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The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook

The Decoy Princess (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Dawn Cook (Author)

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5072120,055 (3.78)19
Title:The Decoy Princess
Authors:Dawn Cook (Author)
Info:Ace (2005), Edition: Reissue, 368 pages
Collections:Already Read, Your library, Audio Book
Tags:fantasy, magic, princess, romance, young adult

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The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (2005)


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This is the first book in Cook’s Princess duology. Dawn Cook also writes as Kim Harrison. I enjoyed this fun fantasy adventure novel. The book is very YA in tone and is mostly about the heroine figuring out who she is (both in an actual and more philosophical sense).

I listened to this on audiobook and it was decently done. It wasn’t my favorite audiobook because I didn’t like the voice the narrator used for Tess and found it distracting. I never really got used to it. I would recommend reading this on in paperback rather than listening to it.

Tess has been raised as the crown princess of Costenopolie for her whole life (at least as much of her life as she can remember). However when a neighboring kingdom makes a bid for the throne through marriage Tess finds out she’s just a decoy.

This leaves Tess reeling. She is fleeing for her life and desperate to do what she can to help her people and kingdom...except they aren’t really her people or her kingdom now...so where does that leave her? Tess is an interesting heroine; she has mad ninja-like skills from her training but is also strangely naive because of her sheltered upbringing in the castle. This gets her into trouble more than once.

I really enjoyed our heroine and her struggles with her own identity and purpose in life. They were easy to relate to and fun to read about. There is a lot of action and adventures in this book as well. There is some romance but it is fairly light and not a huge part of the story.

Overall I enjoyed this YA fantasy adventure and plan on reading the second book in the series. Tess is a fun heroine and entertaining. I would recommend to those who enjoy YA fantasy adventure “princess” stories. ( )
  krau0098 | Sep 10, 2017 |
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 |
  Ebeth.Naylor | Sep 30, 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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