In this compelling and thought-provoking fantasy set in the world of The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine introduces a spirited heroine who must overcome deeply rooted prejudice—including her own—to heal her broken country.
Peregrine strives to live up to the ideal of her people, the Latki—and to impress her parents: affectionate Lord Tove, who despises only the Bamarre, and stern Lady Klausine. Perry runs the fastest, speaks her mind, and doesn’t give much thought to the castle’s Bamarre servants, whom she knows to be weak and cowardly.
But just as she’s about to join her father on the front lines, she is visited by the fairy Halina, who reveals that Perry isn’t Latki-born. She is Bamarre. The fairy issues a daunting challenge: against the Lakti power, Perry must free her people from tyranny.
A prequel to Levine's The Two Princesses of Bamarre, this story draws on elements of that book, including appearances from the fabled hero Drualt and the magical "seven league" boots, but is set generations earlier. Fifteen-year-old Peregrine, aka Perry, has been raised by stern but loving Lakti parents, trained in the art of war, and served by the conquered people of Bamarre. After being visited by the fairy Halina, Perry discovers that her ancestry is Bamarre, a truth her mother has kept hidden. When Perry's father learns of her origins, Perry must flee or lose her life. In an attempt to save the Bamarre, she lives disguised among them and must confront her learned biases and rally her people against the authoritarian Lakti government. Perry's struggle to reconcile her father's love for her with his deep hatred of the Bamarre resonates, as does her burgeoning and nuanced definition of strength. Her growing awareness of prejudice and ethnocentrism is insightful and believable; readers will easily connect her journey to their own experiences. Ages 8 12.