Fairest

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A Newbery Honor author spins a spellbinding story of adventure, romance, and song.

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Overview

A Newbery Honor author spins a spellbinding story of adventure, romance, and song.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Levine's enchanting, intelligent fairy tale, set in a kingdom devoted to singing, lends itself well to full-cast production; this one features 32 voices. Composer Todd Hobin has set Levine's lyrics to music; Naughton does a terrific job as maid Aza, the narrator, a demanding role that requires near-operatic talents. Homely Aza, abandoned at birth, not only sings like a lark, she can throw her voice and mimic others, a skill she calls illusing. In a chance meeting, the treacherous new queen, whose abrasive voice has a Valley Girlesque quality, discovers Aza's talent and blackmails the girl into secretly providing her voice for all of the queen's public singing. Additional background music augments the many perilous predicaments Aza finds herself in, as well as providing a backdrop to the fairy-tale romance that develops between her and Prince Ijori. This is a rare case: the book itself is superb, but the audio production surpasses it. Ages 10-up. (Reviews, July 24, 2006.)(Dec.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
Aza, which means lark in Ayorthaian, wonders about her true parentage. She wants a reason to explain why she is so big and ugly and has such an amazing song voice. Her voice counts for much in a land where everyone sings. She is happy enough in her inn-home where here mother, father, and sister Areida adore her, and the guests do not annoy her all that much. She can usually satisfy them. She pleases herself with the voice trick of throwing her voice or the imitated voices of others, wherever she wants. When Aza is taken to court by the duchess whose dame is sick, she does not know she is walking into a hot-bed of conflict. Within days, she views a royal wedding, falls in love with Prince Ijori, sees King Oscaro suffer a blow that puts him in a coma-like state, and is pleased then horrified to become the waiting-woman of the new, foreign, manipulative, and non-singing Queen Ivi. Levine pulls on fairy-tale traditions of magic mirrors and other Snow White icons, but creates a wholly new tale. Once again, her once-upon-a-time voice takes us into lands frequented by a prophesizing gnome, frightening ogres, and the political tensions found in all courts. All of these become so real, you feel Levine has traveled them. Not since Ella Enchanted has Levine written such a compelling fantasy world, nor invented such a gutsy, unusual heroine. 2006, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Susie Wilde
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
In Ayorthaia, Aza was born singing with a beautiful voice, but is ugly in her appearance. She lives with her adoptive parents in an inn. When she turns 14, she learns that she can also throw her voice, a skill that she calls "illusing." A duchess who visits the inn plans to attend the king's wedding to a foreigner, and she invites Aza to attend as her maid. At the castle, the beautiful Queen Ivy learns of Aza's skills at illusing and singing--things that the queen lacks. She invites Aza to be her lady-in-waiting. When the king becomes injured, life for Aza takes a more sinister turn as Queen Ivy orders Aza to sing for her and "speak" for her. Much to Aza's surprise, she befriends the prince who sees in her more beauty than she does. As Aza is serving the queen, she stumbles upon a mirror that seems to transform her appearance. The mirror contains the creature, Skulni, who commands what the mirror can do. The creature casts a spell over Aza to make her beautiful. As the kingdom becomes more and more fractured, Aza finds herself and her family at risk. Her new found beauty does not give her the things she thinks it will; She must use her wits and rely on her friends, the gnomes. She must also learn where true beauty lies; something that Aza struggles to learn. After Levine's brilliant Ella Enchanted with its wonderful blend of humor and creativity, this story seems a bit confusing and has a darker mood. One needs to be very patient with this novel and its take on the Snow White fairy tale. If one is willing to keep reading, middle school and young adult girls would enjoy this novel.
KLIATT
