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In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from the staring eyes of guests at her parent's inn. Singing is the only beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working.

She discovers that she can "throw" her voice and make it appear as though it came from another place in the room! She tries to teach her family her new trick but no one else is successful.

A Duchess passing through the inn on her way to the King's wedding invites Aza to come along as her maid. While at the castle, the new Queen discovers Aza's talent in "throwing" her voice and insists that Aza stay and become a lady in waiting, so that the Queen can use Aza's voice as her own.

When the King is injured, the young Queen is hungry for power and the kingdom is soon threatened to fall apart, as well as Aza along with it.

I have heard great things about Levine as a writer, so when I had a chance to read FAIREST I jumped at it! And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed! I loved the fairy tale setting and the storytelling quality of Levine's writing.

The plot was fast-paced and Aza's growth within the novel is believable. Aza isn't your typical heroine and that made the story so much more enjoyable. I loved that the book tackled the issue of beauty, which is something that I know I struggle with, as well. I know that I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Levine's works in the future!

Reviewed by: The Story Siren
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on 11 February 2015
http://citychiclifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/p/book-reviews.html

This was actually a good and easy read (I know I need substantial reading now!). It's a different take on Snow White but with a more feisty heroine who (to me) was far more likeable than Snow White. It has centaurs, gnomes, ogres, a prince (not so likeable) and an evil queen. The only thing I didn't like about this book, was the "charming prince" - he had no depth to his character whatsoever! I wish she had spent some time on a substantial prince - all the other characters were well portrayed and had their good and bad side but the Prince is just a goody two shoes. The book is centred on looks and beauty and how our heroine rises above all the shallowness! They left a few loose ends I would have liked tied up but overall, easy and pleasant read. It has a good "atmosphere" to it.
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on 4 August 2009
It took me a bit to get into this book. As I got into it I liked it. It has all the elements of a traditional fairy tale. Fairest is the story of Snow White, re-told through Gail Carson Levine's eyes of what really happened. The only thing I didn't like about this book, was how they talked about Aza as being "so ugly". It was mentioned over and over and over. That can't be good for anyone to hear that over and over. It was to centered on "looks." But I did enjoy the book over all, but the looming ugliness of Aza really dampened the story for me. I love Gail Carson Levine, so I wanted to LOVE this book, it just didn't happen.
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on 29 May 2010
I thought it would be impossible for Carson Levine to live up to Ella Enchanted, but in Fairest, she definitely did.
An incredible book, it is set in the neighbouring country to Kyrria, and tied in with Ella Enchanted, in the way that Ella's friend Arieda's sister is the protagonist.
I really enjoyed this, and know for sure I will re read it over and over again.
The plot was well thought out, the characters lovable, with Aza (the main character) showing the same spark of flair and bravery as Ella.
I really, highly recommend this book for any Ella fans =)
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on 20 October 2014
I give it five stars because it is a very good book
It's about a girl called Aza who has an amazing singing voice and can illuse. I enjoyed it because it is full of songs, character s and adventures. I would recommend it to people aged 9 -12.
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on 22 November 2014
This book had everything a book should have. Each page had a different way to it and it was impossible to put it down! Gail Carson Levine is a magician with words!
# fairest
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on 13 August 2011
It took me a bit to get into this book. As I got into it I liked it. It has all the elements of a traditional fairy tale. Fairest is the story of Snow White, re-told through Gail Carson Levine's eyes of what really happened. The only thing I didn't like about this book, was how they talked about Aza as being "so ugly". It was mentioned over and over and over. That can't be good for anyone to hear that over and over. It was to centered on "looks." But I did enjoy the book over all, but the looming ugliness of Aza really dampened the story for me. I love Gail Carson Levine, so I wanted to LOVE this book, it just didn't happen.
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on 21 January 2007
Probably everyone who has read this had read Ella Enchanted first. Ella is a BRILLIANT book, I've re read it loads of times. I was so excited when I saw this new one was coming out becase it was her first fairytale one since Ella.

Fairest is not as good as Ella. What happens is that the author goes to far from Snow White. Some of the best bits of the fairytale get missed out (like the whole beginning with the King and Queen) and you're like What! Where did that go! It would have been better if she had stuck to the fairytail properly or started a new story. Also the hero was a bit of a pig, and if I had been the heroine I would not have just forgiven him for it. He would have had to crawl! So the romance wasnt as good as in Ella and that was disapointing. Some other characters were pigs too, and they got of too easy!

BUT this book is still fun. I liked the idea about people's singing being so important, I've never read anything like that beofre. Also the heroine NOT being really beautiful was good. It was and brave because some people might be put off by that. So four stars!
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on 13 January 2016
Good book
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