Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Before Elodie leaves her family forever to journey to Two Castles, her mother warns her never to talk to ogre’s or dragons, and to always beware the whited sepulcher: someone who seems good but is really evil.

But Elodie has other plans in mind. She’s going to be a masioner, an actress. Along the way, however, fate throws a wrench in her plans. When she arrives in Two Castles, she’s too late to be an apprentice. And even if she’d arrived on time, she doesn’t have the money. The little she did have was stolen by an unlikely thief.

Penniless, homeless, and hungry, Elodie must accept the position of Dragon Apprentice to Meenore until she can earn enough to become a masioner’s apprentice. Her first mission is to work inside the castle and discover the villain bent on murdering the ogre, Count Jonty Um. Can she use her powers of deduction to save the Count before it's too late?


I enjoy Gail Carson Levine’s work, so I was excited to read A Tale of Two Castles.

There is so much to learn as a reader, which is natural when the author creates their own world. There were times when I was confused and it took me a while to catch on. Other times, the author naturally explains what I need to know.

I thought Elodie was a fantastic character. She used her wits and proved to be not only a gifted actress, but also intelligent and quick. Her mastress, Meenore (only a dragon knows ITs gender) is tough around the edges, but proves IT has a tender heart. And the feared and hated Ogre proves that he’s just misunderstood.

I really enjoyed this middle-grade adventure. While it wasn't my favorite of Levine's work, I think younger readers will really love it!

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (May 10, 2011)
  • Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads

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KT said...

I felt pretty much the same way about this one. It's fun, but not her best. Also, the fact that the "IT" appeared over and over again really bugged. I guess it's cute and all that the dragon only knows it's gender, but the capitalization, etc got on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

Yep, felt like this too. Wasn't bad, but wasn't my favorite. And the IT really, really bothered me after a few pages. Enough already!