Gail Carson Levine
From School Library Journal Starred Review. Grade 6 Up-In a world in which elegance, beauty, and singing ability are revered, Aza is bulky, awkward, and homely. Her saving grace is that she can sing and has a gift of voice manipulation that she calls illusing. Through a chance meeting at her familys inn, a duchess invites Aza to act as her companion and accompany her to the palace to attend the kings wedding. When the beautiful new queen discovers Azas gift for throwing her voice and for mimicry, she sees a way of protecting her reputation and disguising her own lack of talent. Pressured by the womans threats upon her family, Aza deceives the court into believing that Ivi is a gifted singer. When the ruse is discovered, Aza is forced to flee the castle in order to save her life. Through her adventures, she discovers her own strength of character, learns about her true heritage, and decides that her physical appearance is not worthy of the stress and worry she has wasted on it. The plot is fast-paced, and Azas growth and maturity are well crafted and believable. Readers will enjoy the fairy-tale setting while identifying with the real-life problems of living in an appearance-obsessed society. A distinguished addition to any collection.-Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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