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Ever since Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine introduced the magical village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the faraway Kingdom of Biddle, young readers have been laughing their way through her hilarious retellings of famous and not-so-famous fairy tales. Now, for the first time, the six beloved Princess Tales are together in one magnificent volume: The high jinks begin in Ever since Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine introduced the magical village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the faraway Kingdom of Biddle, young readers have been laughing their way through her hilarious retellings of famous and not-so-famous fairy tales. Now, for the first time, the six beloved Princess Tales are together in one magnificent volume: The high jinks begin in The Fairy's Mistake, which pokes fun at a meddlesome fairy whose plans for good go terribly awry. In The Princess Test, the author spoofs the notion that a pea can prove a person's pedigree. Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep features a genius of a princess, a hundred years of snooze, two princes, and a flock of balding sheep! Cinderella is a boy in Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, and the glass slipper is a glass hill. In For Biddle's Sake, Parsley tries to forget her beloved prince and get used to life as a Biddlebum Toad. The road to happily-ever-after isn't easy when a baker's son and a princess fall in love in The Fairy's Return. Elements of the classics are woven into these not-so-typical retellings of "Toads and Diamonds," "The Princess and the Pea," "Sleeping Beauty," "The Princess on the Glass Hill," "Puddocky," and "The Golden Goose." The fresh and funny twists on favorite fairy tales will win the hearts and capture the imaginations of young readers everywhere.


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Ever since Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine introduced the magical village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the faraway Kingdom of Biddle, young readers have been laughing their way through her hilarious retellings of famous and not-so-famous fairy tales. Now, for the first time, the six beloved Princess Tales are together in one magnificent volume: The high jinks begin in Ever since Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine introduced the magical village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the faraway Kingdom of Biddle, young readers have been laughing their way through her hilarious retellings of famous and not-so-famous fairy tales. Now, for the first time, the six beloved Princess Tales are together in one magnificent volume: The high jinks begin in The Fairy's Mistake, which pokes fun at a meddlesome fairy whose plans for good go terribly awry. In The Princess Test, the author spoofs the notion that a pea can prove a person's pedigree. Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep features a genius of a princess, a hundred years of snooze, two princes, and a flock of balding sheep! Cinderella is a boy in Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, and the glass slipper is a glass hill. In For Biddle's Sake, Parsley tries to forget her beloved prince and get used to life as a Biddlebum Toad. The road to happily-ever-after isn't easy when a baker's son and a princess fall in love in The Fairy's Return. Elements of the classics are woven into these not-so-typical retellings of "Toads and Diamonds," "The Princess and the Pea," "Sleeping Beauty," "The Princess on the Glass Hill," "Puddocky," and "The Golden Goose." The fresh and funny twists on favorite fairy tales will win the hearts and capture the imaginations of young readers everywhere.

30 review for The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Andie Z. for TeensReadToo.com Gail Carson Levine is well-known for taking familiar fairy tales and weaving them with her own magic. THE FAIRY'S REUTRN AND OTHER PRINCESS TALES is no exception. In this collection of the six popular Princess Tales, Levine has rewritten six familiar (and some not-so-familiar) stories until they are virtually unrecognizable. In THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE, which is based on the fairy tale "Toads and Diamonds," two very different sisters are each granted a gift by Reviewed by Andie Z. for TeensReadToo.com Gail Carson Levine is well-known for taking familiar fairy tales and weaving them with her own magic. THE FAIRY'S REUTRN AND OTHER PRINCESS TALES is no exception. In this collection of the six popular Princess Tales, Levine has rewritten six familiar (and some not-so-familiar) stories until they are virtually unrecognizable. In THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE, which is based on the fairy tale "Toads and Diamonds," two very different sisters are each granted a gift by the fairy Ethelinda. Ethelinda feels that her gifts are both well-deserved, so it comes as a great surprise when she discovers that neither gift brought the results she had planned. THE PRINCESS TEST, which is based on "The Princess and the Pea," tells the story of Lorelei, a blacksmith's daughter, and the prince who falls in love with her. However, the prince's father is determined that his son should marry a princess, so he designs a series of tests to ensure the bride's pedigree. Nicholas still wants to marry Lorelei, but how can she ever pass the tests if she's not a real princess? PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP is based on "Sleeping Beauty." As a baby, Princess Sonora is granted many gifts, each fairy trying to outdo the others and bestow the best gift. As a result, Sonora is a beautiful, precocious young child, and she decides to wait until the opportune moment to prick her finger, which will put the castle to sleep for one-hundred years, as promised by the fairy Belladonna. Her plan, however, doesn't exactly go as planned. In CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL, which is based on "The Princess on the Glass Hill," Cinderellis is a lonely boy inventor who is ignored and made fun of by his brothers. Princess Marigold is equally lonely, and wishes she had someone to talk to other than her cat. When Marigold's father decides that it's time for her to marry, he puts her on a glass hill that suitors will have to climb, and it will take Cinderellis' best invention yet to win her hand. FOR BIDDLE'S SAKE is based on "Puddocky," and tells the story of Parsley, a young girl who loves eating parsley. Unfortunately, the only place that parsley grows is in the garden of the fairy Bombina, who is in jail for turning too many people into toads. When Bombina is released and Parsley is accidentally turned into a toad, she must find a way to make the most of the situation, and maybe even help someone else along the way. In THE FAIRY'S RETURN, which is based on "The Golden Goose," the fairy Ethelinda is back, and she's nervous about giving any more gifts. But when a baker's son and a princess fall in love and the king forbids their marriage, she just has to do something! So she hopes that everything goes well and gives the baker's son a golden goose. All six of these stories were absolutely wonderful, full of humor, magic, and love. If you're a fan of ELLA ENCHANTED or THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE, you definitely shouldn't miss this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kailey (Luminous Libro)

