Nalia has led a privileged life as princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, until her sixteenth birthday. Nalia is then told that she is not really the princess. She has simply been a stand-in for the real princess, living in hiding until she came of age. Now known as Sinda, the false princess is shipped back to an aunt that she doesn't know to live a poor, meager life. But Sinda has a latent talent for magic. When she returns to the city to study magic, Sinda reunites with her childhood friend and discovers an incredible secret that will affect the entire kingdom.
Nalia/Sinda is a complicated girl, who faces adversity with strength and humility. She's easy to like, and though at first naïve, Sinda learns from her mistakes and always tries to do the right thing, even at the sake of her own safety. Her friendship-turned-romance with her childhood friend Keirnan is sweet and endearing.
The story is completely engaging from the very beginning, and proves impossible to put down. Full of drama, magic, suspense, and romance, this is an impressive debut. O'Neal's vibrant characters are matched with a fast-paced adventure and intrigue that was over way to soon.