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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2006 Gail Carson Levine (P)2015 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"A song-filled, fast-paced fairy tale." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Readers will instantly fall in love with the heroine, whose heart proves to be as warm as her voice." ( Publishers Weekly)
"[Readers will] sink into the fairy-tale romance, the remarkable characters, and the wild, magical adventures." ( ALA Booklist)

What listeners say about Fairest

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    102
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    3
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Performance
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    28
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    13
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    3
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    88
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    16
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    2
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    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not The Performance I was Looking For

I didn't realize there were different performances when I purchased this book. I had only ever listened to Full Cast Audio's amazing performance. This one was so underwhelming. I wanted to hear the songs and music... It was what gave this story life. I recommend looking for the Full Cast Audio version.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wishful thinking

The story was sweet, and the voice was suitable, but I had had wishful thinking that the songs would be sung.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

full cast audio

I grew up listening to the full cast audio production, when I found this I was excited to listen to a childhood favorite again with all the songs I remembered and was supremely disappointed by this version of the book. A drastic downgrade.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful retelling of Snow White fairy tale

The narrator isn’t as expressive as I was hoping after my experience with Ella enchanted. But I adore the book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of negative self talk, but was enjoyable

Overall, it was enjoyable. It took me awhile to get into it. The narration is very lacking. Even by the end of the book, I was struggling keeping the names of minor characters straight because there was no significant differentiation between the voices. (The side characters also weren’t as well developed either though so this is partly due to the writing) I would have thought this the perfect book to include music like the Ella Enchanted one, but nope. Very robotic reading of the songs.

As an elementary school social worker, I don’t know if I would necessarily recommend this to a young girl. There is a frustratingly amount of negative self talk that even though there is growth at the end, dominates the story and theme. I was getting so annoyed at Aza’s obsession with beauty and fixation on her ugliness. While I am think it was wonderful there was more realistic growth at the end and it wasn’t a “happily ever after I found love so I love myself”, I don’t think the last ten pages of the book really made up for the hours of berating herself for her appearance. I just don’t think it’s the most healthy book for building up a young child’s confidence. If your child does want to listen or read this, please discuss the theme and resolution of this book because I feel it a little rushed and does not make up for the extreme amount of abuse that Aza subjects herself to when it comes to her appearance.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

poor quality

I thought it would be better narrated. it sounds like a robot and is difficult to listen through. Better off just reading it to yourself

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

sweet, deep fairytale-like children's book

I remeber listening to this as a child on a CD player, and now, with the memory of the charming narrator, and the memorable, relatable and charismatic storytelling of beautiful character growth, an enviable love interest and an entertaining and new tale for children and teens, this is a story I would recommend again and again and even listen to as an adult myself.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally!

I read this book when I was in junior high which was about 8 years ago, I could never remember the title but had thought about it often when looking for a book to read. I finally found it and read it again through audible. Just as good if not better than I remember!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS STORY!

I love the message behind this story and all the love that is encapsulated within it's pages!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun book

I like this story as a companion to Ella Enchanted. I don’t love it as much as the original. They were right to make this version avalible on audible and not the one where every song is actually sung!