A TALE OF TWO CASTLES by Gail Carson Levine
Kirkus Star

A TALE OF TWO CASTLES

Age Range: 9 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A thoroughly delicious romp from the author of Ella Enchanted (1997). Before Lodie leaves the island of Lahnt, her mother warns her to beware ogres, dragons and “the whited sepulcher” (a villain who appears virtuous) in the big town of Two Castles; she inevitably meets all three, encountering danger and friendship where least expected. Lodie’s parents send her away to become a weaver, but the girl plans to become a “mansioner” (actor), like her brother Albin. When she cannot secure a free apprenticeship, she finds herself working for the enigmatic dragon Masteress Meenore, a food vendor and amateur detective. Lodie soon employs her imitative and observational mansioning skills—and Meenore’s lessons in “deduction, induction, and common sense”—to investigate thefts and threats at ogre Count Jonty Um’s royalty-crowded castle. When local prejudices and political intrigue throw the court into an uproar, Lodie must solve the many mysteries or face execution. Fairy tales and classic myths are cleverly woven into the story, but the gritty medieval conditions—poverty, hunger, lice and cruel nobles—provide the dramatic tension and realistic motivation for the adventurous and intelligent Lodie. The plot is winningly unpredictable, the characters easy to relate to, the humor subtle and the action well-paced. Newbery Honor–winner Levine has once again breathed new life into old stories. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-122965-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2011




MORE BY GAIL CARSON LEVINE

ChildrenOGRE ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine
by Gail Carson Levine
ChildrenTHE LOST KINGDOM OF BAMARRE by Gail Carson Levine
by Gail Carson Levine
ChildrenSTOLEN MAGIC by Gail Carson Levine
by Gail Carson Levine

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE STORYBOOK OF LEGENDS by Shannon Hale
by Shannon Hale
ChildrenHANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS by Merrie Haskell
by Merrie Haskell
ChildrenIN A GLASS GRIMMLY by Adam Gidwitz
by Adam Gidwitz