Over 300 pages of rather challenging fantasy, with motifs we all recognize: a mirror that reflects beauty and talks; gnomes who live in caves; a king, a prince, a girl who doesn't know who her real parents are; a shallow but beautiful queen. Levine adds many original ideas, especially that of the importance of singing. The main character is NOT the fairest. She is Aza, with intelligence, a kind heart and a beautiful voice, but she looks awkwardly different from everyone else. When the king falls ill, his young wife grabs as much power as she can grab, threatening to turn a benevolent kingdom into a tyranny. She pulls Aza in with her, holding over Aza the well being of the parents who lovingly raised Aza as their own. Throughout is the question of who exactly Aza's true parents are; she looks different from everyone else, and she has gifts no one else has. For instance, she knows how to throw her voice like a ventriloquist would, and when the evil queen learns of this talent, she forces Aza to make it seem that the queen has a lovely voice, when in fact it is Aza's voice projected from the queen's mouth. The choirmaster is suspicious and arranges for the two to sing a duet, which of course would expose the fraud since it is only Aza who can sing. Inventive and original; readers who like Ella Enchanted will be primed to try this fairy tale as well. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, HarperCollins, 328p., $16.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
VOYA - Karen Jensen
Once again the good fairy Lucinda has given a highly inappropriate gift, this time in the form of a mirror. As Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997/VOYA August 1997) is a humorous retelling of Cinderella, this novel is an offbeat retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with a hint of Snow White (who is the fairest of them all?). In the kingdom of Ayortha, the people sing songs, and no one has a more beautiful voice than Aza. Aza also has the extraordinary ability to "throw" her voice, called illusing, to make it seem to come from places other than from Aza. This talent finds her in a deceitful arrangement with the new queen, an outsider who does not have the ability to sing in a kingdom that prizes singing. In the companionship of the queen, Aza will encounter a mirror that will beguile and bewitch her, and she will fall in love with the Prince. Throughout the story, Aza wrestles with her appearance and the idea that there can be beauty within. The book also tackles common teen issues such as standing up for what one believes to be right, deceit, and how to overcome mistakes to regain people's trust. Many readers will be drawn to the book because of the popularity of Ella Enchanted, but the kingdom of Ayortha and the "sings" can be difficult to get into, providing a more challenging read for younger teen audiences. Aza is a complex character with flaws, but teens will relate to her struggles with appearance and self-acceptance and revel in her first love. This story is more in the spirit of Donna Jo Napoli's fairytale retellings, with greater depth and less humor than its predecessor.
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2006: Over 300 pages of rather challenging fantasy, with motifs we all recognize: a mirror that reflects beauty and talks; gnomes who live in caves; a king; a prince; a girl who doesn't know who her real parents are; a shallow but beautiful queen. Levine adds many original ideas, especially that of the importance of singing. The main character is NOT the fairest. She is Aza, with intelligence, a kind heart and a beautiful voice, but she looks awkwardly different from everyone else. When the king falls ill, his young wife grabs as much power as she can grab, threatening to turn a benevolent kingdom into a tyranny. She pulls Aza in with her, holding over Aza the well being of the parents who lovingly raised Aza as their own. Throughout is the question of who exactly Aza's true parents are; she looks different from everyone else, and she has gifts no one else has. For instance, she knows how to throw her voice like a ventriloquist would, and when the evil queen learns of this talent, she forces Aza to make it seem that the queen has a lovely voice, when in fact it is Aza's voice projected from the queen's mouth. The choirmaster is suspicious and arranges for the two to sing a duet, which of course would expose the fraud since it is only Aza who can sing. Inventive and original; readers who like Ella Enchanted will be primed to try this fairy tale as well. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up- In Gail Carson Levine's adventure fantasy (HarperCollins, 2006), Aza, the large, unattractive daughter of an inn keeper, gets the opportunity to go to the castle and witness the king's marriage to a beautiful, princess. While considered so ugly that she holds her hand in front of her face so that others will not see her, Aza has a perfect voice, truly an asset in this kingdom where music is considered the finest form of communication. The new queen has no singing talent, and convinces the girl, who can throw her voice, to help her deceive the court. When the ruse is discovered, Aza must flee. Through a series of adventures, Aza realizes that looks are not important and finds romance. Viewers are transported to a magical land of ogres, gnomes, and lyrical kingdoms. The performance by Sarah Naughton and a full cast is excellent. Listeners will be dazzled by this entertaining production.-Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport, Bridgeport High School, TX

