In the village of Varenia, all girls are trained to be the most beautiful and charming, so that they may be chosen at the ceremony to marry the prince of Ilara. Nor and her identical twin sister Zadie are born undoubtedly as the most beautiful in Varenia, but a childhood incident gives Nor a small scar on her face. In a village that believes the beauty of a woman is all she has, this scar makes her damaged goods. This takes the burdens of being perfect off of her, allowing her to help her family as the village begins to suffer. When Zadie is chosen at the ceremony to become the prince's wife, it is no surprise to anyone, but each sister longs for what the other has. Nor wants to leave the small village and see the world, and Zadie wants to stay and marry her love in Varenia. In a twist of fate, they both get what they believe they want, and while Zadie learns her own strength in a new world of lies and obsession, she may also lose everything she holds most dear.
This coming-of-age story makes you cheer for the underdog and scream in support of the power of a woman. Zadie, who comes from one of the poorest villages, fights for her beliefs and values as a woman in a man’s world and survives unquestionable odds.
--Danielle, Reference Librarian