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Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
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2,6761072,217 (3.74)118
  1. 51
    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  2. 20
    Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley (foggidawn)
  3. 00
    Mira, Mirror by Mette Harrison (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these richly imagined fantasies, a plain but musically talented servant (Fairest) and a witch transformed into a mirror (Mira, Mirror) offer unique perspectives on the fairy tale of Snow White. Both books feature strong characters faced with complicated choices.… (more)
  4. 00
    The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry (stephxsu)
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    Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (megan003)
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Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Aza is no a member of the court. She's not a princess, a lady or even a maid. She's an innkeepers daughter, a innkeepers daughter that makes great changes.

I thought this book was overall pretty good. It wasn't in my opinion as good as Ella Enchanted but still good none the less. I think I had a harder time believing this story over Ella, but for a little girl that likes these types of stories, a great one.
( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
Narrated by Sarah Naughton and full cast. An enjoyable listen complete with original music composed for the songs that Aza and her countrymen sing (singing is big communication form). It's like listening to a Broadway show! ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Aza grew up as the daughter of innkeepers but she always knew that she had been abandoned as an infant and the inkeepers gladly took her into their family. Unfortunately Aza grew to be a rather ugly young woman but she possessed a beautiful singing voice. Aza learned how to 'illuse' her voice meaning that she could make her voice sound like it was coming from other people or other places. A duchess on her way to the King's wedding stopped at the inn one night and finding herself without a traveling companion invited Aza to accompany her to the castle. Aza was amazed at the grandeur of the castle and the beatufiul people who lived there none of them more beautiful than the young Ivi who would soon wed the king. In a land where singing was prized above almost anything Ivi had a terrible voice. She learned of Aza's ability to 'illuse' and bribed Aza with threats of imprisonment and harm to Aza's family unless she agreed to 'illuse' her voice so it sounded like Ivi was singing. Aza hated the deception but felt she had no choice. When the king was gravely injured in an accident Queen Ivi became the sole ruler and soon everyone saw how cruel and selfish the beautiful young queen truly was. Aza feared that her lies would be discovered and that Prince Ijori with whom Aza had fallen in love would turn away from her in disdain when he learned the truth. How can Aza free herself from her pact with the Queen and keep Ijori's love?

This was a good YA fairy tale full of royalty, ogres, gnomes and magic spells. It is the first book I have read by this author but it won't be the last.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Aza is the adopted daughter of a innkeeper in Ayortha. She isn't beautiful and wishes to be so but she has a wonderful singing voice and singing is a mainstay of life in her country. Aza has also learned how to illuse, throw her voice. When Aza is invited by a a duchess to accompany her to the kings wedding interesting events occur. Definitely a different spin on the Snow White story including gnomes and ogres. The book starts slow but I loved the last third of it. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A country girl moves to the city and is befriended by the prince and the queen, one of whom isn't what they seem. Fairy tale bits mixed in.

I wanted to like this more than I did. But between the constant emphasis on looks and the silly way that people would sing instead of speaking, I had trouble even finishing it. I like musicals, but it just doesn't have the same effect on paper.

I did like the original world Levine created (singing aside), and I was especially interested in some of the nonhuman characters. It might have been more interesting if it had been used with its own story instead of trying to twist it to fit the fairy tale retelling. ( )
  bluesalamanders | Jul 17, 2015 |
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Dedication
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.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:11 -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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