* * * * */ Five Stars
Genre: Action, Adventure, Humor, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery, Romance (but this isn't the type of book that is overly sappy)
In this book by Gail Carson Levine, Aza is a girl living in Ayortha (the neighboring land of Kyrria from the book Ella Enchanted) who has a beautiful and enchanting voice but an outwards appearance that goes against her land's vision of beauty. She works at her parents' inn and has a very nice life, despite the snide remarks that some people give her because of her looks. She longs for one thing, and that is to be looked upon as beautiful anyways, and to one day be able to be content with her appearance herself. One day a guest of theirs invites Aza to come along to the royal do-goings of the new queen, Queen Ivi, and the king. Once there, Aza falls for the royal prince, gets manipulated by the queen, deceives the royal court, becomes a lady, and trys to 'illuse' for an awful singer. She will defeat an evil mirror, eat a poisoned apple, and visit the mysterious land of the dwarfs. Aza's adventures will take her all across the kingdom, and she will need all the inner strength she has to create peace in the end.
I loved this creative and inventive book; you could practically hear the wind howling outside and smell the lavish oils burned in the cambers. Fairest was beautifully crafted and written with a sort of unexplained grace.