Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, is born with the ability to speak to animals, a gift that is nurtured by her aunt. When the king dies, the queen announces that Ani's younger brother, not the crown princess, will succeed her on the throne. Unbeknownst to anyone, the queen has promised Ani in marriage to the prince of neighboring Bayern. The devastated teen is sent with a retinue over the mountains to Bayem and is betrayed by Selia, her lady-in-waiting, and most of her guards during the journey. Ani escapes, takes the name "Isi," disguises her distinctive blonde hair, and becomes a tender of geese to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim her crown from the imposter, Selia. - Amazon.com
What I loved most about this book was Ani. Seems obvious, but really it's hard to have the main character be your favorite part of a story. She is given seemingly insurmountable trials, and yet she faces them head on, and not for love of a boy. She does it for love of her country and for love of herself. She discovers that she is worth something and therefore is worth fighting for. That is a lesson I think a lot of us need to learn.
The book itself seemed a little long and sometimes tedious, but when trying to imagine which parts I'd cut out, I couldn't think of any. I was pleasantly surprised when the twist came and I shouted, "I knew it!" That's always a good reaction.
I'm very much looking forward to reading the other Books of Bayern.