    I love all these short story retellings of fairy tales! They are so hilarious and clever!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Churin

    You know that author that you couldn't help but love because you've been loving their books since you were an itty-bitty baby? Gail Carson Levine is that author for me. I couldn't help it, my very first two favorite books is written by her. So, although none of her later books made it to my favorite list, I still hold them close to my heart! In this collection of fairy tales retelling, GCL tells stories of misshapen that happened around six (supposedly) familiar fairy tales. I've recognized some You know that author that you couldn't help but love because you've been loving their books since you were an itty-bitty baby? Gail Carson Levine is that author for me. I couldn't help it, my very first two favorite books is written by her. So, although none of her later books made it to my favorite list, I still hold them close to my heart! In this collection of fairy tales retelling, GCL tells stories of misshapen that happened around six (supposedly) familiar fairy tales. I've recognized some, but I definitely have no clue about some other. The stories are: - The Fairy's Mistake (very familiar but I don't remember what is it) - The Princess Test (The True Princess or The Princess and The Pea) - Princess Sonora and The Long Sleep (Sleeping Beauty) - Cinderellis and The Glass Hill (Cinderella mixed with The Princess on the Glass Hill. Maybe lol) - For Biddle's Sake (no idea T_T) - The Fairy's Return (The Golden Goose) Out of the six, I definitely LOVE Princess Sonora and For Biddle's Sake the most. I hate the concept of helpless damsel Sleeping Beauty and Princess Sonora is definitely one of the most creative Sleeping Beauty retelling I've ever read. I love the other stories as well, of course. Well, let's just say I just love anything written by GCL ^^ Would I recommend this for younger children? Definitely! The narrative is really flowing and the plot is really interesting without being too difficult to enjoy. My cousins loved this 😆

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Gail Carson Levine is in the same vein of writing as Robin McKinley. She does takes on fairy tales. This book is a collection of short stories based on fairy tales or folk tales. These stories take place in the land of Biddle and you will find it amusing that the kings and queens generally have the same name...with corresponding roman numerals at the end. "The Fairy's Mistake": One girl is rewarded for doing good, the other punished by a fairy but the reward seems to be a punishment and the punis Gail Carson Levine is in the same vein of writing as Robin McKinley. She does takes on fairy tales. This book is a collection of short stories based on fairy tales or folk tales. These stories take place in the land of Biddle and you will find it amusing that the kings and queens generally have the same name...with corresponding roman numerals at the end. "The Fairy's Mistake": One girl is rewarded for doing good, the other punished by a fairy but the reward seems to be a punishment and the punishment seems to be a reward. "The Princess Test": A take on The Princess and the Pea "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep": A take on Sleeping Beauty "Cinderellis and the Glass Hill": Cinderellis is a boy who invents powder for different things which is useful when the princess can only be married by climbing an extremely slippery glass hill. "For Biddle's Sake": Parsley is accidentally turned into a toad which comes in handy when the prince shows up trying to find ways to finish his quest to become heir to the throne ahead of his two lying, fighting, twin brothers. "The Fairy's Return": The princess has fallen in love with the baker's son. The king does not like this and orders that the first person to make her laugh will become her husband. A take on the golden goose.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Candi Criddle

    Alright I really liked this book in all it's silliness. I didn't like the Princess Test when I first read it, I was put off by it's shortness and silliness, but I have come to appreciate it. In a world of self-absorbed, self-important young adult literature, this is just fantastic. I especially like the first story with the girl who speaks with bugs and lizards-great. One caveat is that I got a little tired of the three stories about youngest sons where the oldest two sons were only friends with Alright I really liked this book in all it's silliness. I didn't like the Princess Test when I first read it, I was put off by it's shortness and silliness, but I have come to appreciate it. In a world of self-absorbed, self-important young adult literature, this is just fantastic. I especially like the first story with the girl who speaks with bugs and lizards-great. One caveat is that I got a little tired of the three stories about youngest sons where the oldest two sons were only friends with each other. One of the stories made the brothers seem a little gay with their special looks and smiles for each other. Fine, I guess, but brothers? Anyway, read it, six little stories that are just fantastic.

