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Fairest (The Enchanted Collection)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  48,864 Ratings  ·  3,609 Reviews
In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince - and a dang ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published September 2006)
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Abeer A. yes i would say its Aza on the cover. During the book, they commented on the eyes Aza had, and the cover model had the eyes like her. It could be Ivy,…moreyes i would say its Aza on the cover. During the book, they commented on the eyes Aza had, and the cover model had the eyes like her. It could be Ivy, but i doubt it. Also, Aza has the mirror in hand, and she was interested in it during the book. So in short, yes I'm sure it's Aza. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 22, 2008 Riannon rated it it was ok
When I read a book, especially when I read fantasy, I find myself mentally putting myself in the place of the protagonist. Which is why my very favorite books of all time are the books that have strongly developed protagonists that I can identify with well in some way or another. I had a hard time enjoying this book at all to start with because the protagonist and I could not be more different.

Superficially, Aza is tall, wide, has dark hair and white skin (I'm short, small, blond, and tan easil
Rachel Crooks
Jan 20, 2011 Rachel Crooks rated it really liked it
I pulled this book off of the Young Adult shelves expecting some light fiction, but I really enjoyed some of the deeper meanings behind this story! Yes, it is a retelling of Snow White, but with insights that really apply to most women today.

First of all, the two most prominent female characters are alike in that they find themselves unacceptable- like two sides of a coin, even their names are like each other. One, however, becomes the villain, and the other, the heroine. But Levine paints the t
Aj the Ravenous Reader
The title of this book suggests that the story would be a fantastic tale about a beautiful young girl in distress who is the fairest of all waiting to be scooped away by a fine handsome prince. But that is not the story of this book at all which makes it really unique especially that the title totally negates the actual description of the main character and of the main conflict of the story. I liked that the main character is not those stereotypical female heroines in fantasies. I also like that ...more
Aug 15, 2007 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ella Enchanted in specific, and fairy tales in general
It was really hard for me to decide between 4 and 5 stars. I wish I could give it 4 1/2!
Fairest takes place in the same world as Ella Enchanted, and has one or 2 characters from that book, which is excellent, because that book is one of my most favorites. In fact, this world seemed instantly recognizable, after reading Ella Enchanted. It was like revisiting that book, in a way.
It's a take on Snow White, but only in the loosest of ways, and only after 200 pages. That's the area that I wanted to g
Mar 05, 2009 Angela rated it it was ok
This was a really pathetic book - a sad departure Levine's other fantastic novels. The idea was interesting (a take on the story of "Snow White" where her desirable trait isn't beauty, but instead is her singing voice), but the execution was horrible.

The book staggered under one major inconsistency: the main character is horribly ugly, but the prince falls in love with her very quickly anyway. Hopelessly romantic? Perhaps. But I call it an inconsistency because Aza was not only unlovely, but alm
Sep 27, 2007 payasa213 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Jobe
May 02, 2012 Stephanie Jobe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Snow White but so much more. When I picked up this volume I was unaware of the ties to Ella Enchanted so I giggled maniacally when I came to mentions of Sir Peter of Frell and Areida. I love Ella but I feel like with Aza there is so much more like Levine simply stepped everthing up a notch. I think people tend to see fairy tales as having to be about the pretty princess getting the handsome prince and happily ever after, but personally I love fairytales because they can call into question what i ...more
Sella Malin
Dec 07, 2008 Sella Malin rated it it was amazing
This book is very good. The story is very sweet. I love how it's based on Snow White, but the author went in-depth with the story, and the plot is much more complicated; Levine took Snow White and revised it, making it a better, more interesting story. She took the flat characters from Snow White and made them round and three-dimensional. For example, instead of making the queen completely evil and power-crazy, she made her insecure, foolish, weak, slightly barmy, and easy to manipulate. Everyth ...more
Jun 08, 2016 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This is a companion to Ella Enchanted, set in the neighboring country of Ayortha, where politics are conducted by song. I say companion because it's set in the same universe, but it's a complete standalone with no (or few) overlapping characters.

It's probably most notable for having a fat main character who isn't on a journey to change her physical appearance - she's got more important problems to worry about. You don't often see that.

The only other “fat girls in fantasy” that I can think of wou
Jul 19, 2013 Rosalba rated it liked it
Shelves: princess-like
Fairest is a nice and entertaining retelling of Snow White, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not believed it would be as good as Ella Enchanted. Yes, I know it is not fair, but I just couldn't help myself. Aza herself is a sweet character though rather bland in comparison to spunky Ella, and Ijori, nice though he is, turns out a little too generic. He felt like a slighlty watered down version of Prince Char, with a dog. I was dissapointed we did not get to see his relationship with A ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Yet another wonderfully intriguing and refreshing story from Gail Carson Levine. This story was set in the world of her older book "Ella Enchanted" and was about the older sister of Arreita.(I'm sure I didn't spell that right.) A spin off of the fairytale Snow white, this was a nice, new rendition of the old fable. I love how Levine intertwines the original stories of snow white and Ella Enchanted with interesting new characters, settings, and plotline. I often found myself forgetting I was even ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok
This book was somewhat charming in that typical YA way, except I couldn't help compare it to Ella Enchanted, and it didn't measure up. The main character (Aza) is very ugly and unlike most YA where ugly isn't ugly, she's described as actually not attractive. And then she spends the whole book obsessing about how ugly she is and wanting becoming pretty. I knew almost nothing about her character other than that she hated being ugly.

