This book turned out to be more fun than expected. When I got this book, I was thinking it would simply be a pre-teen/young teen book that my niece could enjoy. What I didn't expect is how much I enjoyed it! The book starts off in current time with Kristina leaving school when her teacher gives her a hat box. That night, she hears a strange noise and soon finds herself in another world, not her own! A world filled with fairies, gnomes, dwarves and a wicked queen! She is told that she must save the land from the false queen and break the curse that has dwelled over the land. Lucky for her she is not alone. She has her pet rat, Raymond with her. And in this new land he can now talk!So the journey begins. Along the way she meets up with Prince Werrien, Clover, the raven Roage (a character I easily came to love), and more. Yet she is not the only one to enter this strange world. Two of her classmates (and school bullies) and her nasty baby-sitter also find themselves in this new place. Yet Kristina does not realize they too are there so these three become easy targets for the queen. This leads to my favorite line in the book when the Queen and her son learn of the humans arrival. "They're popping up like a bad skin rash" I couldn't help but laugh at that. The son, Ramon, just seems so flabbergasted at the idea of humans. So the chessboard is set and the pieces move. Yet they refuse to follow the rules! So many characters switch sides, good to bad and bad to good. You never know who to trust. I loved this as a reader. It really keeps you guessing. The evil queen reminded me strongly of the Queen from 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.' Especially when her servant is trying to row her across the water, and a storm kicks up he is stuck rushing to keep water out of the boat while she just sits there. Really?! So then she became the Lazy, evil queen.Overall, very nicely done. Easy enough for an older child (say age 9-10) to read, but with enough plot and context for teenagers and even adults with an inner child yearning for those magical days once again. I won this book in a raffle giveaway. This is a fair and honest review.