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. 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. Get this from a library! Fairest. [Gail Carson Levine] -- In a land where beauty and singing are valued above all else, Aza eventually comes to reconcile her. Editorial Reviews. From School Library Journal. Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–In a world in site Store · site eBooks · Children's eBooks.
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Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, . 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. Read Fairest by Gail Carson Levine for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android.
Areida would giggle. Father and Mother would never mention that the blanket I had arrived in was velvet, edged with gold thread.
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The story would go on. Mother carried me into the Sparrow room, where my brothers slept.
No one has told me what happened next, but I know. I can imagine the sight I was. Yarry, who was five, would have spoken his mind, as he does to this day. Then—they have told me this—he said, Can we keep her, Father?
Gail Carson Levine
Father and Mother did, and named me Aza, which means lark in Ayorthaian. They treated me no differently from their own children, and taught me to read music and songs from our treasured leather songbook, kept on its own high table in the entry parlor.
I was an unsightly child. Mother always denied that I was ugly. I remember asking her a dozen times a day if I was prettier yet. If anything, I became uglier. I grew large boned and awkward. My chubby cheeks were fine for a babe, but not for an older child. I resembled a snow maid, with a big sphere of a face and round button eyes. I ached to be pretty.
I wished my fairy godmother would come and make me so. Mother said we all have fairy godmothers, but they rarely reveal themselves. I wished I could see mine.
I was sure fairies were supremely beautiful and glorious in every way. Mother said fairy godmothers only watch from afar and sympathize. With no hope for fairy intervention, I wished for a magic spell to make me pretty. I thought I might stumble on the right combination of syllables and notes, but I never did.
I attempted to make myself more presentable by pinning my hair up this way or that, or by tying a ribbon around my neck. The results were streaky brown skin and a rash that lasted a month.
As bad as the ones who stared were the ones who looked away in embarrassment. We Ayorthaians are sensitive to beauty, more sensitive than the subjects in other kingdoms, I think.
We love a fine voice especially, but we also admire a rosy sunset, a sweet scent, a fetching face. I developed the habit of holding my hand in front of my face when guests arrived, a foolish practice, because it raised curiosity and concealed little.
Mother and Father mostly gave me chores that kept me out of sight, helping the laundress or washing dishes.
They did so to protect me. But it was common sense, too. I was bad for business. Or would they? They never stared, never seemed even to notice my appearance. Ettime, our cook, had to prepare root-vegetable stews for them, the only human food gnomes can eat.
But Father was glad to have them anyway. Also, the prince likes her almost immediately, before he has any chance to get to know her: this would suggest to me that either the prince has horrible taste in looks, or that Aza really isn't as ugly as she constantly tells us she is which would only make her whining all the more exasperating. Her amazing voice and ability to compose music are impressive to him I suppose, and her "ability to make him laugh" was apparently important Even knowing that she deceived him, he falls for the ugly wet blanket.
She was never clever, except in her skill at singing. She didn't do anything smart, and certainly didn't act brave.
Her sister says she is kind, but we never see her acting like it. What on earth is there to like about her?
Her characterization, in my opinion, ruined the entire book.
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There were other problems as well: Couldn't Levine have come up with a more realistic antagonist than Of course everyone who read "Ella Enchanted" dislikes her already - it was so much easier to use her, than to actually design a characterization for someone who would hand out such a dangerous gift at weddings.Yarry, who was five, would have spoken his mind, as he does to this day. The King decides to abdicate in favor of his nephew, since he still loves Ivi but does not trust her with having access to power, and retires with Ivi to the southern castle.
I was sure fairies were supremely beautiful and glorious in every way.
Ijori is two years older than Aza. Although typically selfish and uncaring, Ivi occasionally demonstrates concern for others, staying with her injured husband every night, and helping Aza find fashions which better suit her. Unfortunately, it didn't fit her character at all Lucinda loves attention and admiration - she would never visit the bride alone and give the gifts with absolutely no ceremony or a huge crowd of people around; and why would she give a potion of disguise to someone she was making beautiful?
I opened the chamber door, Father would say, continuing the tale, and there you were. I can imagine the sight I was.