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Ella Enchanted

by Gail Carson Levine
238 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by White Rose

A wonderful twist on a classic fairy tale.

Plot

When Ella was born, the fairy Lucinda bestowed upon her the accursed gift of obedience, forcing Ella to obey, against her will, any command. Her life is in danger every moment. A careless order could lead to her very death! But Ella does not let the curse deter her. She makes friends with the Prince Charmont, and, while at finishing school, an Ayorthian girl named Areida.

But when Ella's widowed father remarries, her obedience is discovered by her step-mother, and she is forced into servitude. Will she ever break the spell upon her life?

Morality

Sir Peter, Ella's father, cheats and deceives people in his business transactions, and Dame Olga and Hattie lie to achieve their own ends at times. These times are shown as wrong doing, and morality is clear.

Spiritual Content

Fairy tale magic such as turning pumpkins into coaches, nothing worse.

Violence

Some ogres catch Ella and talk about how they will eat her, but nothing explicit is said or done.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

A few kisses, but nothing inappropriate.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

This was Ms. Levine's first novel, and probably her most beloved. A fun and unique twist on the story of Cinderella. What if she had no choice in obeying her step-mother? That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

The world Levine creates in her story is amazing. She not only depicts the human culture, but also some of the culture and languages of elves, gnomes, giants, and ogres.

Ella is written as a person who is easy to relate to, and a very believable one. She is an example of standing up for yourself and overcoming obstacles. And the adventure she goes on to break the curse on her will keep anyone wanting to find out what comes next.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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