  6. 5 out of 5

    G

    Warning: This review may contain spoilers. After reading a few fairy tale re-tellings of other authors, I can't help but go back and compare them to Gail Carson Levine. No matter what anyone says, Levine is incomparable. She is really great (the best, maybe?) when it comes to weaving quick, fun and enjoyable fantasy stories. This book contains 6 short stories by Levine: "The Fairy's Mistake", "The Princess Test", "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep", "Cinderellis and the Glass Hill", "For Biddle's Warning: This review may contain spoilers. After reading a few fairy tale re-tellings of other authors, I can't help but go back and compare them to Gail Carson Levine. No matter what anyone says, Levine is incomparable. She is really great (the best, maybe?) when it comes to weaving quick, fun and enjoyable fantasy stories. This book contains 6 short stories by Levine: "The Fairy's Mistake", "The Princess Test", "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep", "Cinderellis and the Glass Hill", "For Biddle's Sake" and "The Fairy's Return". I do have Levine's " The Princess Tales, Volume I ", which contains the first three short stories that are in this book. Just yesterday when I went to the book store, I stumbled upon " The Princess Tales, Volume II ", which contains the last three short stories in this book. Aside from that, I had also found this book. I was torn between buying "The Princess Tales, Volume II" or this one. In the end, I chose to buy this one since it was cheaper and it WAS the complete collection of Levine's Princess Tales. Now, moving on to each individual story! "The Fairy's Mistake" is based on "Toads and Princesses". There are two identical twin sisters who have very different personalities. One is sweet and kind, while the other is rude and mean. A fairy rewards the first sister and punishes the other. However, the fairy's initial plan backfires when she finds out that neither gift brought the results that she had wanted. I do like this story. It has its hilarious moments and it was very enjoyable. It was my favorite story in "The Princess Tales, Volume I". It's funny though, because prior to now, I had never heard of "Toads and Princesses". "The Princess Test" is based on "The Princess and the Pea". Lorelei is a sweet, but absurdly picky girl. However, despite her faults, Prince Nicholas does want her to become his bride. But Nicholas' parents insist on him marrying a real princess and devise various tests to assess a princesses' legitimacy. Will Lorelei, a mere commoner, be able to pass the princess test? I'm really impressed by how Levine managed to add a great background to this popular fairy tale. I was really fascinated with the different tests that each princess had to take. I wish there were more tests! "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep" is based on "Sleeping Beauty". When Princess Sonora was a baby, she was granted with many gifts. The most evident one- intelligence. But she was also given a curse- when the time comes, she will be pricked by a spindle and will have to fall asleep for 100 years until a prince comes to wake her up with a kiss. From the first 3 stories, this one was the one that impressed me the least. I did like the first half of the story- where Princess Sonora was still a kid, going on with life in her little eccentric ways. But when the real plot starting taking place, my interest dwindled. There were too many names which made the story confusing. "Cinderellis and the Glass Hill" is based on "The Princess on the Glass Hill". Cinderellis and Princess Marigold are two lonely children. Cinderellis, a young inventor, yearns to be accepted by his brothers. Marigold just wishes that her father would stop going on quests and stay home with her. When a contest to win Princess Marigold's hand in marriage is announced, many men come in order to try their luck in climbing up a slippery glass hill with their horse. Cinderellis joins in the hullabaloo too, using his best inventions. It was hard thinking of a summary for this one. I didn't like this story. What a disappointment. It was the first new Levine fairy tale that I've read today. And it really did not appeal to me. Maybe it's because I've never heard of the original fairy tale before. Or maybe I'm just privy to horses. I don't know. I just hope the last two stories are better than this one. "For Biddle's Sake" is based on "Puddocky". Parsley loves eating parsley. Her love for the food has caused her teeth to turn parsley green. But that doesn't stop her from charming anyone with her dazzling smile. Through an incident, she is turned into a frog and must find a way to break the spell. I don't remember liking anything in particular except for the prince. He was certainly different from all the other men in the other five stories. It was a nice and welcome change. "The Fairy's Return" is based on "The Golden Goose". Robin loves making people laugh and Princess Lark loves to laugh. Together, they'd make a perfect pair. The only problem is that Princess Lark's father is dead set against his daughter marrying a commoner and makes up difficult challenges in order to throw Robin off. This was a simple short story. It didn't have confusing details, and it felt quite short. The jokes were also a nice addition. I did find myself being amused by one of the jokes. I thought that the ending of this short story wrapped up this whole book quite well. And that's that! I finished this book in one day. This counts as one day, seeing as it is just midnight. After reading this, I can still say that I stand firm on my belief that Levine makes great fantasy stories. I loved " The Two Princesses of Bamarre " and " Ella Enchanted ". The only thing that I haven't read is Levine's " Fairest ". I will remedy that, though. Although these stories were short, they were all certainly very sweet in their own way. I liked how all six of the short stories were subtly interconnected with one another. That makes me feel better about buying this book (which has all six of the stories), rather than me buying "The Princess Tales, Volume II". Overall, this was a great book. All of Levine's works have a sort of magic. I think this book deserves 5 stars, although one of the stories did disappoint me. I suggest reading these stories slowly. You can't rush magic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Syl-G6

