When a beautiful princess refuses to marry the prince her father has chosen, her father is furious and locks her in a tower. She has seven long years of solitude to think about her insolence. But the princess is not entirely alone – she has her maid, Dashti. Petulant and spoilt, the princess eats the food in their meagre store as if she were still at court, and Dashti soon realises they must either escape or slowly starve.
But during their captivity, resourceful Dashti discovers that there is something far more sinister behind her princess’s fears of marrying the prince, and when they do break free from the tower, they find a land laid to waste and the kingdom destroyed. They were safe in the tower, now they are at the mercy of the evil prince with a terrible secret…
Recommended For: 12+
Themes: Loyalty, friendship, family, class issues, religion
LGBTQIA+ Content: None
This is an interesting twist on the princess in the tower trope. Told from the point of view of loyal maid Dashti as she records events in her diary, we’re treated to interesting worldbuilding and a plot that keeps your attention, though becomes predictable nearer the end.
Dashti is a fine character, though her lack of any true flaws did grate on me after a time. She’s loyal and true, a “Mucker” – one of the common folk- whose songs can being peace and healing. She’s good to the point of being too good, though I was still rooting for her as the book went on.
A unique world with enough to keep my attention, this book would probably be suited to the younger end of the YA market. No LGBTQIA+ content.