(Book Review) The Princess Spy

Princess SpyReviewed by: Jessica L. Lehman


Title: The Princess Spy

Series: Fairy Tales series #5

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: November, 2014

Format: Paperback book

Length: 304 Pages


For The Princess Spy, the fifth book in her series of medieval fairytale-retelling romances, Melanie Dickerson uses the story of “The Frog Prince” as inspiration. Margaretha, the main character, is the daughter of a duke, and when an injured stranger named Colin warns that her suitor, Lord Claybrook, wants to kill her father and take over her family’s lands, she decides he’s crazy…until she spies on her suitor and hears proof. Margaretha escapes the castle with Colin to get help.

Part of the action in the story is predictable, as the two main characters find themselves in some of the same situations as characters from Dickerson’s other books. The villain is also a stereotypical villain who laughs at his evil plans and has nothing besides an obsession with ornate hats to make him seem more human. However, some cute and humorous incidents happen in the book, one caused by Margaretha knowing both German and English and Colin only knowing English. Margaretha has studied English but not well enough to know what it means when Colin calls her a flibbertigibbet. Avoiding a direct answer, he tells her it means someone who wouldn’t make a very good spy.

Setting the story in a real time and place—the Holy Roman Empire, 1413 A.D.—lends depth and realism that some fairytale retellings do not have. Without fairy godmothers or magic spells, Dickerson conveys that happily-ever-afters aren’t only for fantasy worlds.

This may not be one of Dickerson’s best books, but it’s still a fun read.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 out 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Young Adult Girls

Christian Impact

Margaretha focuses on praying positive prayers and trusting that God will work things out the way she wants Him to. She and Colin both learn that their perceived weaknesses or personality faults aren’t all bad.

Other Notes

Several people get killed, and Margaretha uses deception to escape the villain. Because this is a romance, the main characters’ focus is each other; Margaretha remembers how their arms brushed together, and handsome Colin wants to kiss beautiful Margaretha.

Jessica L. Lehman is a member of her church’s library committee.

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