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I highly recommend this book for people to read, especially those who love fairytales. Gail Levine made an excellent and creative way of putting six tales together with her created kingdoms of Biddle and Kulornia. Levine uses many tales we know today such as, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. She adds a sense of humor, fairytale fascinations, and some original fairytales. Weaving them together which is a perfect combination. My favorite tale of the six is Cinderellis, based on the original story I highly recommend this book for people to read, especially those who love fairytales. Gail Levine made an excellent and creative way of putting six tales together with her created kingdoms of Biddle and Kulornia. Levine uses many tales we know today such as, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. She adds a sense of humor, fairytale fascinations, and some original fairytales. Weaving them together which is a perfect combination. My favorite tale of the six is Cinderellis, based on the original story Cinderella. However, Cinderellis is a boy and the glass slipper is a glass pyramid. The princess, Marigold is findng a prince for a husband so she sits atop a smooth glass pyramid and the prince has to climb to the top on a horse with armor to get three golden apples. Cinderellis uses a sticking powder he invented to climb up the side of the pyramid. He succeeds in getting all three golden apples. In this story the author includes many funny and interesting points, to describe how fast the golden mare (Ghasm) Cinderellis owns, Levine wrote, “Ghasm was better than her sisters at catching treats. And she was faster too. Once, when Cinderellis jumped on her back he started to sneeze. ‘A-‘ he said. She took off. He finished the sneeze. ‘Choo!’ They had gone two miles.” I also enjoy the story, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep. It also has some sense of humor in it because once Prince Christopher learned that Princess Sonora is alive he was really excited. Gail Levine wrote, “ ‘Sonora lives!’ Christopher yelled. ‘She sleeps! She lives! She can tell us about the sheep that are going bald! She can answer all my questions!’ He shouted to the squire, ‘Saddle my horse!’ But Christopher was too excited to wait. He ran after the squire and saddled his own horse. Then he rode to his father. ‘Sire!’ I’m off to old Biddle Castle.’ He galloped away, calling behind him, ‘To wake the sleeping princess!’”But I mainly liked this story because of how the character is described. I like how Levine made Sonora ten times smarter than everyone else and how she hid the spindle in her closet waiting for the right time to prick herself. I recommend this book for readers who like fantasy, and humor.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    2.5? 3? Who can know.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

    Cute, fun fairy tales I enjoyed revisiting. I love how many of them are fairy tales not often retold! I think I read all of them back in elementary/middle school, except for the final story, as it didn't seem as familiar to me. Cute, fun fairy tales I enjoyed revisiting. I love how many of them are fairy tales not often retold! I think I read all of them back in elementary/middle school, except for the final story, as it didn't seem as familiar to me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    iz

    always been a favorite

  11. 5 out of 5

    Faiza Nazim

    An enjoyable great read with my sister. Every story had a twist that was funny, witty and entertaining.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abi

    Gosh, I was rearranging my bookshelves today when I came across this on my fairytale shelf, and I just HAD to reread it! I've read these before (and remembered them pretty well even though it's been a few years), though that makes sense considering my hardcover copy of the book is so well-loved it's lost its jacket (and we also have a paperback). Anyway, these fairytales are very original, as they take the original stories they come from, and add a bit of logic and rationality to them. They're f Gosh, I was rearranging my bookshelves today when I came across this on my fairytale shelf, and I just HAD to reread it! I've read these before (and remembered them pretty well even though it's been a few years), though that makes sense considering my hardcover copy of the book is so well-loved it's lost its jacket (and we also have a paperback). Anyway, these fairytales are very original, as they take the original stories they come from, and add a bit of logic and rationality to them. They're funny, and Levine's writing style is great. I honestly can't recommend them enough. I really like all of them, but especially Princess Sonora, and Cinderellis, and The Fairy's Return, the one with Robin and Lark. The other ones are great too, though. Lorelai always makes me laugh, and the scene in the first story where Myrtle and Rosella switch places is super entertaining. And of course, Parsley and Tansy are cute. So really, they're all quite good. At any rate, if you like fairytale retellings, I'd highly recommend these, and all of Levine's other works. 5 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Madeline Rose

