July 3, 2012 by Alice in Readerland
“Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy–she’s the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Facade Agency, and the youngest to ever be a full-time sub. But now with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who’s a Facade legacy and secretly a sub for princes As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in Facade’s perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency’s dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.”
Title: A Farewell to Charms (Princess for Hire #3)
Author Lindsey Leavitt
Publishing Date: June 26th, 2012
*Warning: This review contains spoilers for those who have not read the first 2 books in the Princess for Hire series, Princess for Hire and The Royal Treatment.*
I have to admit, I was pretty excited about this book, it even made my list of top summer book releases . In Leavitt’s first book in the series, Princess for Hire, we meet the Desi, our sweet and quirky lead who wants to make an impact. I loved watching Desi grow and ended up gasping at the fantastic cliffhanger left in the second installment in the series, The Royal Treatment. By the end of The Royal Treatment, not only does Desi realize that Reed might have been subbing for Karl at the same time she was subbing for Elsa, but she also finds out that Façade runs partly on stolen magic. What will she do?
I’m happy to say that A Farewell to Charms was a satisfying conclusion to this fun series. It wrapped up all the loose ends, and kept readers entertained throughout with Desi subbing for a kick-butt princess (who is more than meets the eye), Desi finding out who her official princess match is, and a shocking twist and the end.
This book was definitely a lot more action-packed then the previous two. I also appreciated Desi’s struggling relationship with her best friend, Kylie. Normally, I hate these rifts between friends in novels, but I was pleased with how Leavitt handled it. I could sympathize both with Kylie, who just wants her best friend to tell her the truth, and with Desi who so badly wants to tell Kylie what’s really going on. Leavitt also adds her signature bit of humor to the situation, such as in chapter 3:
“My skin tingled with empathy, and I closed my eyes hoping that some magical solution would come. How could I fix this?
A little voice in the back of my head whispered: Go tell her about your magic.
Oh, yeah. Truth. That would help. She’d totally believe that. I’m sure Façade would love that, too. I squeezed my eyes even tighter and asked myself, my magic, again. What do I do?
Give her a hug.
I kicked a nearby locker. Seriously, magic. A hug? A HUG?
Unless you’re a cuddly woodland creature in a cheery musical cartoon, a hug doesn’t fix anything. Thanks for nothing.”
I also loved Princess Vanna, a princess who Desi subs for. When Meredith sends Desi a list of talents to gain in order to sub for Princess Vanna, Desi is shocked to see “coding and advanced computer technology”, “lock-picking”, “fencing”, and “build up a tolerance to pain” on the list. And like Desi says, “I had a feeling this job was not going to involve a ball gown.” This sub job is one of the most exciting ones that Desi’s had yet.
Another highlight for me was Desi’s fight with Façade about the stolen magic, especially the part that involved Desi, Meredith, and the stolen magic. I can’t tell you any more about that without giving too much away, but not only was it one of my favorite parts of this book, it’s one of my favorite parts of the series.
Funny, exciting, and full of adventure, this was a satisfying conclusion to a great series.
Cynical Cindy Says:
I think there was a bit too much packed into this book. The “surprise” Desi faces at home, the stolen magic, the was-Reed-really-Karl thoughts, I-found-my-match-but-am-subbing-for-another-princess-while-I’m-with-my-match angle, and the whole ending bit with Façade just made the book feel too rushed, too packed, and unanchored.
3 out of 5 teacups
Here are the covers for all 3 Princess for Hire books: