I actually wanted to read this book last year, after I read all of George's Dragon series, but it was never at the library and it got bumped down the priority list. I was very curious as to whether or not I would like her books outside of that story, whether she could spin a great tale with different characters. I was also drawn to this book as several fellow readers had high praise, and really, I'm a sucker for a quality fairytale retelling.
This is the story of a girl whose mother is so exasperated at finding not only that she was expecting again, but that the new baby was another girl that she didn't even bother to give her a name. She adores her eldest brother, but his return from work has left him changed for reasons she doesn't know. Along the way, this girl discovers she has a talent that ends up benefiting her and opening the possibility of adventure that will require her to cling to her courage and develop her wit.
This is really a beautiful book. I think the story telling is better than the Dragon series books, the characters mysterious and adorable, even the ones that shouldn't be. As I am not familiar with the original tale in all its variations, I'm not sure which parts are the original fairytale and which are George's imagination, but I adore her writing style, pacing and character development. She really is quite talented.