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KLIATTThere's a princess in distress, characters that represent light and dark, a brave prince, a death-defying quest, and a happy ending. But that's where the parallels to a traditional fairy tale end. The women characters are strong: they speak their minds, they listen to their hearts, they need no rescuing. Most of the male characters aren't afraid to be vulnerable, recognizing that strength resides alongside fear. The characters speak directly to the reader, a wonderful way to appeal to an audience. The message is vital—that the song of one's heart is waiting for us to hear it. That true tragedy is when we fail to listen to its message or follow its path to our true destiny. The prince and princess do walk off into the sunset in the end, but readers of all ages will delight in this story that abandons classic gender stereotypes and expectations. Reluctant readers might struggle with changes in the point of view, for many people tell this tale. Most of the time this occurs with the change of a chapter, but once the characters are established, only a page break alerts us to a new voice. This is an excellent text for a class—it will appeal to males and females alike and serve as an excellent springboard into a discussion about what lies within the heart. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Pulse, 186p., Ages 12 to 18.