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The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook
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The Decoy Princess (2005)

by Dawn Cook

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Good premise—a girl thinks she’s a princess and is raised to defend herself and govern, but it turns out she’s the decoy to protect the real princess. When the king and queen are killed, she flees/seeks revenge and discovers that she has the opportunity to be part of a larger game, including magical powers. I just didn’t feel it—the characters seemed oddly flat, despite the appeal of the premise. ( )
  rivkat | Dec 28, 2016 |
The author is also Kim Harrison and so I'm trying this series out. It has gotten good reviews. I enjoyed the storyline. It did seem like it could be a YA book, but the main character was in her early 20s. Unfortunately the library doesn't have the second book. May have to buy it since I did see it at the store. ( )
  pnwbookgirl | Feb 7, 2016 |
When I had an opportunity to review Kim Harrison writing YA fantasy under a pseudonym Dawn Cook, I knew I had to take it!

Marguerite Gavin as a narrator was perfect, creating saucy, vibrant characters and keeping it fun. At first glance, The Decoy Princess reads like a lighthearted, easy YA fantasy book with a spoiled, self-entitled princess as a heroine, but don't be fooled. There is darkness here, a fair amount of bloodshed, and some very difficult choices.

Princess Tess is a young, boisterous 20 year-old, who dreams of meeting and marrying her own prince Charming and ruling their country together happily ever after. She sees nothing strange in her teacher raising her tolerance for poison from a young age and instructing her on how to use poisonous darts and a deadly whip (in case of assassins) among other non-princess skills.

Then a potential future husband, prince Garrett, arrives ahead of the schedule, and her parents have no other choice but tell her that she is not an actual princess, - she is her decoy while the real thing grew up in hiding so she won't get assassinated.

Since that announcement everything goes wrong. Tess loses her beloved parents, Prince Charming turns into a raving psycho, and his captain relentlessly chases her across the country in the name of some secret devious political machinations.

Armed with a few darts, in a company of a charming card cheat, Tess needs to use everything she learned over the years to find her teacher with the real princess, and hopefully save her country from the usurper.

Expect sparkling dialogue, secret appreciation of wide, muscly shoulders, nefarious schemes of get rich quick, and some awesome thinking on your feet among an exciting palace takeover.

Tess was a great heroine, and I had nothing but admiration for her stubbornness and clever problem solving decisions. Duncan was a total charmer, and I still don't know what to think of wily Jack... I had some issues with hazy explanations of the great conspiracy, but perhaps everything will get clearer in Princess At Sea, - the next book in this series. Enjoyed it, definitely recommended! ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
TBR
  Ebeth.Naylor | Sep 30, 2013 |
This was startlingly good. I was expecting a YA novel about a downtrodden princess who has to contend with a bratty replacement in her ex-parents' affections, etc. Instead, I got a book about an interesting young woman who has to contend with upheaval in her life (of which not really being in line for a throne is the least of her problems) and tantalizing glimpses of the ideas of politics behind a throne. Are royalty ever actually in charge? Who really manipulates world events? Happily it wasn't all politics--enough adventure and such to keep it interesting, and teasing glimpses of potential magic involvement. I also greatly enjoyed the fact that the main character doesn't fall miraculously in love with a hero, but meets some interesting men who each have their own appeal. Yes, there were some issues with convenient timing, the author has problems writing action, and she was bizarrely fixated on her main character wanting a bath and being dirty throughout her adventures, but all things I could live with. I think I'll pick up the sequel. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
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To my parents, who sort of gave me the idea...
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It might have been chance that kept my attention tight across the street and upon the mud-splattered gypsy van, but I doubted it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441013554, Mass Market Paperback)

The Princess Contessa of Constenopolie has just learned of her true identity-that of an orphan adopted and raised as a decoy to protect the real princess. That doesn't make Contessa less of a royal target.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:04 -0400)

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