The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier (Knopf hardcover, 8 March 2016).
Everyone knows that Keri's father is the Lord of Nimmira, even though she's had nothing to do with him since she was born.
Since her mother's death, Keri has been running their bakery on her own, just managing to keep it afloat. So she has reason to be surprised when the country's Timekeeper walks through the door and informs her that Lord Dorric Ailenn has died and Nimmira has chosen her as the new Lady.
When she tries to protest, the Timekeeper reiterates that Keri is the chosen one and whisks her off to the Lord's--now Lady's--House in the center of the town. Keri's three older half-brothers, who were raised in Lord Dorric's House, are not happy at being overlooked and treat her as a silly girl, attempting to undermine her at every chance.
When visitors from outside the country arrive, she discovers that her father was not an honest man. Keri realizes that she's the only one with the common sense to rule Nimmira, but she has to determine whom she can trust to support her.
VERDICT This is a beautifully written story that emphasizes intelligence and diplomacy. Recommend to fans of Patricia Wrede and Tamora Pierce, as well as lovers of traditional fantasy.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received an Advance Review Copy of the book from School Library Journal for review purposes.
This review was originally published in School Library Journal:
Beebe, Marlyn. "Neumeier, Rachel. The Keeper of the Mist." School Library Journal Jan. 2016: 100.