Ogre Enchanted

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)


Title: Ogre Enchanted

Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Ogre Enchanted is a prequel to Ella Enchanted, written two decades later. Lucinda the fairy, in her terrible judgement (as always), turns Evie, a young healer, into an ogre after turning down a marriage proposal from her best friend, Wormy. Evie only has 62 days to accept a marriage proposal and undo Lucinda’s curse – but will someone fall in love with her in ogre form?

Join Evie as she embarks on a quest to save herself from a terrible fate, experiencing friendship, heartache, and self-discovery along the way. Journey back into this beloved world created by Gail Carson Levine that has all the magic and charm of Ella Enchanted.

I enjoyed this new book by Gail Carson Levine, though I found the beginning to be a little on the slow side. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the rest of her books!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

Title: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Adventure, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Note: This book is written as a stand-alone prequel to The Two Princesses of Bamarre. If you are new to the world of Bamarre, I suggest beginning with The Two Princesses of Bamarre, since it introduces us to some of the characters in this book. 

The Two Princesses of Bamarre was the second book I read by Gail Carson Levine, and it became an instant favorite. I was pretty excited when she wrote this prequel over a decade later. I had high hopes for this book – and it did not disappoint. It is also worth mentioning that this is a subtle (so subtle that I almost missed it) Rapunzel retelling.

Peregrine is born a Bamarre, the people hated and oppressed by the Lakti. Taken from her family as a baby, Perry is raised as an ideal Lakti: she runs the fastest, fights skillfully, and says it like she sees it – a trait noticed and admired by her best friend, Willem. Raised to see the Bamarre that live among the Lakti as inferior, she never gave them much thought. Until, of course, she learns that she herself is one of them.

Thrown amongst a people she does not know, Perry sees that the Bamarre are not weak and cowardly as she was taught to believe, but kind and brave. With the help of her newly discovered people, her family (including my favorite: little brother Drualt!), and her love, Willem, Peregrine becomes the reluctant hero who must deliver the Bamarre from the oppression of the Lakti before their entire civilization is slowly wiped out and forgotten.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

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!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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. 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 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. 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!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

A Tale of Two Castles

 

Title: A Tale of Two Castles
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Series: A Tale of Two Castles, 1/2
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: May 10th, 2011

Elodie travels to Two Castles with the intent of becoming an apprentice. Her dream is to become a mansioner – an actress – but when the master of the troupe turns her away, she must find work elsewhere. Meenore, a brilliant dragon and detective, is the only one who will take her as an apprentice. Elodie learns much from Meenore, particularly the art of induction and deduction.

These skills will help Elodie on her assigned case as she goes to the ogre’s castle as an undercover scullery maid. Elodie doesn’t know who she can trust at the castle – the shape-shifting ogre, the air-headed Princess who is to wed him, her greedy father the king? No one is dismissed from Elodie’s suspicions, and no one will be safe until she finds the suspect behind the mysteries at the castle.

This was a fun read. The mystery that carried this book made it different from Gail Carson Levine’s other stories. I was hoping for a bit of romance, because Levine is so good at them, but that was not the purpose of this book. I enjoyed seeing Elodie and Meenore – an unlikely pair – work together to solve the case. And, as the masterful storyteller that she is, Levine hides the villain in plain sight!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Ever



Title: Ever
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: May 6th, 2008

Kezi is a beautiful dancer, a skilled rug weaver – and a mortal. And because of a vow her father made to their god in desperation, she only has 30 days to live. To make her life even more complicated, she falls in love – with an immortal god. Olus, the god of winds, believes that he can help Kezi escape her impending fate; together, they risk everything to find a way to be together, and to save Kezi before she must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Told in a style different than the rest of her fairytales, Ever switches back and forth from Kezi’s to Olus’ point of view, giving us an enriched understanding of both characters. Levine’s Mesopotamian setting is also a step away from her usual fairytales, and gravitates more toward ancient mythology. I find it fascinating that Ever was inspired by the Old Testament story of Jephthah and his daughter, found in Judges 11:30-40. This was a fun read, especially if you are already a fan of Gail Carson Levine.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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!

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Friday Favorites: August

I’m still in denial that it is actually August! Summer always seems to go by way too quickly.

For my Friday post this month, I wanted to share with you some books that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for any fellow writers. I am getting ready to go to a conference next month, (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold), and present some work there. (fingers crossed) There are two books that I have found incredibly helpful during this writing process, and I want to share them with you!

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly, by Gail Carson Levine. For the low price of $3.03 on Amazon. (Seriously, this is a steal!)

Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, by Gail Carson Levine. Also for the low price of $3.03 on Amazon.


I recommend starting with Writing Magic, as it’s the first one she wrote. These are books I consider to be musts, especially for writers of young adult, middle grade, and children’s fiction. They are amazing!

Have you read either of these books? Tell me what you thought of them!