A retelling of the Goose Girl, Khanani introduces us to Princess Alyrra who is soon to be betrothed to the Crown Prince Kestrin. She travels to his kingdom with her handmaiden where the Lady, a fae folk, switches their appearances and uses this to capture Kestrin. Distraught, Alyrra has to warn him of the fake princess and the soon coming danger to his life. She soon realizes that he’s aware of this, and Alyrra comes to accept her new life. She takes on the position of a goose girl and the new name of Thorn. The handmaiden sets out to make the goose girl’s life miserable, and Kestrin gets suspicious of her. Thorn comes to the choice whether she should do what's right and return to the life she hates, or continue living with her new family and job. Thorn’s main value is justice. Something rare in this new kingdom. She realizes that what happened to her on the trip was painful, but it gave her opportunities she otherwise would not have. Prince Kestrin takes notice of Thorn’s behavior, and takes an interest in her. Their relationship values trust and isn’t fully based on romantics, but rather a friendship. He soon enough suspects the imposter princess to not be Alyrra, and starts to gather information in small pieces. The imposter, Valka, sets out to become a queen. Something she would’ve become if not for Alyrra exposing her for a crime. With the Lady’s help she can do just that, as long as she fulfills her wishes first. The Lady’s hate for Kestrin comes from the murder of her mother being someone in Kestrin’s Lineage.
This book incorporates topics such as kidnappers, sexual assault, physical violence, and justice to only the wealthy. In addition shows a healthy relationship, and family not tied by blood. The writing was amazing. It reminded me of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice a bit. The descriptions were phenomenal, and I would love to read more by this author. In conclusion, I gave this book four out of five stars, because the pace was either too fast or too slow. The beginning was very long, and other parts of the book were very quick.