A Tale of Two Castles

A Tale of Two Castles (A Tale of Two Castles, #1)A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Series: Book One of A Tale of Two Castles

This review contains no spoilers.

This was published as a part of my Alphabetical Books Goal.

Disclaimer: I am very biased toward anything that Gail Carson Levine writes. She is my absolute favorite author and her books are some of what inspired my love of reading.

Mysteries abound, especially in Two Castles.

A handsome cat trainer, black-and-white cats, thieves on four legs and two, suspicious townsfolk, a greedy king, a giddy princess, a shape-shifting ogre, a brilliant dragon. Which is the villainous whited sepulcher?

Elodie journeys to the town of Two Castles to become a mansioner—an actress—but luck is against her. She is saved from starvation by the dragon Meenore, who sends her on a dangerous mission inside the ogre’s castle. There, disguised as a kitchen maid at an ogre’s feast, she finds herself cast in the role of a lifetime and pitted against a foe intent on murder.

I unashamedly love anything by Gail Carson Levine. This book is no exception. There are parts of it which are absolutely hilarious (like all of her books) and then parts which are much more serious (there is a murderer on the loose).

The Imagery: I think one of GCL’s strong points as a writer is being able to pull her readers into the world she’s created. I can very vividly remember Elodie’s world and particularly a scene where she acts the part of someone who wants an apple. I know it sounds absurd, but it has really stuck with me as one of the best written and most immersive scenes in the book.

I’m not always a fan of mysteries in fantasy – I love mysteries and I love fantasy but I don’t always love when they’re put together – but in this book it’s really well done. Of course, there are some parts that I thought were a bit predictable, but that’s just because I’m so familiar with her style. Some things still caught me off guard though, and there are enough twists to keep it interesting for any reader.

I have to boast a little because my copy is signed.


This book is for any lover of fantasy or mystery. Mrs. Levine’s work isn’t just for kids, I think even teens and young adults can get into it too.


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