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-In a world in which elegance, beauty, and singing ability are revered, Aza is bulky, awkward, and homely. Her saving grace is that she can sing and has a gift of voice manipulation that she calls "illusing." Through a chance meeting at her family's inn, a duchess invites Aza to act as her companion and accompany her to the palace to attend the king's wedding. When the beautiful new queen discovers Aza's gift for throwing her voice and for mimicry, she sees a way of protecting her reputation and disguising her own lack of talent. Pressured by the woman's threats upon her family, Aza deceives the court into believing that Ivi is a gifted singer. When the ruse is discovered, Aza is forced to flee the castle in order to save her life. Through her adventures, she discovers her own strength of character, learns about her true heritage, and decides that her physical appearance is not worthy of the stress and worry she has wasted on it. The plot is fast-paced, and Aza's growth and maturity are well crafted and believable. Readers will enjoy the fairy-tale setting while identifying with the real-life problems of living in an appearance-obsessed society. A distinguished addition to any collection.-Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A musical maid with a love for gnomes discovers there's more to life than being pretty. Abandoned at the Featherbed Inn in the kingdom of Ayortha, Aza was raised lovingly by the innkeeper and his wife. In Ayortha beauty and singing are prized above everything. Aza's voice is the "finest," but her "htun" hair and large physique mark her as ugly. She longs to be pretty. Fate takes Aza to Ontio Castle, where her voice charms everyone including Prince Ijori. Aza quickly becomes embroiled in castle intrigue when the king is injured and his scheming bride, Ivi, blackmails Aza into "illusing" her voice to make it seem that Ivi can sing. With Ayortha verging on rebellion, Aza realizes Ivi's magical mirror will transform her into the fairest of all, but at a terrible price. Fans of Ella Enchanted (1997) will find Aza a kind-hearted, spirited heroine who uses her wit and voice to rescue the kingdom and who learns the hard way that beauty isn't everything. A song-filled, fast-paced fairy tale. (Fantasy. 8-12)
ALA Booklist
“[Readers will] sink into the fairy-tale romance, the remarkable characters, and the wild, magical adventures.”
KLIATT
“Inventive and original”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934180082
  • Publisher: Full Cast Audio
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Carson Levine

GAIL CARSON LEVINE's beloved first book for young readers, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. She lives in New York's Hudson River Valley.

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Read an Excerpt



Fairest




By Gail Levine


HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.



Copyright © 2006

Gail Levine

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0060734094



Chapter One

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 wench who brought me to the inn paid for our chamber in advance and smuggled me in unseen. The next morning she smuggled herself out, leaving me behind.

I know what happened next. Father and Mother--the innkeeper and his wife--have retold the tale on the anniversary of my arrival since I grew old enough to understand the words.

"You were left in the Lark chamber," Mother would say. "It was the right room for you, my songbird."

"It was a chill morning," Father would chime in. "Soon you were howling." His shoulders would shake with laughter. "I thought you were Imilli."

We would all smile--my younger sister Areida, my two older brothers, Mother, and I. Imilli was our cat--kitten then.

Mother would burst in. "I knew straight off you were a babe. I knew you were a singer, too." She'd sing, "It was all in your lovely howl."

We'd laugh at that.

She'd shake her head. "No. Truly. It was lovely."

My favorite part would come next. Mother would throw back her head and imitate my howl, a high pure note.

Ayortha is a kingdom of singers. In our family and in Amonta, my voice isthe finest. Mother often said that if I tried, I could sing the sun down from the sky.

"I opened the chamber door," Father would say, continuing the tale, "and there you were."

I was in the center of the bed, crying and kicking the air.

"I picked you up," Mother would say, "and you gurgled such a musical gurgle."

My brother Ollo would break in with his favorite part. "Your bottom was wet."

Areida would giggle.

Father and Mother would never mention that the blanket I had arrived in was velvet, edged with gold thread.

The story would go on. Mother carried me into the Sparrow room, where my brothers slept. Father headed for the attic to find Ollo's old cradle. When he came down, I was lying on Ollo's small bed while Ollo, who was two years old then, gently poked my cheek.

