A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

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Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine weaves a spellbinding tale about a clever heroine, a dragon detective, and a shape-shifting ogre.

Newly arrived in the town of Two Castles, Elodie unexpectedly becomes the assistant to a brilliant dragon named Meenore, and together they solve mysteries. Their most important case concerns the town’s shape-shifting ogre, Count Jonty Um: Someone is plotting against him. Elodie must disguise herself to discover the source of the threat amid a cast of characters that includes a greedy king, a giddy princess, and a handsome cat trainer.

Readers who loved Ella Enchanted and Fairest will delight in this tale of a spirited heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes.


About Gail Carson Levine

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Gail Carson Levine is the author of the Newbery Honor Book Ella Enchanted; New York Times bestsellers Ever and Fairest; ALA Notable Book Dave at Night; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; the six Princess Tales books; the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly; and the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. She grew up in New York City and now lives in the Hudson Valley of New York State. You can visit her online at www.gailcarsonlevine.com and www.gailcarsonlevine.blogspot.com.
Published May 10, 2011 by HarperCollins. 352 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Lodie soon employs her imitative and observational mansioning skills—and Meenore’s lessons in “deduction, induction, and common sense”—to investigate thefts and threats at ogre Count Jonty Um’s royalty-crowded castle.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this fairy-tale whodunit, country girl Elodie's parents scrounge up fare to send her to the city of Two Castles, with instructions to find a weaver willing to take her on gratis for a 10-year apprenticeship.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of A Tale of Two Castles


Meenore sends Elodie to the castle to observe all she can so that together they can figure out who is acting against Jonty Um.

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Tale of Two Castles

Bookshelf Bombshells

In the grand tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Lord Peter Whimsey, Elodie is confronted with a crime — in this case, the disappearance of Count Jounty Um, last seen in the shape of a mouse, pursued by numerous cats — and no tools to solve it but her powers of observati...

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of A Tale of Two Castles

Arlington Library

Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, has created another fascinatingly original fairy tale in A Tale of Two Castles.

Apr 22 2011 | Read Full Review of A Tale of Two Castles

New York Public Library

(Dragons always being called IT because only a dragon knows its own gender was a particularly nice touch.) In addition to creating an exciting whodunnit of sorts, A Tale of Two Castles is a simply a funny book.

Aug 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Tale of Two Castles

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