I can only say this: Off all the countess books I have read, few possess the heart of this one. It is a fairy tale. Death of family, an ancient and wild and tempting magic managed by a Witch, an Enchanted Forest, a Bandit King, an aging good Queen, a wolf, and Nine Speaking Stones.
And Ned the Witch's Boy. And Aine the Bandit King's Daughter. It has been an absolute delight getting to know you both, sharing in your joys and terrors and heartbreaks and forged friendship. To the sea!
(Caitlin, thank you so much for suggesting this way back when!! It has earned a special place on my shelves)