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April 16, 2011

Book Review: A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age: Middle Grade
Mysteries abound, especially in Two Castles.
A handsome cat trainer, black-and-white cats, thieves on four legs and two, suspicious townsfolk, a greedy king, a giddy princess, a shape-shifting ogre, a brilliant dragon. Which is the villainous whited sepulcher?
Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner—an actress—but luck is against her. She is saved from starvation by the dragon Meenore, who sends her on a dangerous mission inside the ogre's castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid at an ogre's feast, she finds herself cast in the role of a lifetime and pitted against a foe intent on murder.
Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine weaves an entrancing tale of a fearsome ogre, a dragon detective, and a remarkable heroine, who finds friendship where she least expects it, learns that there are many ways to mansion, and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes.
A Tale of Two Castles is the classic fairy tale full of fantasy and adventure.

Elodie is a twelve years old girl who is brave and intelligent. She's going to become a mansioner (an actress) at the town of Two Castles, but when she can't do tt, she has to accept a job being the assistant of a dragon.

I liked Elodie. It's obvious she's young and inexpert, acting as she was older, but I liked her attitude. She was strong, always taking the best of every situation and with a good heart. I loved to read her thoughts, she reminded me of my younger self.

Menore, her master, is a dragon. I loved Menore, maybe because I just love dragons, or maybe because IT was amazing. He is funny and is always teaching Elodie about common sense and using her mind. But I also liked the other characters, specially their friend the Ogre, ugly but with a golden heart.

Being a dragon's assistant isn't easy, and one of her missions is to work and the Ogre castle and discover who  wants to murder him with the help of the cats (remember the story of Puss 'N Boots?). It's a mystery that Elodie has to solve with Menore, before it's too late.

Mystery and adventure, A Tale of Two Castles is a story about learning not to judge people based on appearences and growing up. Sometimes the story was slow, but the mystery wasn't so easy to solve so it kept me reading.

Overall, I loved it! It's the first book I read from this author, but not the last one. It was cute and interesting,  and if you like intelligent heroines and fantasy, you will love this book. I hope there is a sequel, I'd love to read about Elodie and her friends next adventure.

More about this book at www.gailcarsonlevine.comGoodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository.


  1. What a lovely review Gaby. I've been meaning to get around to reading her books forever, but just never seem to find the time. Consider this little fairy tale yet another book to add to my TBR pile!

  2. Ooh, I think I've been in the mood for something like this lately but just didn't know it! I actually haven't read any of her books either (I don't think?) but know that I will enjoy this one quite so. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This sounds like a great kids book I'll have to pick it up and have a read through before passing it on :).

  4. I have requested this book through Net Galley. But they don't approved my request.

    Woot! There is a dragon in this book. Gosh. I should read this one. I fall for that creature.

  5. I love dragons. Will have to check this out.