By Lynne Reid Banks
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-- Dakin, 15, is pretty, talented, and has a mind of her own. At age ten, she had set herself three goals: to go to the farthest-away mountain, to see a gargoyle, and to marry a prince. When she hears a voice from the mountain calling her, she responds at once. She is to free the mountain from the evil that has controlled it for 200 years, find the missing Ring of Kings before the evil Master does, and return it to the Prince. Dakin charges ahead and does what must be done, mostly using her own courage but with some help from enchanted beings. In completing her quest, she also accomplishes her own goals, including getting her prince, although not a royal one. This book is less engrossing than Banks’ very successful Indian in the Cupboard (Avon, 1982). Dakin is too good, and the outcome too predictable (her prince is an enchanted frog at the story's beginning). The ending rambles on too long after the destruction of the evil, and the message--that evil can take over if good people are afraid to stand up to it--is stated too often and obviously. Also, the text is condescendingly riddled with italicized words that detract from the flow of the story.