Needed a good but easy read last night, and this was perfect. Spirited young heroine, and a story full of heart. Ronia is born into a band of robbers- her father is the chief. They’re constantly at odds with a rival band in the forest- Ronia constantly hears the others insulted and scorned, but doesn’t think much of it as she spends all day exploring the forest. She doesn’t even realize what her father actually does for a living- stealing goods and money from travellers- and when it finally comes to light, she’s appalled that the father she so admires and loves does something so wrong to support his family. But there’s more to turn her world around- Ronia befriends a young boy who lives nearby- turns out he’s the son of the other robber band, which moved practically next door, so the friction between the two groups becomes even more heated. Ronia and Birk enjoy roaming the forest together, though not without having hot-headed disagreements now and then. I had mis-remembered some of the events in the story- I thought there was one battle with a particular large beast or monster, but really there’s several confrontations with various magical creatures in the forest- things that live underground, harpies that chase them. Once Ronia has a mishap while skiing in the winter and Birk rescues her, another time they both almost get swept over a waterfall. They half-tame some wild horses in the forest and go riding together. Their adventures cement their friendship, so when the respective families finally find out- and there’s a huge uproar- the two run off to live in a cave together. Will Ronia ever go back to her robber family? can her father change his ways? I was actually glad I’d forgotten so much, as it made reading this a delight all over again. Glanced back at my previous review, and wouldn’t change a word of it.