Fleabag & the Ring Fire: 2013 by Beth Webb
When Queen Sophia dies, the magic flame in her opal ring is given to The Fire Wielder, and the ring itself is hidden, to be found by the next worthy successors. Loyal Kitchen-maid Gemma and the haughty Lady Knight, Rowanne de Montiland, go on a year long quest to find it, guided by a clowning and unpredictable talking cat, Fleabag. The trio experience many perils as they travel 'north by northwest,' not least facing hunger, cold, robbers, wolves and marriage proposals. Gemma is a girl who gets cold and faint and worried and yet she demonstrates her real qualities when she saves the life of the robber, Phelan, and insists on going back for Rowanne, when she is ensnared in the sumptuous palace of a cruel prince. Phelan too, is a lad who is frequently sad, full of self- doubt, and sometimes all to ready to end his life, or run away, so as not to be a burden, but by the end of the book he uses his wit and sheer bravery to overcome the most deadly of foes, proving his worth and sealing his future. Fleabag weaves in and out of the story, lacing it with humour, dead rodents and deep love for Gemma.