Fairest is a very (very) loose re-telling of “Snow White.” Aza is very ugly, compared to the rest of Ayortha. Her foster parents and siblings love her and she has a beautiful voice, but she still wishes that she was more beautiful. Through a circuitous series of events, she ends up as the lady-in-waiting to Ivy (or Ivi), the new wife of the king.
I liked this book, but nowhere near as much as I liked Ella Enchanted. Actually, I felt like the tenuous connections this book had to the world of Ella were quite distracting and kept me wondering if Ella and Ger were going to pop up. (They are mentioned late in the book, in a way which actually confused me all over again.) I also felt like Aza’s struggle with her appearance was too Message-y. That is, it was meant to teach the young girls who are the target audience for the book that even if you’re not beautiful, you can be loved, rather than springing out of the character or the plot naturally. The idea of the Snow White character being ugly was interesting, but I didn’t feel that it was handled as well as it could have been.
All in all, I’m not sorry I read it, but I don’t know that I’ll ever read it again.