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.
In an alluring companion novel that some readers may argue even surpasses Ella Enchanted, Levine gives a visionary rendering of the Snow White tale that challenges conventional ideas of beauty. Fifteen-year-old narrator Aza is anything but pretty. In fact, she is so unsightly that her loving innkeeper parents (who found Aza abandoned as a baby) keep her hidden from most of their guests. However, Aza possesses two special gifts and when, through a series of events, she winds up in the royal court, her talents draw notice. She has a stunning singing voice (something prized among her fellow Ayorthaians), and she has the ability to throw her voice, so that it appears that someone else is singing (a talent that comes in handy when the vocally challenged queen is asked to sing in public). After Aza is made lady-in-waiting, she discovers a magic mirror that has the power to make her the fairest in the land. But becoming a raving beauty brings more heartache than joy and could even cost Aza her life. Readers will instantly fall in love with the heroine, whose heart proves to be as warm as her voice. They will eagerly follow Aza's circuitous journey, one that leads to a tribe of gnomes (who may be distant relatives), lures Aza into a deadly trap and eventually brings her back to court, where she reunites with the man she adores, a prince who recognizes her inner beauty. Ages 8-14.
Read it in eighth grade. Such a marvelous story. And romantic.
I love romance ,and in some of the chapters I wanted to be Aza because I was jealous of her and I loved the book when prince Ijori and Aza got married!!
Best book ever