Ben Holiday, Chicago lawyer and mere mortal turned monarch of enchanted Landover, has grappled with many things, none of whom have prepared him for a teenage daughter. Sent by Ben and his beloved sylph bride, Willow, to an exclusive girls' prep school, headstrong (and half-magical) Mistaya Holiday has found life in the natural world a less than perfect fit. And when her latest rebellious antics get her indefinitely suspended, she's determined to resume her real education--learning sorcery from court wizard Questor Thews--whether her parents like it or not. But back home in Landover, Mistaya's frustrated father is just as determined that the precocious princess learn some responsibility, and he declares her grounded until she successfully refurbishes the long-forsaken royal library. Mortified by the prospect of salvaging a king's ransom in moldy books--and horrified by word that repulsive local nobleman Lord Laphroig seeks to marry her--Mistaya decides that the only way to run her own life is to run away from home.