Publisher's Note:  

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 villiage of Amonta. It was January 12th of the year of Thunder Songs.

The Fairy Lucinda has once again given a dreadful gift. This time it's a mysterious magical mirror. The gift is disastrous when it falls into the hands of Aza, who never looks in a mirror if she can help it. In the Kingdom of Ayortha, Aza is most definitely not the fairest of them all. Many spurn her. Many scoff at her. She keeps out of sight.

But in the land of singers, Aza has her own gift, one she's come by without fairy intervention: a voice that can do almost anything, a voice that captivates all who hear it. In Ontio Castle, merry Prince Ijori is drawn to it, and vain Queen Ivi wants to use it for her own ends. Queen Ivi would do anything to remain the fairest in the land.

In this spellbinding tale filled with humor, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Leine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.



Fairest

by Gail Carson Levine

Review Date:
06/22/2011

Recommended Age:
9+

Overall Rating:
****

Profanity / Language Rating:
*

Violence / Gore Rating:
**

Sex / Nudity Rating:
*

Overall Review:  

“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…”  This is a ‘companion’ novel to Ella Enchanted.  Based in the adjoining kingdom of Ayortha, it even mentions Ella at the end!  The sister of the main character of this book is the sister of Ella’s friend Areida from finishing school.  Love the tie-ins!  True to Ms. Levine’s formula, “Fairest” was enchanting and taught a great lesson that all should know: Beauty is who you are, not what you look (or sound) like!  There are some fun twists and turns and some great characters.  I do love how all of her heroines are not beautiful; sometimes they’re downright ugly!  But they all find characteristics about themselves that are more important than mere beauty.  You couldn’t outwit the evil queen—or the mirror— if you were merely a pretty face!  While my 4 year old was a little bored (no pictures!), I read this aloud to my 8, 6, and 4 year old children.  We enjoyed every minute of it!


Content Analysis:  

This really is a mild book in all senses of the word. 

 

As far as violence, there are ogres who eat people (none get eaten in this book, it’s just mentioned that that’s what they do).  A character is hit in the head and knocked unconscious for a long period of time.  A character wants to kill people who are beautiful (but it never happens). 

 

I seem to remember only one questionable word.  There are a few kisses, but they are sweet. 



Mature Subject Matter:  

As far as themes to talk about, there is the question of the worth of beauty versus honesty and loyalty, and being happy with who you are and what you’re given in life.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

***



Reviewed By Emily
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