I have learned an important lesson: Trust Shannon Hale. This book has been on my 'to-read' list since I first read an interview Shannon Hale did with Sherwood Smith ages ago. Years ago, I think. I should have learned my lesson after I read My Fair Godmother. READ EVERYTHING SHANNON HALE RECOMMENDS. Or at least that applies to me. I think that Shannon Hale and I must have very similar tastes.
This is a fabulous book. Very Goose Girl-ish or Enna Burning-ish. It also reminded me of Robin McKinley in some ways. Excellent fantasy. Fabulous. (Did I already use that word?) Great coming of age story and I am literally attempting to kick myself for not requesting the sequel at the same time I requested this book. It's waiting for me now at the library and I can't wait to read what happens next in this story.