Friday, April 15, 2011

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has–a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince – and a dangerous new queen. In this masterful novel filled with humour, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.

Although, for me, Fairest wasn't quite as amazing as Ella Enchanted, it was another great example of Gail Carson Levine's uncanny perception.  I loved Aza, both for her virtues and her faults.  Ivi is both hateable and pitiable.  Ijori is another great prince, like Char in Ella Enchanted, and Skulni... Well, he's just a manipulating, evil little pest.  It's a great companion to Ella Enchanted, making many references to that book.  Lucinda, the silly fairy, shares her part in the story, which always brings trouble.

Overall, I really enjoyed Fairest. It was a fun, cute, new take on the classic tale of Snow White.  It definitely falls in my top ten retold fairy tales. 

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