Straightforward fantasy that I would have totally, totally loved as a tween. (And that I really enjoyed now, as an adult.)
Nice upending of the long-lost princess trope, with plotting that ends up being more complex than it first appears.
Sinda is likable, thoughtful and bright, easy to relate to and, as she grows into herself, no pushover.
O’Neal explores the grief and anger that Sinda would understandably feel, but without ever letting that slow down the pace or bog down the storyline with any long-term Woe Is Me stuff.
If you just glance at the cover, it’s fine. But the closer you look, the more unsatisfying it gets: The girl’s neck is, like, Alice in Wonderland long, and the picture in the locket on the cover is distractingly Photoshopped in.
Story-wise, though: Except for a few moments at the beginning that were very Here Are A Few Points That Will Be Very Important Later, all good.