Who doesn't love a tale of the Kingdom? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should check out Cynthia Voigt's Kingdom series: Jackaroo, On Fortune's Wings, The Wings of a Falcon, and Elske. My favorite in the series is the second one, On Fortune's Wings.
This story is about a young woman who is engaged to be wed at the spring fair. But she isn't sure she wants to wed, and when she spies someone stealing her father's row boat after dark one night, she decides to pursue (even though she is a girl and shouldn't be out in the woods at night). When she overtakes the thief, a young man who isn't ready to claim his own future, they set out on an adventure together, not both as willing as the other, but since they happen to be both running away, it works to go together for the time.
Their story takes us down the river, into dark lands, into slavery and apprenticeship, through alchemy and restoration. It finally takes us home, and then away again.
What I love about this story is that it's about a meeting in the middle. The thief is high class, our young lady is an inn keeper's daughter. But it's more than just compromise, it's about learning how to be yourself, and learning how to treat others as humans, not as titles or ideas.
I have read this book at least ten times since I discovered it in junior high. I hope to read it at least ten more times in my life. In fact, I might have to go pick it up right now.