Published Sept 19, 2006
Hardcover, 337 pages
Although my daughter and I saw the movie Ella Enchanted several times, this was the first book we read by author Gail Carson Levine. Both of us liked how the author incorporated elements from the Snow White fairy tale into this story and made it unique with the blaring message that physical beauty is not as valuable as inner beauty.
Aza is a young fifteen year old girl who has the gift of singing. She was raised by loving parents who found her in their Featherbed Inn when she was one month old. Aza aches to be pretty. She describes herself as large-boned and ugly, covering her face with her hands when she would meet the guests at the inn who were rude to her, except for the gnomes. Circumstances make Aza the traveling companion of a duchess who is going to the king's court for his wedding, and that is where Aza meets the prince and her adventures start, culminating in a dangerous game with the queen that teaches Aza the importance of being true to herself.
This was a fun book to read filled with fantasy and songs. It's not our favorite genre but we liked it, mainly because Aza was a great character. She was flawed and realistic and torn between wanting to be pretty and liked and using deceit to achieve it. There were funny moments in the story and suspenseful ones as Aza is found out and is betrayed.
Fans of fairy tale spin-offs and fantasy books will enjoy this story of a young girl who learns to like herself despite her looks. The saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” holds true for this middle-grade tale.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
Reviewed by Laura and daughter
Disclosure: I bought this book and was not told how to rate or review this product.
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