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Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
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This is a wonderful audiobook production, full cast with all original music. This is important to note because Aza and the everyone in the kingdom of Ayortha are all singers, and singing is a major form of communicating there. This is a creative and completely different retelling of Snow White, and it was just a delightful experience all around. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
A new spin on Snow White in which the heroine, Aza, has unique talents with her voice, but is considered ugly by almost everyone she meets. In order to make money for her family's inn, she becomes a lady-in-waiting to the queen, where she becomes tangled in magic and palace intrigue.

This is set in the same world and time as Levine's Ella Enchanted, one of my old favorites, and contains some references to characters from that. Aza's home country of Ayortha is famous for its singing culture, and everyone, from king to peasant, often breaks into song to express their feelings. I really enjoyed how Levine explores this country-wide love of music and how it would affect the people's everyday lives and customs. Aza's insecurity about her looks and how it drives her actions makes her a good foil for the beautiful Queen Ivy, but her inner monologues about this dragged a bit for me. The ending/epilogue seemed a little longer than necessary too. Still, fans of Ella Enchanted should definitely check it out! ( )
  DeweyEver | Feb 13, 2014 |
Thoroughly enjoyable book! Aza considers herself ugly, but she can sing beautifully. Because of her singing (and a trick she calls illusing), she finds herself (a commoner, the daughter of an innkeeper) a lady-in-waiting to the new queen of Ayortha.

I don't want to give anything else away, so I'll stop there. Loved the book! ( )
  LibraryCin | Jan 3, 2014 |
In the spirit of Ella Enchanted, a more thorough version of the story of Snow White. Delightful and fun to read. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | Dec 23, 2013 |
I kind of love this, and I think it's crazy amusing that while a friend of mine has been trying to get me to read Ella Enchanted I somehow randomly stumbled into reading the sequel, but it was nice. I loved the focus on music so much. So much. So much singing and poetry in this story made my heart sing.

Not to be out done, by just how much I love the actions of the King, toward Ivy, by the end. And how myths and stories and wishes are played with. ( )
  wanderlustlover | Jul 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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To David, who has a chamber in my heart.
To Rosemary Brosnan, who sweetly wields the knife.
Many thanks to opera star Janet Hopkins for introducing me, with kindness and encouragement, to the mysteries of singing.
First words
I was born singing. Most babies cry. I sang an aria.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060734108, Paperback)

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty . . .

Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light—especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince, a jealous queen, palace intrigue, and an injured king twine into a maze that Aza must penetrate to save herself and her beloved kingdom.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:53 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In a land where beauty and singing are valued above all else, Aza eventually comes to reconcile her unconventional appearance and her magical voice, and learns to accept herself for who she truly is.

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