When Ani is sent to marry the prince of the neighboring kingdom or Bayern, she is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting and several of her guards during the journey. Running for her life, she stumbles upon a forest family who takes her in. While they are kind, Ani know she cannot stay with them but must try to reach the capital city in hopes of finding an ally. Early discouragements nearly undo her, but she takes a position helping to care for the king's geese. As Ani makes friends in this new place, she begins to form a plan to reclaim her destiny.
Shannon Hale writes such sweet stories. They are lyrical and leaving a lasting sigh of light satisfaction on the reader's soul. Sometimes I became frustrated with Ani and her lack of backbone, but in the end I can't imagine her story being told any other way. Even though Ani is is sixteen this is a fantastic book for tween and younger teen girls.