The Counterfeit Princess

The Counterfeit Princess

by Jane Resh Thomas
     
 


'Iris is only 15 when her parents are suddenly and violently hauled away from their country estate by her father’s enemy, the Duke of Northumberland. Forced to flee the only home she has ever known, Iris is hidden by her father’s friends and allies, who soon have the sad task of informing her that her parents are dead.
Despondent, and wanting…  See more details below

Overview


'Iris is only 15 when her parents are suddenly and violently hauled away from their country estate by her father’s enemy, the Duke of Northumberland. Forced to flee the only home she has ever known, Iris is hidden by her father’s friends and allies, who soon have the sad task of informing her that her parents are dead.
Despondent, and wanting revenge, Iris agrees to be trained as a spy by the duke’s foes, and then work undercover as a lowly kitchen maid.

A meeting with the young princess Elizabeth changes Iris’s life completely. Because of their resemblance to each other, Elizabeth invites Iris to join her court, where she mingles with lords and ladies and bravely consents to pose as Elizabeth in a desperate ploy to save the princess’s life.

This vivid historical novel from the author of Behind the Mask: The Life of Queen Elizabeth I plunges readers into the treacherous world of the English court. An unusual coming-of-age tale featuring a strong, active heroine, The Counterfeit Princess will appeal to princess fans everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Iris is well-drawn as a self-composed, strong-willed and capable girl . . . a fine read with spirited escapades." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews

"Intrigue and danger abound...Iris is well delineated and remains interesting as she grows and changes." SLJ School Library Journal

"Elizabeth's life is a rich trove for historical novelists...Iris is a strong-willed heroine." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"a fast-paced fictional account of a treacherous time in English history." HORN BOOK GUIDE Horn Book Guide

KLIATT
This historical novel won't exactly win over new readers to the genre, but for those already comfortable with reading about other times, other places, Thomas's novel about the struggles of young Elizabeth and her half-sister Mary in the chaos in Great Britain in the 16th century, this is a solid adventure story. The main character, Iris, is the only daughter of assassinated aristocrats, and as she vows to avenge their deaths, she becomes a spy for the Princess Elizabeth and her supporters. Since, like Elizabeth, she is a redhead, she is selected to act as a decoy to draw Elizabeth's enemies away from the princess—thus the title of the book. Iris is a strong, courageous person, filled with a combination of outrage and compassion. She yearns above all to return home to continue her parents' legacy; there is a promising romance that develops between her and a young man in Elizabeth's entourage, and plenty of action involving spies, chases, subterfuges, confrontations, and heroism. Thomas is comfortable writing about this period of history, with Behind the Mask: The Life of Queen Elizabeth I and The Princess in the Pigpen already to her credit. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, Clarion, 197p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 7 10-Intrigue and danger abound in 16th-century England as the young King Edward nears death and various factions vie for control of the throne. Iris, 15, finds herself embroiled in the treachery when her parents, the Earl and Countess of Bentham, are executed by the Duke of Northumberland and she is forced into hiding. Wanting revenge, she agrees to be trained as a spy for Princess Elizabeth and is also asked to act as her double, to lure Northumberland's men away. Soon after, Princess Mary and her Catholic supporters manage to overthrow Northumberland, and Princess Elizabeth is required to go to the royal court in London. She insists that Iris accompany her as a courtier and, once there, the girl has the satisfaction of seeing that Northumberland is in the Tower, awaiting execution. Iris is well delineated and remains interesting as she grows and changes. An afterword sets the novel in context. However, those unfamiliar with Tudor England may not understand what is going on or who all the players are. Readers may enjoy this book alongside other perspectives on the same events, such as Carolyn Meyer's Beware, Princess Elizabeth (2001) and Mary, Bloody Mary (1999, both Harcourt) and Ann Rinaldi's Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey (HarperCollins, 2005). Throw in Jane Yolen's The Queen's Own Fool (Philomel, 2000), about Mary, Queen of Scots, for a great mini-lesson on Tudor-Stuart Britain.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There's nothing like the mess Henry VIII left his children in to produce captivating historical fiction. Intrigue, politics, spies, princesses, noble and ignoble folk alike are all grist for the mill. Thomas's heroine Iris is an appealing young Protestant noblewoman whose parents, sympathetic to the princesses Mary and Elizabeth, are rounded up and murdered as part of the Duke of Northumberland John Dudley's plot to subvert Edward's throne. Pressed into service by Elizabeth's ally William Cecil, and hoping for revenge against Northumberland, Iris is trained in stealth and camouflage. The story calls to mind something of Cap O'Rushes-the noblewoman in disguise, the lost wealth and rank, the restoration of status in a royal house. And there's a handsome knight, as well. Iris is well-drawn as a self-composed, strong-willed and capable girl who evokes sympathy for her plight and admiration for her courage. Conscientious readers may be bemused rather than enlightened by glimpses into royal relationships and conspiracies, the religious conflict of the age could have been put more firmly into perspective, and there actually are too many Cooks-but overall, a fine read with spirited escapades. (Fiction. 11-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395938706
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Edition description:
None
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Jane Resh Thomas has written more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including the highly praised BEHIND THE MASK for Clarion. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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