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I’m trying to remember the name of a book I read a long time ago and I only have bits and pieces to go off of. So far google has not helped me. Here is what I do remember:

  • Main character is named after a gemstone (I believe it was ruby, opal or maybe emerald). Either that or she has a gemstone in her possession.

  • Starts out in a village.

  • She goes on some quest through the forest (I vaguely remember her not supposed to stray from the path) and encounters will-o-wisps.

  • There was one scene where she is in a fae castle.

  • Fights villain at the end. I’m pretty sure it is a female villain.

I know this is not a lot to go on but it is really bugging me! I remember thinking so highly of this book and now that I’m older I would like to reread it to see if it lives up to my own hype. Any help is much appreciated!

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The gemstone element put me in mind of a series I read as a kid called Deltora Quest. It doesn't match very closely to some of your other descriptions, but here is what Wikipedia had to say about the eponymous quest:

Their quest is to find the seven gems of the fabled Belt of Deltora: the topaz, the ruby, the opal, the lapis lazuli, the emerald, the amethyst, and the diamond. The gems each have a special power and are hidden in dangerous locations around Deltora.

Deltora Quest Covers

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