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''Fairest'', by Gail Carson Levine, is a meta-sequel to Levine's ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'', set in the same world and with the sister of Ella's best friend Areida as the main character. ''Fairest'' is a warped Snow White, set in the singing country of Ayortha. Aza is an adopted, abnormal-looking child in a country obsessed with beauty. Her parents are innkeepers, and since Aza is expected to do her part in taking care of the inn, she often falls victim to rude staring and remarks by the guests - except for the gnomes, one of which becomes her close friend. She has a singing ability that can be done by no one else, called 'illusing', which is actually a voice-throwing skill made magical in a way. Through an interesting course of events, she becomes the companion of the Duchess one night thanks to her cat, and makes her way to the castle for the king's wedding.

The catch? 40-something-year-old King Oscaro has married a 19-year-old Ivi of Kyrria, (Ella's country) a commoner who people distrust at first for that very reason. However, her radiant beauty eventually wins over the court. Ivi discovers the shy, withdrawn Aza while she illuses in private, and forces her to sing for her because she despises Sings and singing so much. When the king falls ill, Ivi uproots the kingdom with Aza in tow with deception dragging at her every day. Aza's story winds around falling in love, getting over her weakness, and learning to accept herself for who she is.

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!!Tropes:

* {{BBW}}: Aza is heavily implied to be one, being abnormally wide as well as abnormally tall. [[spoiler: Ijori likes that aspect of her as well, avoiding a preachy {{Beautiful All Along}} message and instead opting for {{Just the Way You Are}}]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: When Aza meets Queen Ivi for the second time.
* BlondesAreEvil: Ivi, to a tee.
* ConvenientComa: King Oscaro ends up with one after TakingTheBullet for Ivi during a sporting event.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: Ivi does this with Oscaro, and [[spoiler: he recalls this when waking up from his coma, providing evidence that Aza was telling the truth.]] Oscaro when he wakes up ends up in quite a conundrum.
* CoolOldLady: The Duchess of Olixio. She helps Aza fit into a better-looking outfit for the royal wedding, and gives fitting comments on the procession.
* CrazyCatLady: The Duchess of Olixio. Though she's a lot more sane than others.
* DealWithTheDevil: If you drink Skullni's potions, you become beautiful, but in exchange he will goad you into either getting killed by your stupidity and jealousy [[spoiler: like Aza]] or induce a DespairEventHorizon [[spoiler: like in Ivi]]. Then your soul is stuck in his mirror chamber, [[AndIMustScream unable to escape]] or communicate except to living people through the mirror, while he gets to go out and explore the world. You only get to rest in peace when he comes back, which can take a long time.
* DisneyDeath: Aza has one in the strangest way possible. You could also call her predicament a BigSleep, because [[spoiler:it's unclear whether she died after she was poisoned, even though her trip into a magic mirror and becoming an apparition (except while singing) certainly implied this.]]
* DubNameChange: In the Hebrew translation, Aza's name is Kyra, presumably because the name Aza in Hebrew provokes associations to the Gaza strip.
* EasilyForgiven: After receiving a letter from Ijori [[spoiler: after Aza has run away and sought refuge with the gnomes]], Aza is able to forgive him. Subverted with the Duke Uvu, who had accused Aza of being [[spoiler: an ogre and only apologized when the king confirmed her story about Ivi.]]
** King Oscaro does this with Ivi as well, especially given she was [[ConverseWithTheUnconscious confessing everything she did while he lay in a coma]].
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Aza, to keep within the Snow White theme. However, in Ayortha that combination of hair colour and complexion is considered ugly.
* EtTuBrute: The fact that [[spoiler:the prince, who is Aza's friend and love interest, allows her to be taken to prison once her secret is revealed.]]
* FatalFlaw: Aza's desire to be pretty. It very nearly kills her [[spoiler: thanks to Ivi.]]
* FauxDeath
* FirstPersonSmartass: Aza in a few instances when she's referring to people she dislikes.
* FoodPorn: Done twice, although the second time it's done disgustingly.
