as a story and doesn't link to the original fairy tale at all. This was a slight disappointment, but the story was decent enough that I didn't mind too much.

Some parts of the book felt too easy. Events fell into place with little or not effort for it to all work out in the end. There were moments that felt awkward as well and I stared at the words on the page with perplexity. Did that character really just say that? There's a lot of talk about God, which is not a surprise either since it comes from Zondervan Publishing. The characters are driven by promises and hopes in God.

Overall, the story was exciting and the characters were tolerable. I would suggest this to an audience looking for a light, romantic read that has more action yet isn't too deep or noteworthy. It was fun and enjoyable and would work for any pre-teen or older audience.

I personally look forward to reading the other retelling I missed and any for the future, especially since she's noted to be writing one about Rapunzel! :)


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I too enjoy these books although I have found the Dickerson fairy tale novels to be somewhat predictable. Your review just convinced me to try out this latest book, although I am sad to hear that the Frog Prince part of it doesn't really come into play at all. :(

    If you like fairy tale retellings I recommend the Timeless Fairy Tale books by K.M. Shea - they are similar to Dickerson books in that they are clean but the plots aren't so predictable and I find the side characters especially have more depth to them than what Dickerson's characters typically have.

    1. Thank you :) I hope you enjoy the story at least.

      I found it would have been quite difficult to write a realistic, historical story with the "frog" aspect. But she tried.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to look into them. :)