Put simply, I was not disappointed by Palace of Lies! Haddix’s latest novel builds the story of Princess Desmia, a supporting character in Palace of Mirrors. I enjoyed watching how she grew from being constantly skeptical to learning to accept friendship. There is a lively cast of characters that expands gradually to encompass nearly all social classes of the royal kingdoms. Major characters from the series, like Ella, Jed, and Cecilia, make appearances. Of course, so do the villains – evil Lord Throckmorton and crafty Madame Bissel can’t seem to stop grabbing for power. However, a brief recap at the beginning of the book ensures that readers don’t have to start the series in sequential order to understand the plot. The story flows well from those books, but each read is an exciting new adventure with a different princess in the spotlight. The imagery used for the multiple settings and the varied clothing described really helps the reader sink into this royal tale. Many pages of verbal battling plus a dash of phyical fighting adds drama. Palace of Lies is a wonderful read for girls ten and up who love princesses, palace intrigue, and adventure!