Wren is a young orphan whose bff Tess confesses that far from being an orphan too, she's actually their country's princess. The time has come for Tess to stop hiding from her parents' enemies, and she takes Wren along to the palace for courage and companionship. Once there, they see the king and queen--but Tess is abruptly kidnapped! While the powerful nobility gather their forces for war, Wren slips away unnoticed to mount her own rescue attempt. She is quickly joined by two Mage prentices, who have secrets and causes of their own. The three young would-be-heroes undertake the quest together.
The plot itself is fairly simple and straightforward. It's the characterization that shines here. Wren is the very definition of "pluck": stalwart and true to her friends, always resourceful and cheerful. Far too many fantasy novels [i]tell[/i] us that the companions become friends, but this quest showcases their growing trust and friendship. And I 100% bought that Tess and Wren had been friends since infancy, from their in-jokes to their rock-hard belief in each other.
This is a really sweet fantasy novel, particularly for tweens. There's no forced romance, but there's loads of believable, heartfelt friendships and low-key heroism.