7 CDs. 8 hrs. Recorded Books. Mar. 2016. $77.75. ISBN 9781490675749. digital download.
Gr 7 Up—Aza is abandoned at an inn, and she is adopted into a caring family. Her voice is her special gift; she learns how to throw her voice and mimic others. Her curse is her appearance, which is so ugly that patrons are offended and offensive. Circumstances place Aza at the castle, where the new queen discovers Aza's talents. She blackmails Aza into becoming her voice at monthly castle sings. Plot twists include the magic mirror, an injured king, and a prince who finds Aza interesting. When the queen screams while she's supposedly singing, Aza's blamed. She uses the mirror to fulfill her desire for beauty but then is sent to prison, escaping with a guard who is supposed to kill her. She saves them both from ogres and finds her way to a cave of caring gnomes. The queen uses her magic mirror to disguise herself as a gnome and sell Aza the poisoned apple. The happily-ever-after ending varies from the fairy tale, with a most satisfactory conclusion. Soneela Nankani narrates, giving different voices to the main characters; the songs are spoken as poetry. While she's an excellent narrator, the pacing is a bit slow, especially the long pauses at chapter breaks.
VERDICT Only libraries with high circulation of reimagined fairy tales should consider. ["Readers will enjoy the fairy-tale setting while identifying with the real-life problems of living in an appearance-obsessed society. A distinguished addition to any collection": SLJ 9/06 review of the HarperCollins book.]

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