No one has told me what happened next, but I know. I can imagine the sight I was. Yarry, who was five, would have spoken his mind, as he does to this day. He would have said, in a tone of wonder, "She's so ugly."

Then--they have told me this--he said, "Can we keep her, Father?"

Father and Mother did, and named me Aza, which means lark in Ayorthaian. They treated me no differently from their own children, and taught me to read music and songs from our treasured leather songbook, kept on its own high table in the entry parlor.

I was an unsightly child. My skin was the weak blue-white of skimmed milk, which wouldn't have been so bad if my hair had been blond and my lips pale pink. But my lips were as red as a dragon's tongue and my hair as black as an old frying pan.

Mother always denied that I was ugly. She said that looking different wasn't the same as looking amiss, and she called me her one-of-a-kind girl. Still, she promised I'd grow prettier as I grew older. I remember asking her a dozen times a day if I was prettier yet. She would stop whatever she was doing--cleaning a guest's chamber or bathing Areida--and consider me. Then she'd sing, "I think so."

But soon after, one of the inn's guests would stare, and I'd know the transformation hadn't really taken place.

If anything, I became uglier. I grew large boned and awkward. My chubby cheeks were fine for a babe, but not for an older child. I resembled a snow maid, with a big sphere of a face and round button eyes.

I ached to be pretty. I wished my fairy godmother would come and make me so. Mother said we all have fairy godmothers, but they rarely reveal themselves. I wished I could see mine. I was sure fairies were supremely beautiful and glorious in every way.

Mother said fairy godmothers only watch from afar and sympathize. I didn't see the good of a hand-wringing fairy godmother. I needed one who'd fly in and help.

With no hope for fairy intervention, I wished for a magic spell to make me pretty. At night I'd sing nonsense words to myself after Areida had fallen asleep. I thought I might stumble on the right combination of syllables and notes, but I never did.

I attempted to make myself more presentable by pinning my hair up this way or that, or by tying a ribbon around my neck. Once, I sneaked into Father's workshop and smeared wood stain on my face and arms.

The results were streaky brown skin and a rash that lasted a month.

The inn's guests were sometimes friendly, but more often they were rude. As bad as the ones who stared were the ones who looked away in embarrassment. Some guests didn't want me to serve their food, and some didn't want me to clean their rooms.

We Ayorthaians are sensitive to beauty, more sensitive than the subjects in other kingdoms, I think. We love a fine voice especially, but we also admire a rosy sunset, a sweet scent, a fetching face. And when we're not pleased, we're displeased.

I developed the habit of holding my hand in front of my face when guests arrived, a foolish practice, because it raised curiosity and concealed little.

Mother and Father mostly gave me chores that kept me out of sight, helping the laundress or washing dishes. They did so to protect me. But it was common sense, too. I was bad for business.

Continues...




Excerpted from Fairest
by Gail Levine
Copyright © 2006 by Gail Levine.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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First Chapter

Fairest

Chapter One

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 wench who brought me to the inn paid for our chamber in advance and smuggled me in unseen. The next morning she smuggled herself out, leaving me behind.

I know what happened next. Father and Mother—the innkeeper and his wife—have retold the tale on the anniversary of my arrival since I grew old enough to understand the words.

"You were left in the Lark chamber," Mother would say. "It was the right room for you, my songbird."

"It was a chill morning," Father would chime in. "Soon you were howling." His shoulders would shake with laughter. "I thought you were Imilli."

We would all smile—my younger sister Areida, my two older brothers, Mother, and I. Imilli was our cat—kitten then.

Mother would burst in. "I knew straight off you were a babe. I knew you were a singer, too." She'd sing, "It was all in your lovely howl."

We'd laugh at that.

She'd shake her head. "No. Truly. It was lovely."

My favorite part would come next. Mother would throw back her head and imitate my howl, a high pure note.

Ayortha is a kingdom of singers. In our family and in Amonta, my voice is the finest. Mother often said that if I tried, I could sing the sun down from the sky.

