When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights, she knew she was heading into danger. She didn’t know she’d find a family unlike any other.
Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and restocks the fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death … a death that has more questions than answers.
Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Sir Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything …
The Tale of Mally Biddle is a republication of For the Kingdom by M.L. LeGette.
Filled with hidden agendas, secret passageways, and characters of varying social classes and facades, The Tale of Mally Biddle is a wonderful YA mystery adventure centered on discovery. Discovering the truth behind the deaths of an entire royal family. Learning more than truth but also courage, love, the world, and one’s place in it. Knowing thyself when you think you already do.
A once-prosperous kingdom, Lenzar deteriorates under the rule of oppressing knights who are seemingly more powerful than the new king. Too-high taxes are taken by brutal force and destruction if not freely given. The kingdom’s prized landmarks are boarded and guarded. The people are jailed for the most minor offenses, such as uttering the late king’s name. But sometimes gold coins appear in the homes of those struggling, and there are whispers of the princess not being dead.
Mally Biddle, a sheltered commoner, is enlisted as a spy for a small, organized rebel group to discern what happened the night the infant princess died sixteen years prior. Though brave and willing, Mally begins to wonder if she’s in over her head. She doesn’t know how to be a maid. She draws attention with her looks, the questions she asks, and her concocted past that doesn’t add up when looked into too deeply. She soon finds herself a target, but by whom, she doesn’t know. The passive yet amicable king who saves her life seems unlikely. The head of knights too likely. But the danger to her matters little as she begins to unravel the mystery and truly believes the princess is alive.
While the answer to that was obvious since the beginning, I was thrown a few times. Just as I think I know who’s behind the coup, the deaths of the royal family, and the attacks on Mally, a sliver of doubt would creep in. Many characters were susceptible or at least seemed to play some part. Everyone had such depth, and though believable, their actions/reactions floored me.
I really liked Mally. She might be a little naive, headstrong, and too curious for her own good, but that’s what made her so endearing. She’s mature without being too serious, very independent but not stupid or selfish. The relationships she makes were fun and heart-warming. I really appreciated how there was a hint of a love triangle, but she quickly learned the difference between school-girl awe and infatuation and potential love. The romance was understated but still sweet, and it doesn’t drive the story or Mally in any way.
The Tale of Mally Biddle is a great read for younger YA, and advanced readers would enjoy it; there’s a nice amount of description, world-building, and intrigue. Very enjoyable for those looking for a quick Fantasy with a well-developed characters and a good message, too.
“To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!”
— April Holgate
Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |GoodreadsMelissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel. Her imaginary world is always fantastical.
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