Review by Jill Williamson
Miri and her family live on the slopes of Mount Eskel, a village that survives by pounding linder stone from the mountain. Miri dreams of working alongside her family and friends in the quarry, but she is not allowed, she believes because she is too small.
Then a message arrives from the lowlands: the king’s priests have divined that the prince’s bride must come from Mount Eskel. A princess academy is formed to teach the mountain girls to read and have courtly manners. Miri is determined to be top of her class, academy princess, and prove that being small doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of big things. Then danger comes to the quarry and Miri must find a way to save her classmates.
This was a sweet story about a girl looking for her place in the world. I enjoyed Miri’s character, her boldness and the mistakes she made. Hale creates a simple and lovely storyworld on Mount Eskel. Miri’s goal starts out to prove herself, but the more she learns, her goal changes from selfish to selfless. She wants to help her people earn a fair living and she wants to be with her family and love them. I highly recommend this story for all girls who love a good fairy tale. This one has a wonderful twist that I enjoyed a great deal.