Published: February 2004
Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a thrilled audience of Addie, their governess, and the young sorcerer Rhys.
But when Meryl falls ill with the dreaded Gray Death, Addie must gather her courage and set off alone on a quest to find the cure and save her beloved sister. Addie takes the seven-league boots and magic spyglass left to her by her mother and the enchanted tablecloth and cloak given to her by Rhys—along with a shy declaration of his love. She prevails in encounters with tricky specters (spiders too) and outwits a wickedly personable dragon in adventures touched with romance and a bittersweet ending.
This is technically not a YA novel, but if you are a fairytale fan, or a fan of Gail Carson Levine, and you haven't read this one yet, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.