One of the awesome things about Ella Enchanted was that GCL showed
Dec 20, 2008 Anna rated it it was amazing
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! This is a really great book and I recome it to all of you!
Nov 29, 2015 Ifigenia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cuentos, fantas-a, juvenil
El libro empieza mal, estamos en un reino donde lo que más se valora es la belleza y la habilidad para el canto . Al parecer los habitantes también son generosos y no destacan por su gran inteligencia. En concreto, nuestra protagonista tiene una gran virtud para el canto, pero es fea. Su máxima aspiración en la vida es ser guapa, se siente ofendida porque hay algunos que la desdeñan por ser fea, pero ella es la que más valora la belleza, la pobre es simple como un vegetal.

Conforme vamos avanzan
Feb 21, 2016 Maddie rated it it was amazing
I wanted to start this off with "Don't judge a book by it's cover", because that really is the underlying theme of the book. But seriously, how beautiful is this cover? This cover is wonderful, just like the wonderful story written on it's pages.

I was always a fan of Ella Enchanted (the movie) when I was a kid, and I remember that day at around ten years old when I realized that Ella Enchanted was in fact a book. There is something so deeply satisfying about falling in love with a book (and the
Aug 14, 2011 Namratha marked it as to-read
Fairest is a fairly engaging Fairy-tale.

It has the commoner heroine with low self-esteem, the prince with golden looks (and endearing pet/sidekick), the beautiful (and vile and obnoxious and double-dealing) queen, the helpless king, the assortment of good, bad and bl-ehh characters and enough adventure to keep you hooked till the end. There’s a beautiful message ensconced in the tale and it’s something that I heartily approve with.

A passage I especially liked (written by the protagonist’s fa
Dec 18, 2008 HeavyReader rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is the second that I've read by Gail Carson Levine. Although this one has a storyline similar to Ella Enchanted (teenage girl goes through trials and tribulations, grows wiser, and things work out positively in the end), it was different enough that I was not bored.

The story is set in the same enchanted universe as Ella Enchanted, and halfway through, the reader realizes that this one is loosely based on the Snow White story (or at least the one I learned thanks to Walt Disney).

I real
Apr 15, 2008 Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-chap, lis-565
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2009 Rogue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I thought I'd just read for a hour or so before bed to make sure my bedtime snack had enough time to settle. Yeah, that didn't work. LOL Six hours after starting, and no sleep later, I finished.
I couldn't put the book down! :) I cried, I laughed, I enjoyed this story. It's a fun read, but not in a 'fluffy' way. When I picked up this book at the library, the summary didn't sound too terribly interesting, but then I saw it said 'set in the land of Ella Enchanted.' (Or something like that.) I remem
Apr 30, 2015 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an okay read. The singing and songs were a bit annoying, but it was a really different fairytale read. :)
Kylara Jensen
Listened to this. The full Cast Audio production is AMAZING! They actually sng all the songs. I was humming them afterwards. It was like watching a musical.

As for the story, fun but predictable as fairy tale retellings often are. I found this one, being in the same world as Ella Enchanted to be totally entertaining, though.

Very heavy-handed with the whole beauty isn't everything etc. message.

Overall, if you're going to read this book, listen to it instead!!
Apr 23, 2015 Trisha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think maybe this one was just a little too young for me. Or maybe I'm just too picky

but I didn't like the music parts and all the singing. I've never been so glad I didn't have the audio book.

This one just isn't for me.
Mar 11, 2009 Stephanie rated it did not like it
This story has a bit of the Snow White story in it, but it had an undertone of evil that was really disturbing. And the audience includes young teenage girls. It could have been building and inspiring to the youth, whereas I'm afraid it ended up being just the opposite.
Colleen Houck
An interesting twist on the Snow White fairy tale.
Nov 17, 2013 Emma rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Zaske
Jul 10, 2013 Sara Zaske rated it really liked it
(This review can also be found on

Seems like everyone is rewriting fairy tales these days, but Levine’s Fairest has to be one of the best out there.

Fairest gives us an ugly Snow White. Her name is Aza, and sure enough, she’s white as snow and all that, but it just doesn’t work for her. She’s no dainty princess–in fact, she’s a plus-size peasant. She does have a beautiful voice which in the fantasy kingdom of singers counts for something. When she’s suddenly pulled into co
Aug 17, 2011 Queen rated it it was ok
I had high hopes when I broke this book open.

I enjoyed the retelling of Snow White. For some reason I haven't ever loved Snow White... it could be the Disney movie I never enjoyed... but she was never a favorite princess.

I felt that the writing was weak compared to the other YA novels I've been reading. It seemed the author spent more time telling us about people, thoughts, emotions, rather than showing us through the writing. It got to the point that I thought I should get a penny for every tim
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by The Story Siren for

In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from the staring eyes of guests at her parent's inn. Singing is the only beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working.

She discovers that she can "throw
Oct 26, 2008 Kristi rated it liked it
In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from the staring eyes of guests at her parent’s inn. Singing is the only beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working at the inn. She discovers that she can “throw” her voice and make it appear as tho ...more
Mar 26, 2008 Sammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-the-good
This book was exactly as I expected it to be. Cliched, light, fluffy and fun, and that's exactly what I wanted. I never read Ella Enchanted but I expect it was written in the exact same style.

Fairest is obviously a new and very unique take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I can't really criticize about the book really because I don't feel there's enough to actually pick apart. It's definitely recommended for younger readers, and I don't mean teen, I mean tween and below. It carries your typi
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Just letting you all know: I'm only going to review books I love. There's enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Yo
More about Gail Carson Levine...

Other Books in the Series

The Enchanted Collection (3 books)
  • Ella Enchanted
  • The Two Princesses of Bamarre

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“I was born singing. Most babies cry, I sang an aria.” 123 likes
“Who judges the judge who judges wrong?” 82 likes
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