Book Review : A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
Elodie has been sent by her loving family to be apprenticed to weavers. However, this strong willed girl is determined to be a mansioner, an actor. While on her journey to Two Castles, where a king lives in one castle and an ogre in the other castle, she begins to meet puzzling characters.
As a young country bumpkin Elodie quickly has her only money stolen by a cat. She is charmed by a handsome youth, turned down for an apprenticeship by the masioners and taken under a dragon’s wing. The dragon has Elodie take on a difficult assignment requiring one to deduce, induce and use common sense. The kind ogre is in terrible danger and Elodie must protect him while using her sense to deduce who would wish to murder this kind being. An actor has never before had such a demanding role.
Adult Point of View
I enjoy Levine’s writing style. Her simplicity of phrase is expressive and charming. I also love the underlying message that we all need to deduce, induce and use common sense as we wend our ways through our own lives. And above all we all want to avoid a whited sepulcher, someone who seems good but is, in truth, evil.
There were a few things that I did not like, for example, always calling the dragon an “IT” was annoying, especially since it had both letters capitalized it stopped my flow of reading. It also seemed awkward to rename the actors as masioners.
I believe children as young as third grade could enjoy this book even though there is an evil whited sepulcher out for murder. I felt the detective style element was fun for kids to learn they need to discern who is trustworthy. Ages 8 – 12.
It was a fairly enchanting read though not Levine’s best book.
2.75 out 5 stars
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
She decided she wasn’t interested in reading this particular book.