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Children's LiteraturePrincess Nell wants nothing more than to become the new Imperial Wizard. She thinks that she fulfills the guidelines set down by a prophesy save one: she isn't a boy. Still, no other boys have finished the quest to reach the Imperial Wizard. When Nell is supposed to be sent to Witch's school, she finds a peasant boy, Owen, to impersonate her at school and allow Nell to set off for the Imperial Wizard. During her journey, she rescues a captive dragon and helps fairy folk find their way to a better life. Once she finds the Imperial Wizard, getting past the traps is only the beginning. Koller's fantasy may be a bit thin and cutesy at times, but the characters are engaging. At times Nell seems a little too powerful as a feminist heroine, especially when contrasted with the uneducated, bumbling Owen. However, powerful female characters are always welcome in the male-dominated fantasy world. While the fantasy and plot are cookie-cutter at some points (it doesn't get much more stereotypical than the princess/dragon/wizard triumvirate), the story is certainly entertaining. 2003, Aladdin, Ages 8 to 12.
— Amie Rose Rotruck