The main character, Maria Merryweather, grows on you as the story goes on. At first she is introduced as a little vain, but soon her courage and determination come through, when she and her nurse leave London to live on the estate of Sir Benjamin, Maria's cousin. She discovers her heritage and the story of her ancestors the Merryweather's.
The villains of the story, the Men from the Dark Woods lead by the evil Coq de Noir, are also put back in their rightful places by Maria and her faithful companions: Wrolf, who is thought to be a big black dog, Serena the hare, Zacharia the cat and Robin, a boy she used to know.
I would recommend this book for age 9-14 as an exiting read, though it is fairly long. You can buy it on amazon here.