I have to say that this is my very favorite book. #1 since I was 10 years old!
This is a great story about a young girl, Meg, growing up in 13th century Scotland. She is the youngest of many daughters in a prosperous shipwright's family. Her eldest and most favorite sister, Inge, is a witch - which is well respected in their city. When Inge kills the Scottish king to advance her own station, events are set into motion that will change Meg's life!
But adventure and witchcraft aside, this is a story about Meg growing up. She is an interesting and very real character. She loves her family, and even Inge, she makes friends, learns how to run a merchant's household, and has a very strong will.
It is written in first person, and full of Scottish brogue. Ms. Hendry provides a glossary at the back of the book for some of the more obscure words. The dialect may make it hard for some children to read, but I have re-read it so many times I don't trip over words anymore. Although this book has some magic, it is NOT a true fantasy. Ms. Hendry has tried to make the time period as historically accurate (the exception being witchcraft) as possible, even including some real-life characters.
Even after all these years, I still can't seem to find the right words to describe how wonderful I found this story!