Palace of Mirrors
Cecilia knows that she is not just another peasant girl; she is actually the true princess, in hiding until the evil forces that killed her parents are vanquished. A commoner named Desmia is on the throne as a decoy.
As she gets older, Cecilia finds it harder to study statesmanship and palace protocol secretly at night and then pretend that she has nothing on her mind other than scrubbing the gruel stains out of her best apron by day.
Cecilia knows that it is time to take charge. Along with her best friend, Harper, she flees to the capital city, determined to reclaim her throne and face the danger head on.
When Harper and Cecilia reach the famed Palace of Mirrors, they discover complications: Princess Desmia believes an entirely different version of the story.
Acclaimed author Margaret Peterson Haddix returns to the charmed world of Just Ella, where a princess-in-hiding and a pretender to the throne discover that nothing is as it appears.
Cecilia has not lived all of her life in a remote village with Nanny, though that's what everyone thinks. When she was very young, she lived with her mother and father, the King and Queen of Suala, in the famed Palace of Mirrors, but then the murderers came and Sir Stephen smuggled her away to safety. In her place he left a common girl, Desmia, to sit on the throne as a decoy until the murderers could be aprehended and Cecilia could reclaim her birthright- but fourteen years later, the murderers are closing in on Cecilia, not Desmia, and she is still no closer to the Palace, so she decides to take matters into her own hands.
This book is a sequel of sorts to Just Ella, which I read years and years ago and don't really remember all that well, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was a quick read- I read it in one very short sitting. All the while, kept my hand over the picture on the cover of the book, which is completely ridiculous and not suited to the story at all- the girls look like Precious Moments!
I mentioned that I enjoyed this book despite not remembering Just Ella very well, but I have to amend that to say that if I had had a clearer recollection of Ella Brown, her appearance would probably have been my favorite part of the story; this is a book where it's beneficial, though probably not necessary, to read the prequel before the sequel.