Four orphaned sisters disguise themselves as men so as to go out into the world and learn a trade. Once each sister has become highly skilled, they join the household of a young king where they rescue a princess and her brothers from the clutches of a dragon. After they've proven that they are not only skilled but courageous, intelligent, insightful, and wise, they have to face one more challenge. Will they continue to convince the king that they're men? And having met four young princes, do the four sisters want to?
Eric A. Kimmel has combined and reformulated two Grimm Brothers stories to give us a view of girls who are active and powerful and good-who do the rescuing themselves and end up living happily ever after. The story takes place in a richly textured court filled with traditional splendor, which Tatyana Uditskaya modeled after sixteenth-century Flemish and Spanish paintings.