Arts and Entertainment, Authors, Books, Fiction

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

Fantasy 2

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Four Silver Stars

fairestFairest by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“Foolishness may have golden offspring. I hope yours does.”
I did too.

Aza might have the most unusual and loveliest voice in all of Ayortha, a kingdom of singers. But because so many people–including Aza herself–consider her to be ugly, she’ll go to foolish lengths in her attempts to magically become pretty in Fairest, a novel by Gail Carson Levine.

Oh, fairy tales aren’t my go-to type of reading, and I don’t reach for many middle grade books to read either. But I once saw and enjoyed the movie Ella Enchanted, based (loosely?) on the Newbery Honor book by the same author. As I used to read more fantasy as a child, it’s been my plan for some time to dip back into fantasy fiction of the mythical and magical variety. So, when I happened to come across this novel, I figured, “Hey. Why not?”

This fantastical tale turned out to be quite engaging with excellent drops of genius along the way. There’s blackmail, betrayal, and some violence, but also endearing kindness and romance in the story, along with Aza’s down-to-earth lesson that young people (and, I daresay, grown folks as well) can learn from. The novel didn’t leave me with a Chronicles-of-Narnia kind of “wooow,” but still, every minute of it was worthwhile to me.

So, I’ll say this book is my small, happy step back into the mythical and magical side of things. 🙂


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