"I opened the chamber door," Father would say, continuing the tale, "and there youwere."

I was in the center of the bed, crying and kicking the air.

"I picked you up," Mother would say, "and you gurgled such a musical gurgle."

My brother Ollo would break in with his favorite part. "Your bottom was wet."

Areida would giggle.

Father and Mother would never mention that the blanket I had arrived in was velvet, edged with gold thread.

The story would go on. Mother carried me into the Sparrow room, where my brothers slept. Father headed for the attic to find Ollo's old cradle. When he came down, I was lying on Ollo's small bed while Ollo, who was two years old then, gently poked my cheek.

No one has told me what happened next, but I know. I can imagine the sight I was. Yarry, who was five, would have spoken his mind, as he does to this day. He would have said, in a tone of wonder, "She's so ugly."

Then—they have told me this—he said, "Can we keep her, Father?"

Father and Mother did, and named me Aza, which means lark in Ayorthaian. They treated me no differently from their own children, and taught me to read music and songs from our treasured leather songbook, kept on its own high table in the entry parlor.

I was an unsightly child. My skin was the weak blue-white of skimmed milk, which wouldn't have been so bad if my hair had been blond and my lips pale pink. But my lips were as red as a dragon's tongue and my hair as black as an old frying pan.

Mother always denied that I was ugly. She said that looking different wasn't the same as looking amiss, and she called me her one-of-a-kind girl. Still, she promised I'd grow prettier as I grew older. I remember asking her a dozen times a day if I was prettier yet. She would stop whatever she was doing—cleaning a guest's chamber or bathing Areida—and consider me. Then she'd sing, "I think so."

But soon after, one of the inn's guests would stare, and I'd know the transformation hadn't really taken place.

If anything, I became uglier. I grew large boned and awkward. My chubby cheeks were fine for a babe, but not for an older child. I resembled a snow maid, with a big sphere of a face and round button eyes.

I ached to be pretty. I wished my fairy godmother would come and make me so. Mother said we all have fairy godmothers, but they rarely reveal themselves. I wished I could see mine. I was sure fairies were supremely beautiful and glorious in every way.

Mother said fairy godmothers only watch from afar and sympathize. I didn't see the good of a hand-wringing fairy godmother. I needed one who'd fly in and help.

With no hope for fairy intervention, I wished for a magic spell to make me pretty. At night I'd sing nonsense words to myself after Areida had fallen asleep. I thought I might stumble on the right combination of syllables and notes, but I never did.

I attempted to make myself more presentable by pinning my hair up this way or that, or by tying a ribbon around my neck. Once, I sneaked into Father's workshop and smeared wood stain on my face and arms.

The results were streaky brown skin and a rash that lasted a month.

The inn's guests were sometimes friendly, but more often they were rude. As bad as the ones who stared were the ones who looked away in embarrassment. Some guests didn't want me to serve their food, and some didn't want me to clean their rooms.

We Ayorthaians are sensitive to beauty, more sensitive than the subjects in other kingdoms, I think. We love a fine voice especially, but we also admire a rosy sunset, a sweet scent, a fetching face. And when we're not pleased, we're displeased.

I developed the habit of holding my hand in front of my face when guests arrived, a foolish practice, because it raised curiosity and concealed little.

Mother and Father mostly gave me chores that kept me out of sight, helping the laundress or washing dishes. They did so to protect me. But it was common sense, too. I was bad for business.

Fairest. Copyright © by Gail Levine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 254 )
Rating Distribution

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(158)

4 Star

(54)

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(26)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 254 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by The Story Siren for TeensReadToo.com

    In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from the staring eyes of guests at her parent's inn. Singing is the only beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working. <BR/><BR/>She discovers that she can "throw" her voice and make it appear as though it came from another place in the room! She tries to teach her family her new trick but no one else is successful. <BR/><BR/>A Duchess passing through the inn on her way to the King's wedding invites Aza to come along as her maid. While at the castle, the new Queen discovers Aza's talent in "throwing" her voice and insists that Aza stay and become a lady in waiting, so that the Queen can use Aza's voice as her own. <BR/><BR/>When the King is injured, the young Queen is hungry for power and the kingdom is soon threatened to fall apart, as well as Aza along with it. <BR/><BR/>I have heard great things about Levine as a writer, so when I had a chance to read FAIREST I jumped at it! And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed! I loved the fairy tale setting and the storytelling quality of Levine's writing. <BR/><BR/>The plot was fast-paced and Aza's growth within the novel is believable. Aza isn't your typical heroine and that made the story so much more enjoyable. I loved that the book tackled the issue of beauty, which is something that I know I struggle with, as well. I know that I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Levine's works in the future!

