Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a princess tale of mistaken identities. The character, Ella, from Haddix's earlier book, Just Ella, makes an appearance, but this new book isn't really a sequel. The story stands on its own.
The characters were the best thing about the book. The setting is your typical princess book setting, a very well behaved Medieval Europe that has been through the wash a few times so as not to horrify the kids. As for the story, some very important plot points were a little beyond my willing suspension of disbelief. But the characters were great! I almost didn't mind where the characters were or what was happening to them - I liked them so much.
But the reason I am going to buy this book, besides the fact that I'm a dedicated Haddix fan, is that she did her research on harps! I loved the details on harp-playing in the book, all accurate by the way, and wished for even more. It makes me wonder if Haddix plays the harp, knows a harper, or simply spent hours on the internet reading everything she could find.
Girls ages 9-12 should adore this unusual twist on the "princes raised as a peasant" theme.