Fourteen-year-old Miri lives on a mountain where her ancestors have quarried stone and lived in poverty for generations. Then just before winter's first snowfall, a delegation from the lowlands arrive with exciting news. The king's priests have divined that her small village is the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince will come himself and chose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, where every girl of age will be sent to learn the skills of a princess. But there is no way Miri can prepare herself for what lies in store.More
2006 Newbery Honor Book
"This is not a fluffy, predictable fairy tale, even though it has wonderful moments of humor. Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home." (School Library Journal)
"Hale nicely interweaves feminist sensibilities in this quest-for-a-prince-charming, historical-fantasy tale. Strong suspense and plot drive the action as the girls outwit would-be kidnappers and explore the boundaries of leadership, competition, and friendship." (Booklist)
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A good, straightforward story