Alanna and Thom are twins, but they don’t have very much in common. Alanna loves sword fighting and horseback riding, while Thom is quiet, studious, and dreams of becoming a sorcerer. Unfortunately their father has other plans: he thinks Alanna needs to learn needlework and manners so she can be a proper lady, and he wants to send Thom to become a knight.
Suddenly faced with a miserable future, Alanna and Thom plan to switch places. Alanna will go to the castle dressed as a boy to become a knight, and Thom will go to the temple and ask to learn magic. It’s the perfect plot, and if it works, both of them will get what they want.
But life at the castle is harder than Alanna expected. In addition to the hours of training every day – learning to fight, use weapons, strategize, and more – Alanna is thrown into the middle of intrigues both in and outside the castle, and finds herself making close friends – and terrible enemies. And when she and the prince are sent to face an ancient evil, she’ll need to use all of her gifts to keep her country – and herself – from certain doom.