    These are all so fun! The Fairy's Mistake - 5/5 This one is possibly my favorite out of the bunch! Rosella and Myrtle are both great in their own way. And Nicholas so had it coming to him... The Princess Test - 4/5 This one though!! Lorelei is so precious and such. Got quite a few laughs out of me. Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep - 4/5 This was so hilarious! Sonora is a know-it-all of mass proportions and it's a riot! Cinderellis and the Glass Hill - 3/5 This one didn't stick with me as much as These are all so fun! The Fairy's Mistake - 5/5 This one is possibly my favorite out of the bunch! Rosella and Myrtle are both great in their own way. And Nicholas so had it coming to him... The Princess Test - 4/5 This one though!! Lorelei is so precious and such. Got quite a few laughs out of me. Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep - 4/5 This was so hilarious! Sonora is a know-it-all of mass proportions and it's a riot! Cinderellis and the Glass Hill - 3/5 This one didn't stick with me as much as the others... I remember really hating the brothers, though. For Biddle's Sake - 3/5 I vaguely remember this one...I remember getting really annoyed with Parsley...But she did have a change in the end. The Fairy's Return - 4/5 This was so sweet! Robin and Lark are so cute together and Robin is hilarious. All in all, I got quite a few laughs out of this, which is totally good with me! 4/5.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    3.5 stars This was really cute. I had read the first three stories before in another volume, but the last three were new to me. Some of them were better than others: my favorites were "The Princess Test" and "For Biddle's Sake" (a Rapunzel and Frog Prince mash-up! So good). Others seemed a bit hasty with the conclusions. They were all light and fun. I loved how she connected all of them by having them set in the same places and having some characters (or their descendants) interwoven. 3.5 stars This was really cute. I had read the first three stories before in another volume, but the last three were new to me. Some of them were better than others: my favorites were "The Princess Test" and "For Biddle's Sake" (a Rapunzel and Frog Prince mash-up! So good). Others seemed a bit hasty with the conclusions. They were all light and fun. I loved how she connected all of them by having them set in the same places and having some characters (or their descendants) interwoven.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    This was basically everything I wanted for some quick and fun fairytales. A bit juvenile and maybe too repetitive or predictable at times, but I knew that would be the case going into it. It was magical, silly, and fun. There are six short stories included in this it was nice to be able to escape for a bit, but also quickly get through each tale and have a good stopping point (maybe I’m just showing my weakness for late-night reading?!).

  16. 4 out of 5

    mary Ethington

    darling for young girls. It has several (6)short princess stories that can be read fairly quickly. My nine year old and I read these stories together the first time and now she is reading them again on her own. I also love the hard cover copy, it looks nice.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Lots of humorous, fairy tale shorts. I enjoy Levine's writing style and humor. Lots of humorous, fairy tale shorts. I enjoy Levine's writing style and humor.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lara Vehar

