A Tale Of Two Castles


Elodie dreams of being an actor. Her parents dream that she will become a skilled weaver or tradeswoman. Achieving either of those dreams means leaving home to work as an apprentice. On the ferry to Two Castles, she befriends a woman who warns her about Count Monty Um (the ogre), tells her that being an acting apprentice is no longer free,and explains what life is like in Two Castles. Then gives her a cat for good luck.

Elodie decides the woman is being melodramatic and she is not deterred from her goal. At least not until the cat runs away, a shopkeeper steals what little money she has, and she is left to work for Meenore, the city's dragon magician. Elodie thinks her luck has change when she gets the role of a lifetime - helping catch a murderer!

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Plenty of action fills this fairy tale who-dunnit.

Content Awareness Factors:

The cover! This is a book that boys AND girls would enjoy, but the cover makes it look like a girl book.

Parent Reaction

This was a lot of fun to read! There were plenty of twists to keep you reading. Every time I thought I figured out the culprit, new information changed my opinion. The "happily ever after" is not a complete surprise, but the humor and adventure along the way made it satisfying.

Type of Book:
This is a middle grade fairy tale / fantasy story.
Educational Themes:

There are several ways to enjoy this book beyond just fun reading. The story has elements of other fairy tales - older readers might be prompted to find them. This would make a good book club selection and discussion could focus on several themes: bravery, integrity, judging others, fairness, and lying to one's parents.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a very enjoyable read, but not one that you'd go back to.

Title A Tale of Two Castles
Author Gail Carson Levine
Publisher Harper Collins © 2011
ISBN 9780061229657
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Fantasy, Dragons, Fairy Tale
Other Reviews:

More Reviews

Here are some other books we have reviewed that you may like!


Diane Zahler
be the star you are


Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2011


Cressida Cowell
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2008
be the star you are