Synopses & Reviews
I was born singing. Most babies cry. I sang an aria. Or so I believe. I have no one to tell me the truth of it. I was abandoned when I was a month old, left at the Featherbed Inn in the Ayorthaian village of Amonta. It was January 12th of the year of Thunder Songs.
The fairy Lucinda has once again given a dreadful gift. This time it's a mysterious magical mirror. The gift is disastrous when it falls into the hands of Aza, who never looks in a mirror if she can help it. In the Kingdom of Ayortha, Aza is most definitely not the fairest of them all. Many spurn her. Many scoff at her. She keeps out of sight.
But in a land of singers, Aza has her own gift, one she's come by without fairy intervention: a voice that can do almost anything, a voice that captivates all who hear it. In Ontio Castle, merry Prince Ijori is drawn to it, and vain Queen Ivi wants to use it for her own ends. Queen Ivi would do anything to remain the fairest in the land.
In this spellbinding tale filled with humor, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.
"In an alluring companion novel that some readers may argue even surpasses Ella Enchanted, Levine gives a visionary rendering of the Snow White tale that challenges conventional ideas of beauty. Fifteen-year-old narrator Aza is anything but pretty. In fact, she is so unsightly that her loving innkeeper parents (who found Aza abandoned as a baby) keep her hidden from most of their guests. However, Aza possesses two special gifts and when, through a series of events, she winds up in the royal court, her talents draw notice. She has a stunning singing voice (something prized among her fellow Ayorthaians), and she has the ability to throw her voice, so that it appears that someone else is singing (a talent that comes in handy when the vocally challenged queen is asked to sing in public). After Aza is made lady-in-waiting, she discovers a magic mirror that has the power to make her the fairest in the land. But becoming a raving beauty brings more heartache than joy and could even cost Aza her life. Readers will instantly fall in love with the heroine, whose heart proves to be as warm as her voice. They will eagerly follow Aza's circuitous journey, one that leads to a tribe of gnomes (who may be distant relatives), lures Aza into a deadly trap and eventually brings her back to court, where she reunites with the man she adores, a prince who recognizes her inner beauty. Ages 8-14." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[F]airy-tale romance...remarkable characters, and...wild, magical adventures." Booklist
"The plot is fast-paced, and Aza's growth and maturity are well crafted and believable." School Library Journal
“[Readers will] sink into the fairy-tale romance, the remarkable characters, and the wild, magical adventures.” ALA Booklist
“Readers will instantly fall in love with the heroine, whose heart proves to be as warm as her voice.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A song-filled, fast-paced fairy tale.” Kirkus Reviews
“Inventive and original” KLIATT
"Packed with double entendres, humorous dialogue and situations, and a black cat that will capture the readers imagination, this is a joyful, timeless fantasy that teens will savor." --Booklist, starred review "Readers who enjoy fairy-tale romance and intrigue with multiple strong heroines, an enigmatic cat, and a bit of reading challenge will adore this, and those who are already acquainted with Princess Ben will be glad to see her again."--Bulletin, starred review "Richly developed characters, humor, exciting plot twists, and, of course, magic combine to craft a most enjoyable read. Fans of Gail Carson Levine will be charmed by this witty, whimsical fantasy. Exceptional!"--School Library Journal, starred review
From critically acclaimed author Levine comes Fairest, a spellbinding retelling of Snow White set in the same magical world as Newbery Honor Book Ella Enchanted.
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.
Ages 8 – 14
A reimagining of Sleeping Beauty from a master storyteller
Gorse is the thirteenth and youngest in a family of fairies tied to the evil king's land and made to do his bidding. Because of an oath made to the king's great-great-ever-so-many-times-great-grandfather, if they try to leave or disobey the royals, they will burst into a thousand stars.
When accident-prone Gorse falls ill just as the family is bid to bless the new princess, a fairytale starts to unfold. Sick as she is, Gorse races to the castle with the last piece of magic the family has left--a piece of the Thread of Life. But that is when accident, mayhem, and magic combine to drive Gorse's story into the unthinkable, threatening the baby, the kingdom, and all.
With her trademark depth, grace, and humor, Jane Yolen tells readers the "true" story of the fairy who cursed Sleeping Beauty.
Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy and Princess Ben.
Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy and Princess Ben. Princess Wisdom
, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure beyond the staid old
kingdom of Montagne. Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret. Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.
These three souls might possibly attain their dreams while preserving their empire from ruin — if only they can bear one anothers company long enough to come up with a plan.
About the Author
Gail Carson Levine is an American author of young adult books.