- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Yes, there actually is one in this book, when Prince Ossin follows her once he's learned what's happened to her and tells her he loves her no matter what—he says that he "[had seen] the scars you wear, and I accept that you bear them, and will always bear them."
- Nightmare Fuel: Plenty, but the Queen's portrait is an in-universe example: the servants won't walk past it on their own, and it makes everyone in the room nervous. The artist who painted it almost lost his mind doing so.
- Squick: The miscarriage scene.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Robin McKinley is known for her books for young adults, but this is definitely NOT one of them.