    I really enjoyed this book. I love modern twists on old fairy tales so this was interesting. THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE Eh this one was kind of weird and boring - I have no idea which fairy tale this one is based on but the plot is: A fairy is transformed next to a well, two sisters come by and one offers her water to drink and the other one doesn't. The good one gets rewarded by throwing up gems every time she speaks and the evil one gets punished by throwing up bugs, snakes and other nasty things- eit I really enjoyed this book. I love modern twists on old fairy tales so this was interesting. THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE Eh this one was kind of weird and boring - I have no idea which fairy tale this one is based on but the plot is: A fairy is transformed next to a well, two sisters come by and one offers her water to drink and the other one doesn't. The good one gets rewarded by throwing up gems every time she speaks and the evil one gets punished by throwing up bugs, snakes and other nasty things- either one of them sounds painful to be honest. The good one gets married to a greedy prince who wants all the gems to himself so he makes her speak until her voice gives out- in the end everybody gets a happy ending surprisingly - the good sister and prince compromise and she gives half of the gems to her subjects and half to him, the evil sister that used her new found powers to intimidate people into giving her free things now has races with whatever she throws up so she and evil step mother can live off of that money because those are apparently really successful and people bet a lot on them and it's good for tourism and the prince that is shown time and time again that he is greedy and doesn't really care for the main character is just forgiven in the end- This one was weird though I like that the fairy that makes the appearance in this story comes back in the last story and this story is referenced in the last one. THE PRINCESS TEST This one is based off of the Princess and the pea - and the story pretty much plays out the same way, a prince is about to get married, the king devises tests to see who the fit princess is and the last test is twelve mattresses with a pea under them all because only a true princess would feel that and wouldn't be able to sleep. It was an all right story I guess. PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP This one is based off of Sleeping beauty and it plays out pretty much the same - except that unlike in cartoons everybody that sleeps for 100 years gets cowered in dust and bird poop and I really enjoyed the part when the prince comes into Sonora's room and he has to kiss her dirty face and is disgusted but ends up doing it anyways. I also liked the twist where the fairies give her a gift of being insanely smart- the only reason why this prince seeks her out is because she is so smart and she knows everything. I really liked her personality as well. CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL I also have no idea which fairy tale this one is based on, but it was a really enjoyable story. The characters are charming and likeable - it's another test based one where a prince has to get through a bunch of tests to win the princess but it's not a prince that wins but an odd outcast that isn't like anybody else in his family- I also really enjoyed reading about the horses, though the way they were introduced I thought that they were actually maidens turned into horses and they were going to turn back by the end of the story, but nope they weren't- they were just ordinary horses- and I didn't really get why the armours were important because they barely played any role but it was still a fun story to read. FOR BIDDLE'S SAKE I vaguely know what story this one was based off - I liked it a lot. Persely is really likeable, the fairy Bombina was likeable and I actually love that she learns the price of her turning people into toads on her own because she accidentally turns Persely that she adores into one, I also really liked their mother/daughter dynamic- it's a really fun spin on the princess and the frog along with some other fairy tales. THE FAIRY'S RETURN The fairy from the first tale, Ethelinda comes back. She is afraid that she will screw up the gifts and punishments again so she ends up flying around for 7 years straight just because she is so afraid of her boss that commanded her to do more for humans and bond with them - she ends up meeting the main character- he is a commoner that fell in love with the princess. She likes him because he isn't afraid of offending her and acts natural around her and he makes her laugh, he is an outcast in his family so he loves that she accepts and loves him for who he is. The king forbids the marriage and gives him three tests to pass, he passes them with Ethelinda's help and all is well, they end up together after a few obstacles. This one was probably my favourite one out of all of them - I really found myself rooting for the main characters and the story was just so charming, I really adored this book and it made me love GCL all over again after the mess that was Ogre enchanted.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I read all but the last of these six modern fairy tales as individual volumes, but as they’re brief, for the sake of my reading goal I am using this volume to count them all as one book. As individual tales, I gave most four stars, but due to the consistent quality, as a collection I’m bumping up the overall rating to 4.5. Pasting my individual reviews here: “The Fairy’s Mistake” (6/29/20) I heard about this series by chance when watching a random YouTube video, and found it a worthwhile fairy tale I read all but the last of these six modern fairy tales as individual volumes, but as they’re brief, for the sake of my reading goal I am using this volume to count them all as one book. As individual tales, I gave most four stars, but due to the consistent quality, as a collection I’m bumping up the overall rating to 4.5. Pasting my individual reviews here: “The Fairy’s Mistake” (6/29/20) I heard about this series by chance when watching a random YouTube video, and found it a worthwhile fairy tale in the same style that earned Levine a Newbery Medal for her novel Ella Enchanted. As in that novel, a fairy bestows a blessing that turns out not to be one, as well as a curse. There may be a lesson here about making the best of what you’re given, but that would make the villain the hero and imply that good is punished and evil rewarded. Regardless, it’s a fun quick read. “The Princess Test” (7/3/20 - 7/4/20) An entertaining retelling of “The Princess and the Pea”, Levine enhances the tale by developing the characters a bit more. “Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep” (7/4/20 - 7/5/20) Another refreshing and enhancing spin on a classic fairy tale. Here Levine tackles “Sleeping Beauty” and gives it a modern edge as the heroine is blessed with great intelligence, enough to plot to choose when she’ll sleep and who she’ll marry. “Cinderellis and the Glass Hill” (7/5/20 - 7/6/20) I was surprised that Levine chose “Cinderella” as the basis for this tale, as she already used it to to inspire her Newbery Award-winning novel Ella Enchanted. However here she takes a completely different approach, centering the story on a farm boy with a penchant for invention and two brothers who always exclude him. The tale drifts in the direction of other fairy tales, with three magical horses and a challenge to win the princess that takes three tries to conquer. The repetition of three is a trope in many fairy tales, but I felt as a modern retelling, having essentially the same thing happening three times undermined the pace and story. While creative and well written, this one wasn’t as strong for me as Levine’s other tales. “For Biddle’s Sake” (7/6/20 - 7/7/20) Levine creates another new version of a fairy tale—in fact, this is a bit of a mash-up of “Rapunzel” and a gender reversed version of “The Princess and the Frog.” She uses the world she has created to good effect, and here it is more overt that these tales are not just set in the same world but are also in chronological order as there is a reference to two of the heroines of previous tales. I appreciated that here the princess succeeds through her own wits, and that a relationship is developed on an intellectual and emotional level over time, as the heroine observes the prince from afar and falls for his character, not his looks. The prince enjoys time with the heroine talking for a fair period before falling in love. That the moral is about value based on attributes other than appearance is a good message. “The Fairy’s Return” (7/7/20) It took awhile for me to recognize this as a version of “The Golden Goose.” I only know the tale because I was in a play based on it as a kid; it brought back fond memories of that experience. As the last of the six tales in the series, this does a good job of bringing the collection full circle as the fairy in the first tale, “The Fairy’s Mistake” redeems herself. Again there is a romance based on friendship and an established relationship and qualities other than appearance, a theme in Levine’s work. This and the previous two tales use the same troupe of the hero being the youngest of three brothers, and the older two brothers treat him terribly. They’re the equivalent of the wicked stepsisters of Cinderella, and there seem to be many lesser known tales involving three brothers. But with Levine’s creativity, I wish she had changed up the formula for at least one of the tales. I’m not sure the brothers in this tale were fully necessary as there are other, stronger antagonists. As a stand-alone, it wouldn’t make much difference, but as this story relies on another of her tales and is part of a series, it creates a bit too much repetition. Still, it’s a cute story with a bunch of pun-based jokes some kids might get a kick out of.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Book title: The Fairies Return and Other Princess Tales Author: Gail Carson Levine The setting takes place at a water well where Rosetta goes to. She happens upon a fairy at the well. The fairy gives her magical powers and gems are able to flow from her mouth when she speaks. There are other fairy tales in the book in the other chapters and each has a different main idea or theme. The author's writing made it difficult to put the book down at night and go to sleep. I had dreams about the fairies a Book title: The Fairies Return and Other Princess Tales Author: Gail Carson Levine The setting takes place at a water well where Rosetta goes to. She happens upon a fairy at the well. The fairy gives her magical powers and gems are able to flow from her mouth when she speaks. There are other fairy tales in the book in the other chapters and each has a different main idea or theme. The author's writing made it difficult to put the book down at night and go to sleep. I had dreams about the fairies and their magical land. It was a good book overall. The strength of the book was that the various stories tied together. One weakness was the impossible mental picture of the jewels coming out of Rosetta's mouth. The rating that I gave the book was four stars. It was an easy read and kept my attention.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cabiria Aquarius

