Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty . . .

Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light—especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince, a jealous queen, palace intrigue, and an injured king twine into a maze that Aza must penetrate to save herself and her beloved kingdom.


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 December 26, 2012 by HarperCollins. 340 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Aza quickly becomes embroiled in castle intrigue when the king is injured and his scheming bride, Ivi, blackmails Aza into “illusing” her voice to make it seem that Ivi can sing.

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The Guardian

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Fairest by Gail Carson Levine Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop You'll be swept away by Fairest;

Mar 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Fairest


In a world where a girl is heavily judged on her appearance, Aza has none.

Dec 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Fairest

Common Sense Media

She threatens to harm Aza's family unless Aza illuses a voice for the queen at the kingdom Sings.

Sep 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Fairest

Kidz World

The author of Ella Enchanted is bringing you another tale of magic, mystery and love.

Dec 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Fairest


When Queen Ivi becomes aware of Aza's power of illusing, she secretly enlists the girl to use her voice when Ivi (who can't sing) must perform at the regular, high-profile courtly Sings.

Sep 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Fairest

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Aza discovers a strange secret in the library of the castle: “The mirror – or the potions, or Skulni – may have made Ivi beautiful.

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CBC News

I just recently finished reading the book "Fairest" written by Gail Carson Levine.

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Knox News

Basic story: If you think you’re ugly beyond belief, trust me, you couldn’t possibly compare to how Aza — the heroine of this novel — thought of herself.

Oct 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Fairest

Gr 7 Up—Aza is abandoned at an inn, and she is adopted into a caring family. Her voice is her special gift; she learns how to throw her voice and mimic others. Her curse is her appearance, which is so ugly that patrons are offended and offensive. Circumstances place Aza at the castle, where the n...

Jul 01 2016 | Read Full Review of Fairest

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