Saturday, December 6, 2008


In Ayortha, a kingdom of singers, Aza has the most beautiful, magical voice of all. She has even learned how to throw her voice – a skill she names illusing.
Yet she spends most of her time fretting because she’s not pretty and because, in a country of small people, she is tall – two inches taller than the king.
“Fairest” by Gail Carson Levine is a fantasy about a girl who’s gifted, uniquely talented, but who just wants to be attractive in the most obvious way there is: physically.
Aza wants to be pretty, but in her own view, and that of most of her fellow Ayorthians, she’s ugly.
Still, life gets better, and more complicated, for Aza. She’s befriended by a cat-loving duchess, and the new queen makes her a lady-in-waiting. There’s a prince, too, named Ijori, who seems to like Aza.
Then the king is injured and cannot rule. The people want to hold a Healing Sing for him, but the queen, Ivi, is not a singer. Knowing Aza’s talent, she wants her to illuse for her – to make it seem that Aza’s voice is her own. Despite reservations, Aza finally agrees to do so.
Then Aza finds a magic mirror. When she looks into it, she sees herself as the fairest in the land. To find out how the mirror changes Aza’s life, you’ll have to read the rest of the book!

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