    This was a reread for me. I absolutely adore these stories and even though I know what’s coming I still enjoy reading them. And especially in this day and with what’s going around, it felt good to come back to what I know. I really needed it when I opened it. It felt good to read it again and I loved every second of it. My favourite will always be The Fairy’s Mistake but I love all of them so much. The way the stories happen. I wish there were more. I wonder how she came up with them. These fair This was a reread for me. I absolutely adore these stories and even though I know what’s coming I still enjoy reading them. And especially in this day and with what’s going around, it felt good to come back to what I know. I really needed it when I opened it. It felt good to read it again and I loved every second of it. My favourite will always be The Fairy’s Mistake but I love all of them so much. The way the stories happen. I wish there were more. I wonder how she came up with them. These fairytale retellings. They are so neat and funny. Perfect for kids of course but just as good for older kids. Young adults too.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cate

    Technically I listened to each of these individually as freebies from Audible, however it felt more authentic to rate them as a collection instead. I had read all of these except for the sixth one, “The Fairy’s Return” (a retelling of the story of the Golden Goose) as a child. These made for a cute and quick relisten as an adult, while doing other things. Gail Carson Levine is the queen of retelling fairy tales, although this collection is not my favourite of her works. Some of these stories dra Technically I listened to each of these individually as freebies from Audible, however it felt more authentic to rate them as a collection instead. I had read all of these except for the sixth one, “The Fairy’s Return” (a retelling of the story of the Golden Goose) as a child. These made for a cute and quick relisten as an adult, while doing other things. Gail Carson Levine is the queen of retelling fairy tales, although this collection is not my favourite of her works. Some of these stories dragged a little bit in places, but for the most part were fun (and free!) distractions from COVID-19 social distancing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    val

