“This past summer, the priests of the creator god took council on the birthday of the prince. They read the omens and divined the home of his future bride. All the signs indicated Mount Eskel.”

When the Lowlanders come up to Mount Eskel, a small settlement on top of a mountain, and declare that one of the girls is the future princess, and later, queen, it throws the village into an uproar. The Lowlanders say that all the girls, aged 12 to 17, must attend a princess academy, since everyone on mount Eskel is ignorant in reading and writing, things that would matter as a princess. so when they come over and declare that they all have to go, and leave the mountain for several months at a time, their answer is certain. They can’t spare the hands, the only thing that the people of mt. Eskel can trade with is linder, a rock that they quarry. To do this, they use everyone. that is the rule. but it doesnt seem to apply to Miri, although she wish it would. Smaller and slimmer than everyone she knows, for some reason her Father won’t let her work in the quarry, which makes her feel like an outcast. Although it would be harder without the girls, the lowlanders have soldiers, and eventually the people of mt. Eskel go along with the plan. As the girls learn, Miri discovers the mystery of why she isn’t allowed in the quarry, and slowly learns about how to change the fortunes of her people around.

Miri knew lowlanders would never allow a crown to sit on a mountai girl’s head. But what if she were chosen? She could have a better life for herself and her family in the rich, green valleys of the lowlands. That would be any girl’s wish – wouldn’t it?

I loved this book. I would definatly give it 4 1/2 to 5 stars out of five stars. I think it has just the right amount of romance. The plot is wonderful. I think that Shannon Hale got the perfect mixture in this book. I would recomend this mostly to girls aged 10- up.

With sickening terror, Miri thought she understood. Esa was telling her to run.

I have also read one other of Shannon Hale’s books, called The Goose Girl and it was just as good, if not better, than this one. I haven’t read her other ones, so I can’t pass judgement on those, but if you want my opinion, which you obviously do, since you are reading this, lol, you should read these. here is Shannon Hale’s site.