As in Goose Girl, Hale is rewriting a lesser known fairy tale, Maid Maleen. The story of a princess, noble woman in this case, who refuses to wed her father's choice, declaring her heart belongs to another. She and her maid are locked in a tower for seven years, or until she relents. Told in the first person journal entries of the maid Dashti, the voice in this book is genuine and intelligent. The character of Dashti is glorious. She so full of integrity she doesn't question the unjustness of her situation, but uses her wits and talents to keep herself and her mistress alive and mostly sane. Hale's made up world is based on the history of Mongolia, very unique. The fantasy elements are subtle as they are in all her books. Terrific ending.