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!
Plenty of action fills this fairy tale who-dunnit.
The cover! This is a book that boys AND girls would enjoy, but the cover makes it look like a girl book.
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.
This is a middle grade fairy tale / fantasy story.
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.
10 and Up
9 and Up
Borrow. This is a very enjoyable read, but not one that you'd go back to.