    We had no electricity because of Typhoon Ulysses so after my Switch ran out of battery I picked up my Kindle after WEEKS and thought, you know what would make this extended brownout really feel like growing up in La Union? Reading this book which I'd brought all the way from America before losing it somewhere on my many visits to extended family. Children's literature, when written intelligently, is so powerful because it can entertain both children and adults. Gail Carson Levine's prose and humo We had no electricity because of Typhoon Ulysses so after my Switch ran out of battery I picked up my Kindle after WEEKS and thought, you know what would make this extended brownout really feel like growing up in La Union? Reading this book which I'd brought all the way from America before losing it somewhere on my many visits to extended family. Children's literature, when written intelligently, is so powerful because it can entertain both children and adults. Gail Carson Levine's prose and humor are fun. The last story was just OK compared to everything else before it (which were brilliant) but I have so much respect for her.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Gaum

    This was a cute collection of fairy tales. I've enjoyed Gail Carson Levine's books since I was in elementary school, but all the previous ones I've read felt like they were intended for a slightly older audience. These six stories seemed intended for much younger readers, but I still had a nice time meeting the characters and discovering the references to well-known fairy tales. My favorite stories were "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep" and "For Biddle's Sake." I don't think I would read it a This was a cute collection of fairy tales. I've enjoyed Gail Carson Levine's books since I was in elementary school, but all the previous ones I've read felt like they were intended for a slightly older audience. These six stories seemed intended for much younger readers, but I still had a nice time meeting the characters and discovering the references to well-known fairy tales. My favorite stories were "Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep" and "For Biddle's Sake." I don't think I would read it again for myself, but I can imagine reading it to children.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Auryn Maxwell

    I enjoyed most of the stories in this book, except for the first one, which was also th one that I didn't know what fairy tale it was based off of. I liked the names of the different types of toads in "For Biddle's Sake" that were named after people and their personalities from the past stories, like the orange Christoper Inquisitive Toad. On thing that I didn't like was how many King Humphrey's there were, and also how the adults never really listened to the main characters much. The only story I enjoyed most of the stories in this book, except for the first one, which was also th one that I didn't know what fairy tale it was based off of. I liked the names of the different types of toads in "For Biddle's Sake" that were named after people and their personalities from the past stories, like the orange Christoper Inquisitive Toad. On thing that I didn't like was how many King Humphrey's there were, and also how the adults never really listened to the main characters much. The only story that I don't remember a King Humphrey is in the first one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Evans

    There are some days the gray in my hair reflects the grey in my soul. Reading this book was one of those times. The writing is good, but it's for kids, not a young adult. Kids. I like the author so I finished it, but it's one I'm going to be giving to someone younger that will hopefully appreciate it more than I can. My old soul found it way too young and silly. The repeating names and made up words darn near dove me crazy. There are some days the gray in my hair reflects the grey in my soul. Reading this book was one of those times. The writing is good, but it's for kids, not a young adult. Kids. I like the author so I finished it, but it's one I'm going to be giving to someone younger that will hopefully appreciate it more than I can. My old soul found it way too young and silly. The repeating names and made up words darn near dove me crazy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eden Williams

    This book is a set of six short fairy tale books. It's 🌟🌟🌟🌟. The first story is about two twin sisters. The first is sweet and caring, and her name is Rosella. Her gift is that jewels spill out of her mouth whenever she speaks. The other sister, Myrtle is selfish and spiteful; her punishment is that insects come out of her mouth whenever she speaks. This all works out until the fairy realizes that it has gone wrong. Rosella is miserable, but Myrtle is having the time of her life! This book is a set of six short fairy tale books. It's 🌟🌟🌟🌟. The first story is about two twin sisters. The first is sweet and caring, and her name is Rosella. Her gift is that jewels spill out of her mouth whenever she speaks. The other sister, Myrtle is selfish and spiteful; her punishment is that insects come out of her mouth whenever she speaks. This all works out until the fairy realizes that it has gone wrong. Rosella is miserable, but Myrtle is having the time of her life!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly V

    I love reading retellings of fairy tales. I‘ve been a fan of Gail Carson Levine ever since ELLA ENCHANTED. This book has some creative & funny fairy tale retellings. My favorite one was THE FAIRY’S MISTAKE. If you love Levine & fairy tales, I highly recommend THE FAIRY’S RETURN & OTHER PRINCESS TALES.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    This is a book full of fairy tales that Gail Carson Levine has redone beautifully!! When I was 11-13 I read this book about 6 times I loved it so much. So I recommend this for anyone of 7-15. Highly recommend!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha Forward

    Great fairy tales for younger children. The bad guys are obnoxious. Good guys have to learn. Some poems and riddles. Sweet. Good for reading aloud. Each chapter is its own story, and they are related as a group.

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