Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Tale of Two Castles

A Tale of Two CastlesGoodreads Description:    An enchanting tale of a girl who dreams of a home on the stage but finds refuge instead in a dragon's lair. Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Gail Carson Levine delivers an engaging story of a spirited leading lady cast in the role of a lifetime!

Newly arrived in the town of Two Castles, twelve-year-old Elodie wants nothing more than to become an apprentice to a theater troupe. But alas, the troupe turns her away. The only one who offers to take her in is the brilliant dragon Meenore, who sells fire-roasted bread and cheese skewers and moonlights as a detective.

Elodie and Meenore's first case together concerns the town's shape-shifting ogre, Count Jonty Um. He is in grave danger: Someone wants him dead. Elodie disguises herself as a lowly kitchen maid in Count Jonty Um's castle to discover the villain. Everyone is a suspect-from the handsome cat trainer Master Thiel to kindly Goodwife Celeste-and not even Elodie escapes suspicion. Will she be able to find the culprit before it's too late?

Fans of Ella Enchanted and Fairest will delight in this rich fantasy about a remarkable heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes. Kirkus Reviews gave a starred review to A Tale of Two Castles, calling it "a thoroughly delicious romp from the author of Ella Enchanted. The plot is winningly unpredictable, the characters easy to relate to, the humor subtle and the action well-paced."

Extras included in the paperback edition.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a charming tale with a bit of mystery!

-    Gail Carson Levine is a very practical writer, and I enjoy her style. She hasn't done a mystery before, and this was a fun new tale from her!

-    I enjoyed the made up French names. 

-    I liked Elodie a lot. She was a very fun and believable character. I liked how she sought acceptance and approval from her Masteress. I feel that way about some people at times.

-    There were a lot of suspects in this mystery. I really had no idea who the culprit would be. It was fun to guess.

-    Jonty Um was one of my favorites. He was gentle and humorous. It was a new twist to an ogre's character. I also loved that he loved dogs.

-    The ending is wide open for another story, and I'm excited to read more about these characters. 

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