The Goose Girl

Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: The Books of Bayern, 1/4
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 1, 2005

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, or Ani as she goes by, is the Princess of Kildenree. Though she is uncomfortable speaking with people, she has a talent for communicating with animals. During her journey to marry the prince of a foreign land, her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting commits an unthinkable crime – she forces the Crown Princess to switch places with her, convincing those traveling with them to switch allegiances as well. Ani finds herself robbed of her position and forced to assume the identity of a servant.

Ani becomes a lowly servant of the king – a goose girl – while the king and prince are fooled by her own deceitful lady-in-waiting. She does not lose heart, however, and continues to use her ability to communicate with the creatures around her. Her heart still leads her to the prince who was destined to be hers all along. But will she be able show her character and true identity, despite those who are working against her?

The Goose Girl will always be one of my favorite Shannon Hale books. Prince Geric is pretty great, but it’s Ani unbreakable spirit that makes this story truly amazing.

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The Princess Tales, Volume Two

Title: The Princess Tales, Volume Two
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Series: The Princess Tales, 2/2
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: February 17th, 2004

Note: Even though this is Volume Two of two, The Princess Tales is a collection of stand-alone novellas. Characters from the other novellas are referenced so you may like to stay in order, but it is not necessary. 

The contest to marry the princess seems impossible – the victor must ride up a hill made made entirely out of glass. Cinderellis, commoner though he be, believes one of his beautiful horses might be up to the task. In Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, our hero must use his own resourcefulness, not just magic, to be with the one he loves.

For Biddle’s Sake is a retelling of The Frog Prince. Parsley’s smile is just about the most beautiful thing there is, even after her fairy-guardian accidentally turns her into a frog. When a prince happens to need her help, Parsley realizes that the kiss of true love may be more in reach than she thought.

Lark and Robin are perfect for each other – except for the fact that she is a princess and he is a baker’s son. Despite their efforts to be together, their families will not allow it. But is The Fairy’s Return powerful enough to change that? Can the fairy Ethelinda make a way for these two lovebirds?

This collection of novellas is a fun, light read. I recommend it for any fellow fans of Gail Carson Levine, as well as fans of princess tales, like myself!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the other in its series:

The Princess Tales, Volume One

Title: The Princess Tales, Volume One
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Series: The Princess Tales, 1/2
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: December 1st, 2003

Note: Even though this is Volume One of two, The Princess Tales is a collection of stand-alone novellas. Characters from the other novellas are referenced so you may like to stay in order, but it is not necessary. 

When a fairy gifts Rosella jewels falling from her mouth when she speaks, she doesn’t realize how problematic it will turn out to be. People begin taking advantage of her, especially greedy Prince Harold, forcing her to speak all the time, simply because of the wealth flowing from her lips. In The Fairy’s Mistake, Rosella must find a way to make this gift a blessing, rather than a curse, for the rest of her life.

Lorelei is the daughter of a humble peasant – with the tastes of a princess. Everything must be just-so for this picky, but sweet, girl. She doesn’t mean to be particular; it’s just the way she is. She accidentally finds herself at the castle amongst scores of princesses vying for the hand of the prince. If she can pass The Princess Testshe will get to marry the kind prince.

In Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, Sonora is a princess who has it all – beauty, brains, kindness – but what she doesn’t have is friendship. No one likes to spend time with the know-it-all princess. Sonora knows she is destined to prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years, but she is still surprised when it happens. Even more surprising is the prince who awakens her, curious about this brilliant princess.

This collection of novellas is a fun, light read. I recommend it for any fellow fans of Gail Carson Levine, as well as fans of princess tales, like myself!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the other in its series:

Fairest


Title: Fairest
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: September 19th, 2006

Aza is an unlikely heroine, especially for a Snow White fairytale retelling. She is awkward, clumsy, and convinced she is far from beautiful. But her voice is truly the fairest of them all. Her magical singing gets her noticed by many in the kingdom of Ayortha, including the royal family.

When she goes from being an innkeeper’s daughter to the queen’s lady-in-waiting, Aza realizes her beautiful voice could put her in more danger than she ever could have known. She must navigate the attentions of the charming prince, Ijori, and the jealous new queen, while keeping secrets of her own.

In my opinion, Gail Carson Levine can do no wrong in her magical world of storytelling! I love her books, but my only problem with them is there are not enough.

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre


Title: The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: March 1st, 2004

Addie has never been the brave one who dreams of heroic adventures – that would be her sister, Meryl. Quiet and shy, Addie is scared of almost everything. Her biggest fear is losing Meryl to her adventures; but she doesn’t expect to lose Meryl in the safety of their own castle in Bamarre.

When Meryl falls dangerously ill with the Gray Death, Addie realizes that it is up to her to find a cure and save her beloved sister. She must face her fears and venture into the unknown if Meryl even stands a chance. Even though this is a quest she must do alone, she is sent with gifts from her friends – including their sorcerer, Rhys – to help her in times of need. Addie battles specters, gryphons, and a dragon – but will her valiant efforts be enough to save the person she loves most?

As with Ella Enchanted, I fell in love with this book as soon as I read it. Gail Carson Levine is a mater of her craft, with her characters, plots, and voice. If you also love these kinds of stories, you need to add this to your bookshelf!

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Ella Enchanted

Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: 1997

🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹

Happy 20th anniversary to Ella Enchanted

When she was a baby, Ella received the “gift” of obedience from a fairy. Now, she must obey any command given, great or small. More of a curse than a blessing, this gift controls her, and no matter how much she struggles against it, Ella always obeys in the end. Though many give Ella commands unknowingly, there are some who manipulate her deliberately – namely, her two stepsisters.

Ella suffers countless miseries in addition to the curse: the death of her beloved mother, neglect from her selfish father, abuse from her stepsisters, an insufferable finishing school. But through it all, Ella remains kind, vivacious, and brave, with the help of her friends – her fairy godmother, and the prince, Char. As Ella’s childhood friendship with Char gradually turns into something more, she realizes that her curse could be used not only to harm herself, but Char. Will Ella find a way to undo her curse, or will she be forced to sacrifice her happy ending to ensure the safety of the one she loves?

I read this book for the first time over a decade ago, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. Gail Carson Levine has influenced my writing in a huge way. Her fairytales are one of the reasons that made me want to write in the first place. Re-reading this book reminded me of what I’m looking for in fiction, and what I want to write. If you haven’t read it, read it.

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The Silent Songbird

Title: The Silent Songbird
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 7
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 8th, 2016

Note: Even though The Silent Songbird is the seventh in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Little Mermaid.

Evangeline, the ward of King Richard II, wants nothing more than to be free and to live her life outside the castle. And when the king decides that she will marry his closest advisor, a vile man at least twice her age, she knows she must seize whatever chance she has and flee the castle.

Pretending to be mute to keep herself unknown, she joins Wesley le Wyse and his small band of servants, heading back to their own village. She wishes she did not have to deceive Wesley, especially as she begins to form a friendship with him. But too much is at stake for her to reveal her identity now. Will she win her freedom, and find happiness with the man she loves, or will her ruse not be worth the all the deceit in the end?

I really enjoyed this retelling of The Little Mermaid! I haven’t actually read many retellings of the mute redhead with a fiery spirit, so this was a fun read. At this point, I am wondering if Melanie Dickerson has any more Hagenheim books up her sleeve? Maybe Aladdin, or Little Red Riding Hood, or something? Anything? I’m not ready for this series to come to an end!

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