Being the daughter of a powerful duke is hard work — you’re pretty much a princess without the big title, and everyone knows being a princess can be rather demanding — but throw in some espionage and your life gets even more complicated. In Melanie Dickerson’s The Princess Spy, Margaretha reluctantly becomes a spy and must suss out her betrothed’s true intentions before it’s too late. Today, Margaretha spills the beans on the dos and don’ts of being a princess and a spy. See what she has to say:
I have been asked by Melanie Dickerson to offer a brief tutorial on being a princess and a spy. I think she was partially in jest, since I am the daughter of a duke and not a princess. But my father rules the Hagenheim region of The Holy Roman Empire (the German portion). He might as well be the king, and that would make me a princess, of sorts.
As a princess, see yourself as a servant of the people, someone humble and not proud, realizing it is sometimes necessary to get her hands dirty, perhaps helping nurse a young man from England who has been beaten and left for dead but who may turn out to be and quite handsome, once you get the dirt and blood cleaned off his face. (Am I talking too much? My little brothers always say I talk too much.)
If you wish to be a spy, first, you must be able to keep a secret. This was difficult for me, but I overcame my natural inclination for chatter as to not endanger others. So you see, keeping a secret can be quite important.
Secondly, it is helpful to know multiple languages. A spy never knows when they might need to eavesdrop on a foreigner who has come to their castle to deceitfully and forcefully overtake it. As a spy, you will need to discover their plan. It is good to learn even obscure words like flibbertigibbet so that when your future husband calls you one, you will know he is not being complimentary at all.
Thirdly, a spy should be brave and willing to do battle with whatever one finds at hand. For instance, I helped save Hagenheim with a silver candlestick as a weapon. You might find some other common object just as helpful — your table knife, a metal wall sconce or even an iron kettle that is not too big to lift over your head. War is messy. A spy must be willing to do battle.
And lastly, if you are both a princess and a spy, you must put the needs of your people ahead of your romantic interest in the handsome young man who is helping to bring your enemy to justice. Innocent lives are at stake, and once you’ve saved your family, castle and town, there will be plenty of time for declarations of love. Trust me. I am both a princess (of sorts) and a spy, and I know whereof I speak.
— Margaretha and Melanie Dickerson
Go on a wild and romantic adventure with Margaretha by picking up a copy of The Princess Spy today! For more YA princesses, spies and more, visit our Everything YA page.