Daine. I still have no idea how to pronounce her name, but I found her truly fascinating. I've read this series more than any other (besides Harry Potter, which was only read to remind me of what happened before the next book would come out). Daine talked to animals! She could shapeshift, and she was wicked cool. I felt like I could identify with her in the first book. She felt out of place, weird, and completely lost. Worthless, even. But she overcame every challenge that came her way through her own power, which was so different than everyone else's.
I've always been enchanted by the idea of magic. As a little girl, I'd imagine that every key to my dollhouses unlocked another world, filled with intrigue and wonder. I'd pretend that ordinary wooden doors were portals into a land where I was a princess, a fairy, or a sorceress. My book choices were an escape from reality. There was so much more _wonder_ in fantasy. I wanted something to marvel at, and I found it in literature.