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Can't remember the title of a book


There was a book that I read about ten years ago that was one of the books that really got me into fantasy in the first place. One of the main characters was a princess. Her father had returned from war, which he'd won, with the captured and enslaved prince of the fallen nation in tow as a gift for her; she frees him and he is brought up with the other young men of the court. When the king dies several years later at the hands of a evil bastard who wants the throne, the prince is blamed; meanwhile, that evil bastard manouvers to marry the princess and becomes king himself. the prince escapes and runs off, building up a new life in another country where he works for the king of that country leading a sort of crack team or elite spy-soldiers, sort of. Meanwhile the princess finally escapes by cutting off her hair (which I think was ginger) and swapping plaits with the maid, who is loyal to the evil guy, and pretending to be the maid (now unconsious). There was something about the Queen using secret knots to communicate with the king the prince works for, and archery was a key theme - the prince was the best archer and taught the princess to be good too.

The funny thing is, when I bought it at a booksale at school, it was plastic wrapped along with Howl's Moving Castle, another book which really got me into fantasy and which remains in my top 5 favourite books ever. I bought both for about £4.

I want to read it again but it's not on my bookshelf and I don't know what happened to it - it must have been sold when I got rid of about half my books before I came to univeristy four years ago. But if I know what it's called and who it's by, I can see if the local library has it or get it from Amazon.