In this book, Lady Saren and her maid, Dashti, were sentenced to be locked in a tower for 7 years because of Saren refusing to marry the man her father chose for her. Dashti takes care of Saren while they are in the tower, even conversing with Saren's true love, Khan Tegus, for her when Saren was too depressed to. The two girls eventually escape the tower before the 7 years were up, and find Lady Saren's kingdom destoyed, and her family murdered. They make their way to Khan Tegus' land, where it will take courage, caring, and wit to defeat the bad guy and get a happily ever after ending.
This book is based on a Grimm fairytale "Maid Maleen", which I have never heard of. I enjoyed the story. In this story, the maid Dashti was a very strong, nuturing, loyal character, who was willing to help the Lady Saren long after most people would have abandoned her. Hale does a good job of describing the tower, and the darkness within it.
One thing that I did not like was that the timeline was confusing to me. The book is written in diary form, and the days are numbered, but after they escape, Dashti starts back at Day 1 (as a symbol of their new freedom). It therefore made it hard for me to follow how long things took, time-wise. Other than that, there wasn't much that I didn't like about this book.
While this was not my favorite Shannon Hale book, I do think that it was a really good read, and recommend it to everyone.