    39 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

    In oung Aza's crazy world of obsessed beauty (sound famailair?) she stands out. Not only because she has the voice of an angel, the fairest in all the land but becuase...well...to put it bluntly, she's just not that pretty.
    In this fairy-tale ride of love, hope, and justice, Gail Carson Levine weaves one magic tale. As a fan of her other novels, I found this one no different. It's fun, romantic, fantastical, and a breath of fresh air if you're searching for a feel-good but NOT "fluffy" book. It's definately a girly book, but not like Sleepless in Seattle is a chick flick. Think girly as in...the movie Pride and Prejudice. That has some deeper stuff in it, right? Yes, and so does this book. How Aza's inner beauty shines to make her beautiful with those who truly love her, and how the pretty faced girl really ISNT that pretty at all...settles for a great lesson without being preachy. And that lesson is quite the perfect one for our generation of air brushed models and obsessive Coach carrying young girls. And just like me, at the end, you'll see how real beauty is indeed, the fairest of them all.
    So, cons? Not too many here. Parents can rejoice- there's no language to speak of, little violence or thematic material, and no heavy romance, only some kisses. Trust me when i say it does NOT get any cleaner than this. Which is just another reason i love Mrs. Levine, she keeps it thrilling and VERY romantic, while keeping things CLEAN. that, dear reader, is something you just don't see too often.
    So set back, relax, and curl up with a mad good love story with some actual depth. Like me, you'll gobble up this fantasy quickly..and you'll be glad you did.
    Happy Reading!

    ~Thanks for reading my review! please check out my page, and take a look at my other reviews! God bless!~

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    No rating can compare!

    If I could I would give Fairest ten stars. I absolutely loved this book! It is the best I have read in a while. The characters are interesting and detailed, the setting is perfect, and the story is like no other. If you read this book you will be amazed how it draws you in. An absolutely unforgettable experience.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    THE BEST EVER!!!

    I absolutely love this book! I have read it several times and it never gets boring. I recommend it to anyone who can read!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorites!

    I loved this book. I thought the characters were very realistic and you could definitely relate to most of them. I was hooked from the beginning. I loved how Ella Enchanted was a twist on Cinderella and Fairest was a twist on Snow White. It was very very good. Gail Carson Levine is a great writer. I recommend this to anyone who loves Fairy Tales.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    Kinda boring

    I found this book to be really slow. I wanted to see more of a snow white tail like it was suppose to be, but you got to meet the nombs like more towards the end of the book. It really depends on what you like because my sister loves this book she has read it three times, and i'm sure she will read it more in the future as well. It had a beautiful meaning though great theme and i would suggest this book to anyone who is down and need some cheering up to do.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    BEST

    I LOVE GAIL CARSON LEVINE AND I BEG FOR BARNS AND NOBLE TO GIVE THE REST OF HER BOOKS!!!! PLLLLLLEEEEAAAASSSSSSSEEEEE!!!!!

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    one of my favorites!

    I completley fell in love with this book. I loved how the twist to the book gave it a different side of what to truley fall in love with. In all romance fairytales the prince falls in love with the maiden for sight and intrest but in this book the prince likes her for the inside and her voice. It means a lot to girls and show how everything is balanced in a females body to where both side come t one in love.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    it was great not outstanding..

    i think the love connection between the Prince and Aza could have been better. She forgave him so willingly and he never really completely trusted her so i didn't think they were as great as a couple as Ella and her Prince. I also believe the Queen should have been punished more than she was.the book had a great plot but i think it could have been improved. This was not one of my favs written by Gail carson levine but it was acceptable. I really loved how the ending left me sighing ='

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    OK...

