How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?
At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy’s gift — the “gift’ of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse — once and for all.
In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom’and she’ll have to obey? Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella’s quest to break the curse once and for all and discover who she really is is as sharply funny as Catherine, Called Birdy and as richly poignant as Beauty, and has all the marks of a classic in the making.
Some of my favorite books ever are what my Mom calls “Princess Books.” There’s just something about true love, princesses and their princes, and a happy ending that pulls me right in and captivates me.
This was one of the books that made me fall in love with “Princess Books,” and it’s stuck with me ever since. I was probably about ten when I first read it, and I tend to reread it once a year or so.
Ella was given a gift by a fairy when she was born – the gift of obedience. While it might have been seen as a gift by the fairy who gave it to her, to Ella, it’s a curse.
The book follows Ella’s journey – her mothers death, her horrible new mother and step-sisters, her time at an awful finishing school, and how she falls in love with Charmont, the Prince of Frell. But she knows that she can’t marry him – if anyone ever got a hold of her, they could tell her to kill Char – and she wouldn’t be able to stop herself.
Gail Carson Levine did a great job with her characters. I always feel very connected to Ella when I read this book – I laugh with her, I cry with her, I hate the people she hates, and I love the people she loves.
The other characters are great too! Charmont is the perfect prince – he’s kind to everyone, he can laugh if you try hard enough to make him laugh, but he can be serious when necessary. Hattie and Olive – the stepsisters – are perfect stepsisters. They’re mean to Ella, and you don’t feel sorry for them at the end! (Okay, you feel a little sorry for Olive, who was one of Hattie’s victims too.)
My Favorite Scene
The Verdict: 5 of 5 Stars
This is one of my all time favorite books, and my brother enjoys it too. It’s a wonderful fairy tale that has a happy ending, and I love happy endings. 🙂