Parents' Guide to


By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Handmaid to queen discovers true beauty in charming fantasy.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

Fascinating Journey of finding true beauty.

Aza is young girl who is very different from the rest of the people in her kingdom. She lives with her family in a small inn they run. One day she receives the pleasure of becoming a substitute lady in waiting and attends the wedding of the king. Aza is ashamed she is not a beauty like the rest but its her dream. Throughout her journey she meets loyal friends but also deceitful people who plan on causing horrid things to Aza. In the books Aza struggles against the public over her appearance and the way she isn't like rest and isn't really accepted. A theme the books really tries to convey is it doesn't matter how we look in the outside,but how we are in the inside. As Aza discovers that for herself . In my opinion I think its really messed up of them for discriminating Aza because she's different . It's a wonderful book though ,that keeps you content and fills your head to imagine colorful or elegant things. I would recommend this to a parent ,teacher or a friend.
age 11+


it will teach kids on it to judge people by how they look just whats on the inside!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (32 ):

Author Gail Carson Levine has mastered the art of twisting fantasy and creating interesting characters that are likable and somehow relatable to today's kids. Aza is smart, competent, and gifted in song, a highly honored and valuable means of communication in this society. She also can illuse. This skill becomes the tool for the newly married, beautiful young queen to win the hearts of the kingdom.

And so follows a story with adventure, love, and fantasy with a thread common to the tale Sleeping Beauty and a lesson about recognizing what true beauty is.

Book Details

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