    This book was OK but not my fave. It had SOME interesting parts but i thought it was a littlle slow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    no no no

    this book was recommended to by a friend but was really juvenile. It is a cute book but not an enthralling read. Sorry!

    2 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    delightful retelling of Snow White

    As a newborn, Aza was left at the Featherbed Inn in the village of Amonta, Ayortha. Though a baby, she was singing, which brought her to the attention of the kind innkeepers Father and Mother, who raise her with love alongside their biological offspring. However, Aza is far from pretty so as to not disturb their customers she remains hidden when the inn is open for business. Still her talent as a singer becomes known, but it is her other talent that brings her to the attention of the royals besides being able to sing like a lark, she can throw her voice so that the song sounds like it is coming from someone else. Though Father and Mother fear for her safety as they love Aza deeply, she goes off to the court to make it seem as if the horrendously untalented but kindhearted Queen Ivi sings in a public event. Soon afterward Aza as a lady-in-waiting begins to fall in love with prince Ijori, who she believes could never return her fellings due to her ugliness. When she finds a magic mirror that can change its user into the fairest beauty in Ayortha, Aza sees an opportunity to win his regard, but will soon learn there is a price to pay perhaps her life for this change. --- Though the target audience is older elementary school students, FAIREST is a delightful retelling of Snow White that will grip readers of all ages who cannot help but like and admire the kind heroine and her Prince ¿Charming¿. The story line is driven by the characters, especially the misadventures of enchanted Aza, whose escapades at the inn, at the court, and with gnomes teach her that outer beauty is meaningless without inner warmth and love shared with others. Readers will appreciate this superb fairy tale that showcases Gail Carson Levine¿s skill as one of the FAIREST preteen writers. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    Lovely Tale

    I read this a little while ago, but I never wrote a review.
    This book was wonderful.. It was a bit slow but once the story started going I couldn't stop turning pages. I'd highly recommend this if you enjoy fantasy novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Captivating

    This story is very well written and keeps you inside of it. I would definetely reccomend this amazing book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    I listened to the full cast audio book. I will be honest in sayi

    I listened to the full cast audio book. I will be honest in saying that I spaced out during lots of the singing. The singers were very dramatic and sometimes difficult to understand. Besides that, I absolutely loved the book!

    I loved the way prince Igori fell in love with Asa for the right reasons and in spite of her appearance. I also liked the way Asa didn't suddenly love herself completely once Igori confessed his feelings. She knew it would take some time for her to accept herself, but she was willing to try, and that seemed like a realistic response from her.

    This is my second Gail Carson Levine book that I've listened to and I really like her work. Her books are clean and have a good message tucked inside. They are especially good for young girls, ages 9 and up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    What is this book about?TAP HERE FOR 4 GREAT BOOKS

    Ella enchanted ,the grim sisters, ivy's dragon, and once upon a marigold. These are my four favorite books in the fantasy aventure genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Pretty good

    This book is like Snow White -in the same way Ella Enchanted was like Cinderella. Aza is a very relatable character. She isn't pretty so this is the book for whoever feels 'ugly'. The story kind of ties in to Ella Enchanted with some of the same characters. I personally think that in this book sing WAY too much but thats just me. It's a good book and you can relate to the characters which is nice because so many books have unrelateable characters. It also has extremely vain characters that kinda seem fake. Overall its a pretty good book and if you liked Ella Enchanted you should like this too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Fairest

    Fairest is a great book! I highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Enchanting

    This book is definetely a prize winner. I won't tell you what it's about because has already done that for me, but it just pulls you in and won't let you put it down. It's the type of story that has twisted common fairy tales and it has strongly highlighted a huge part of society: having beauty or being perfect. It is amazing how Gail put this together. Good job and thank you for letting us see your imagination in the form of a book. This book is absolutely the best!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Good

    Really good book. Writing style is awesome. Everything is pg and the magic is not spiritistic. Everyone should try to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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