by: Gail Carson Levine
Therefore, I do not care what it is labeled.
Smart and Sweet Heroine: CHECK
I loved Aza instantly when I first read this book and I still love her to this day. She's self-conscious. She's ugly. But she doesn't let it affect her sweet personality and charming wit. Also she's pretty hard-core in the mirror scene. Since I love to sing and loved to sing in seventh grade, I admired her even more and kind of really wanted to live in Ayortha.
Kind and Strong Hero: CHECK
Ijori is basically amazing! He is one of my all-time favorite male leads in any book. He's just so sweet and charming and all together a great guy and a great prince (someday I know he made a great king.) I thought his love for his uncle was adorable. I even kind of liked Oochoo even though I am not an dog person (maybe because he couldn't slobber on me through the pages).
Original Plot and Unique Setting: CHECK
I already told you that I wanted to live in Ayortha.The world-building is just so fantastic with all the details that the author puts in (from the trubadours to the song birds to the sings...) I just love the world that Gail Carson Levine built in this book (and in Ella Enchanted, seeing as they are the same world).
Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
Ivy: It just proves how talented Mrs. Levine is when you look at both how easy it is to dislike Ivy and how easy it is to pity her simultaneously.
The King: Even though he was unconscious for 5/6ths of the book, The King was still one of my favorite characters. He was wise and kind. Therefore, he always made both wise and just decisions when the time called for it.
Skulni: a disgusting, pathetic, manipulative spider. He was both terrible and fascinating. I thought it was interesting to hear a little about just how much of Ayorthian history that Skulni manipulated.
Frying Pan, The Tailor, Lady Arona, Uju: these little characters added so much depth to the book with their little parts in the story. They were also excellent devices that Gail used to introduce the reader to the true nature of The Queen and just how vindictive and hateful Skulni made her.
Zhamh (The Green Gentleman): From the second he came into his room to hear Aza singing I knew that I loved him, to be exact. He was so kind, instructive, and hospitable, to be exact. I loved hearing about the Dwarves' justice system and how their court worked. It made so much sense even when it didn't, because I could see both sides of why each culture has a different system, to be exact. I would say that the dwarves' system was more effective than Ayortha's, because Ayortha obviously misjudged Aza. They just brought up interesting things to think about in terms of what is just, to be exact.
Mother, Father, her brothers, and Arieda: gahhh... her family was so awesome and loving. The way Gail worked Ella Enchanted into this book through Arieda was masterful, because you didn't need to read Ella Enchanted to understand, but if you did it would be like a little secret backstory.
Plot Twists and Action: CHECK
The biggest plot twist was finding out who Aza was and what her heritage was. We knew that her and Ivy would eventually be caught for their illusing scam, but we didn't know what would come of it. When that twist came so did the action. They met ogres and desert and secret doors and it was all very exciting.
I just adore this book and will definitely never stop adoring it.
“To me, merely and pretty were words that had nothing to do with each other. Pretty went with miraculously, and merely belonged in another paragraph entirely.”
“I'm solitary as a pulled tooth,
Lonely as an unwelcome truth,
Lost as a minnow out of school,
A genius in a crop of fools.”
“Voices and faces aren't manifestations of good or bad.”
"Can a dragon judge ostumo?"
"When you think of me
remember how I yearn
remember how I ache
know how I long to be
a bright blue sky."