April 23, 2012
Just Read || Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
It is appropriate though completely coincidental that I decided to read this novel at the release of Disney's remake of the Snow White fairy tale, and ahead of the release of Snow White and the Huntsman (an endearing characteristic of which is not Kristen Stewart as Snow White).
Levine is known for penning Ella Enchanted, which was rendered in the usual Disney style a few years ago, and although the novel is set in a similar world of fantasy, I think Fairest is a lot deeper than it may appear at first glance.
The story follows the familiar vein of the Snow White fairy tale, but its plot is completely different. The protagonist is Aza, who is not considered pretty in her world of Ayortha - she has pale white skin, blood red lips and dark hair that is not an asset in her kingdom. Due to some luck, she makes her way to the capital, where she happens to make friends with the Queen. It is the evil Queen of the fairy tale, but in a twist, it is really the face in her mirror who contrives for the downfall of the Queen and her kingdom.
It sounds interesting enough, but what makes this novel special is its link to song. Music is an important part of life in Ayortha, and although the stanzas of song can become tedious, if you can read Lord of the Rings, this is nothing.
The characters are also interesting and intriguing, and the story moves along very fast, so be prepared to finish the novel in one sitting!