When Dashti pledges the oath to be a lady's handmaiden, she didn't realize it meant being locked in a tower for seven years and taking a journey that would change the world. Hale's characters are amazingly deep and complex--each of them has their own agenda, motivation, fears, and hopes. There are few writers with such fully fleshed-out characters. The writing style is lyrical, but not overwhelmingly so, and it never loses the freshness of Dashti's voice.
This is a longer novel with an intricate plot-line and may be more difficult for younger readers.
Estimated Reading Level: 6th grade