This book is the best!!!! I'm doing a book report for it, and I stumbled upon this page. A more modern version of Cinderella with lots of new twists and surprises, this book is about a girl named Ella who at birth was given the "gift" of obedience. Her mother dies and Ella is sent to a finishing school. Hattie and Olive, the girls Ella was with on the journey, make her life miserable. Hattie finds out that Ella is obedient and uses it. At finishing school, Ella's only solace is in her best friend, Areida. Hattie doesn't like the friendship and orders Ella to end her friendship. Ella is devastated and leaves school in order to avert the order. She is determined to find the fairy who gave her the gift of obedience so she can take it away. She is attacked by ogres on her way to a giant's farm, where the fairy is. Her father also happens to be there. She is saved by the Prince Char. When she gets to the giant's farm, she meets the fairy but she does not take the gift back. She goes home with her father who tries to force her to remarry in order to regain their fortune. It doesn't work out, so her father marries Dame Olga, the father of Hattie and Olive. As soon as her father goes away, Dame Olga turns ncElla into a servant. Ella is very unhappy, but she and Char have been writing letters to each other. She falls in love with Char, but doesn't know how he feels about her. One day she gets a letter from Char saying that he loves her and wants her to marry him. Ella wants to, but she realizes that if she marries Char someone would figure out that she is obedient and use it to harm Char. She writes a letter to Char pretending to be Hattie that says Ella is a flirt who was decieving him all along. Ella's heart is broken, and she desperately wants to see Char again. Her chance comes when a ball is being held to welcome Char back home. She decides to go, but she is masked and won't let Char see her face. She pretends to be someone named Lela. Char becomes friends with Lela. On the third night of the ball, Hattie snatches off Ella's mask and Char sees that she is Ella. Ella flees and Char follows her. Ella breaks down crying, saying that the letter wasn't true and she loves him. Char is happy, and asks her to marry him. Ella knows she can't, but Hattie wants Char to marry Ella because she can force Ella to give her money. Hattie orders her to marry Char. Ella won't let the words come out of her mouth. She breaks the curse and marries Char. This is an unbelievable book that everyone should read. It has romance, fantasy, and adventure. This book gets two thumbs way up for me!