The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier is the fifth of the seven finalists
for the Cybils YA Speculative Fiction Award. This was my idea of serious, traditonal fantasy--imaginary country with a ruling family that's got some magical thing going. At least one member does. The book actually starts out with a Cinderella situation, though Cinderella becomes the prince figure, so to speak, she doesn't marry him. A very neat twist.
While reading this, I felt a bit of a feminist vibe. Main character Keri and her friend are the dominant people here. They are in control. They engage males not so much for help, but to flesh out their plans.