Hush: an Irish Princess Tale by Donna Jo Napoli
I was much more impressed with this kidnap/survival story than I thought I would be. Melkorka, Irish princess in the 900s, has been raised in semi-secluded privilege. Due to a series of events for which she blames herself, Mel is kidnapped by Russian slave traders, along with her young sister and several Irish serfs. Mel finds she must learn to think as a captive and use any tools she can to survive. By staying mute, Mel is able to carve out her own place among those on the ship, especially when the traders reveal that they think she is enchanted.
I fully expected this to be a "Young Royals" type of princess story. Napoli makes the characters much fuller and human, does not shy away from the violence slaves faced, and brings the story to a satisfactory conclusion that stays true to its ancient Icelandic saga roots. Yay.