While not my favorite book by Hale, it was certainly enjoyable. Being unfamiliar with the original Grimm tale, "Maid Maleen," I read it to compare the two--but there was not comparison. Hale has taken such a simple story and created a beautiful fabrication, centering her tale on the maid instead of the princess. The princess was a frustrating character, whom I wanted to punch in the nose on multiple occasions, but Dashti and the prince were so sweet and endearing. The evil prince gave some suspense and drama, and I applaud the addition. She weaves her tale on the central Asian steppes and I couldn't help but think of another of my favorite tales I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade
. Her characters are strong and the story is vastly intriguing.