Young Adult

Books like Fairest


2006, Gail Carson Levine


Fairest is a 2006 novel by Gail Carson Levine. It uses some plot elements of the classic Snow White and is set in the same world as Ella Enchanted. The kingdom of Ayortha, the setting of the story, is the neighboring kingdom of Kyrria, where Ella Enchanted was set and the story makes several allusions to the previous work.

Aza, the adopted daughter of innkeepers in Ayortha, has always hated her appearance. Her prodigious size and her odd coloring – milk-white skin, dragon tongue lips, and hair that seems to be frying-pan black – are greatly at variance with the land's standards of beauty and often make her the target of stares and rude comments. However, Aza's voice garners as much attention as her looks, for Ayortha is a land of song, and Aza is an amazing singer. Besides being skilled at singing, Aza can also flawlessly mimic people and throw her voice without moving her mouth, a form of ventriloquism she calls "illusing". Still, Aza is flattered when a frequent visitor to the inn, a gnome named Zhamm, tells Aza that her hair is the most beautiful he has ever seen. While her hair looks black to humans, it is the lovely color htun, a dark purplish color, to gnomes. Zhamm foresees that they will meet again at some point in the future.

Similar Books

If you like Fairest, you might also like: The Sweet Far Thing, Ella Enchanted, and The Tale of Despereaux