This is a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm that Shannon Hale has adapted. It shares similarities with The Goose Girl, by the same author, as well as Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine. Dashti is a makes her way to the city after her mother's death, and finds work in the palace. By pure chance, she swears allegiance to Lady Saren immediately before that lady is sentenced to be locked up in a tower for seven years. Accordingly, Dashti is imprisoned with her, and they are forced to fight with rats over their stores of food, in addition to battling off the evil man who wants to marry Lady Saren, who is too depressed to be of much use.
This book is an interesting adventure for older readers who enjoy fairy tales. Some more mature content makes this more appropriate for middle school readers than for those in upper elementary.
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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