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Audiobook Fantasy YA Review: The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook

The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (Princess #1)


copy thanks to Audible US

Synopsis from Goodreads
Princess Contessa of Costenopolie knows everything a royal should about diplomacy, self-defense, politics... and shopping. She ought to. She had every reason to believe that she was groomed to rule. But her next lesson is in betrayal...

The sudden arrival of her betrothed, a prince from the kingdom of Misdev, has forced Tess's parents to come clean: She's no princess. Their real daughter was raised in a nunnery for fear of assassins. Tess is nothing but a beggar's child bought off the streets as an infant and reared as a decoy.

So what's a royal highness to do when she discovers she's a royal target? Ditch the Misdev soldiers occupying the palace, use magical abilities she didn't even know she had, restore the real princess to the throne, and save her own neck. But first, Tess has to deal with the scoundrel who's urging her to run away from it all, and the Misdev captain who's determined to thwart her plans...

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository  | Audible US/UK

8/10

* * *
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!

* * *

Когда у меня появилась воможность прорецензировать подростковое фэнтэзи, написанное Ким Харрисон под  псевдонимом Доун Кук, естественно пропускать я её не стала! 

Маргерит Гэвин - прекрасная рассказчица, придавшая красочности и воплотившая в жизнь череду главных характеров. Книга слушается очень быстро, весело и легко.. Однако пусть беззаботный тон вас не обманывает  - здесь таятся и старые заговоры и кровавые перевороты и двуличные натуры, и под весёлыми шуточками тон довольно грустный и серьёзный.

Тэсс - юная, нахальная и беззаботная прнцесса Констинополи, мечтающая о встрече с принцем своей мечты, последующем житье вместе с ним и правлении своей страной долго и счастливо. Она не задаётся вопросом почему её наставник прививает ей с ранних лет серьёзный иммунитет к яду, учит её как пользоваться ядовитыми дротиками или смертоносной плетью а также тренирует её в ряде других, таких нехарактерных для принцесс искусств...

Однако её жизнь переворачивается вверх тормашками когда потенциальный жених, принц Гарретт, прибывает во дворец ранее обговорённого времени, и у её родителей не остаётся иного выбора как раскрыть тайну - Тэсс - двойник настоящей принцессы, которая всю свою жизнь пряталась в маленьком аббатстве, где её невозможно было найти наёмным убийцам.

Внезапно Тэсс теряет родителей, принц её мечты превращается в настоящего психопата, а капитан его гвардии гоняется за ней по всей стране во имя странных политических игр.

Вооружённая всего лишь несколькими из своих любимых дротиков, в компании очаровательного карточного мошенника, Тэсс полна решимости найти своего наставника вместе с настоящей принцессой и спасти свою страну от узурпатора.

Ожидайте увлекательных диалогов, девичьих вздохов по широте плеч Джека и Дункана, нелепых схем по моментальному обогащению и восхитительную смекалку главной героини, которая никогда не сдаётся, и предугадать хаотичные решения которой очень сложно...

Единственный минуc повествования - туманные объяснения Игры и Игроков, однако я ожидаю более детального объяснения в книге следуюшей. В общем, мило, задорно, рекомендую!

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