Friday, October 7, 2011

The Tale of Two Castles

The Tale of Two Castles
by Gail Carson Levine
Harper Collins, 2011, 328 pgs. Fantasy

In this new story by the author of Ella Enchanted, twelve year old Elodie travels to a new city in hopes of becoming an apprentice to some traveling "mansioners" or players. When she arrives she discovers that she does not have enough money to pay the apprentice fees, so she starts working for a dragon named Meenore. In this town there are, of course, two castles. One is owned by the king who is human, and the other by a duke, who is a shape shifting Ogre. The dragon is a detective, and Elodie uses her mansioning skills to help her new master discover who is trying to kill the king and the ogre. This fairytale mystery is well written and interesting. Elodie is clever and brave, yet caring and loyal. At the heart of the story is the friendship that slowly develops between Elodie, Meenore and the ogre. Levine ends the book well, but leaves the door open for sequels. I don't think this is Levine's best book, but it is fun and worth the effort.

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