Susan Maupin Schmid
In this part-fantasy, part-mystery, Darling overhears a plot to release the stone dragons of the castle and take over the kingdom. Using the magic of the dresses, she seeks a way of thwarting the villains.
This book is charming, funny and well written. Despite being well over the intended audience age, I was captured from the first page and enjoyed reading all the way through. Darling is well-rounded and believable--the kind of girl one would want for a friend and a heroine that any child could safely emulate.
Schmid is an excellent writer, and used several fun descriptive passages, such as "The fabric slipped on like butter over toast. . . " and "(the word) hung in the air of the dressing room like a damp petticoat on a laundry line."
The only potential problem with this book is it's length. At nearly 300 pages, it is, perhaps, too long of a novel for readers of the younger end of the suggested age-range. Older pre-teens, though, would be a perfect audience.
This book was such a joy to read--enough so that I, as an adult, plan to watch out for the next installment of Darling's story.
(I was given this book to read by the Amazon Vine program in return for an honest review.)