* ForeShadowing: While living with the gnomes, Aza is disgusted that a gnome that stole a pickax is allowed to go home with it and suffer no punishment, because the gnomes saw that if he were punished a worse future would happen. [[spoiler: She later helps Ivi achieve a KarmaHoudini so that King Oscaro can recover and rule the kingdom properly, since Ivi being punished would only result in political chaos.]]
* GenkiGirl: Ivi, especially when it comes to fashion.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Ivi again. To the point of needing protection from her own subjects, which has apparently never happened before in Ayortha. She dissolves the council, imprisons people for minor crimes, refuses to help countries in need, and apparently studies the art of effective blackmail. [[spoiler:Later on in the book, she ''tries to murder'' Aza. It very nearly works.]]
* HappilyAdopted: Aza with her parents. Not only does her [[MamaBear mother]] get angry at the royal guards who imply that their daughter [[spoiler: may have ogre's blood]], but her father writes a note to Aza saying that he knows her too well to believe her [[spoiler: a traitor to the crown]].
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Ijori. Make up your mind whose side you're on, dagnabit.
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Ivi is this in-universe, which she tries to hide by feigning sickness and then blackmailing Aza to [[spoiler: use ventriloquism to mime singing.]]
* HumansAreBastards: The beautiful, ethereal-voiced Ayorthaians are snobbish to the point of being xenophobic, and god help anyone who isn't attractive or can't sing.
* IdiotBall: After being accused of [[spoiler: being an ogre]], Aza finds the magical mirror and the potion that made Ivi beautiful. Instead of using the evidence to show that Ivi is a liar [[spoiler: by putting all the blame on Aza for the ventriloquism]], Aza drinks a few drops of the beauty potion. Unsurprisingly, [[spoiler: she gets carted to jail]] anyway.
* IFeelAngry: Aza, when [[spoiler:the tailor ruins all her new clothing in an attempt to rebel against Ivi, who has appointed Aza her lady-in-waiting and therefore her right hand woman. Ijori helps out with this quite a bit.]]
* IJustWantToBePretty: Ivi is revealed to have felt this, since she was worried that Oscaro would stop loving her, and Aza feels this all the time.
* IJustWantToBeLoved: Ivi's motivation for most of the book. [[spoiler: When King Oscaro falls ill, she tries to seduce Ijori just so that she can have someone else to love her.]]
* InterruptedSuicide: Ivi after [[spoiler: poisoning Aza]] almost poisons herself when she sees [[spoiler: Aza]] in the mirror. Aza despite disliking the queen wouldn't submit her to [[AndIMustScream the fate of an eternity in a mirror]] that awaits Ivi if she dies.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Lucinda the fairy, for her role in causing the story [[spoiler: by giving Ivi the Magic Mirror and beauty potions.]] Although in EllaEnchanted she gets some LaserGuidedKarma for her "blessings," here the Ayorthians only [[spoiler: stage a quick wedding]] so that she doesn't arrive.
** [[spoiler:Ivi, for the most part, thanks to Aza vouching for her.]] Though it's because the King has to tread the line between protecting his people and protecting his [[spoiler: wife]] from charges of treason. At the very least [[spoiler: she's exiled from the rest of a kingdom that she failed to rule and will go down as the worst foreign queen in history, staying in relative isolation. Not to mention that she is "no longer pretty" and only Oscaro will love her.]]
* KickTheDog: Ivi when she [[spoiler:somehow manages to take the songbirds away from Ayortha.]]
* MagicMusic: Sort of. Aza can skillfully throw her voice without moving her lips, sound like an object or a person whenever she wants to, but no one else can [[spoiler:except for the gnomes]].
* MayDecemberRomance: The forty-year-old king Oscaro and 19-year-old Ivi. It's implied that Oscaro truly does love Ivi, though [[WhatDoesSheSeeInHim we never know why]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Ivi breaks down after she returns to the palace [[spoiler: having just poisoned Aza]]. Ijori also gets this when he thinks that Aza died helping a guard escape from ogres, after he let her be [[spoiler: taken to prison]]. Duke Uvu apologies to Aza [[spoiler: when learning from the King that she told the truth]], looking genuinely remorseful, but she [[RejectedApology says nothing]].
* OurMonstersAreDifferent:
* PartingWordsRegret: Ijori feels this when he believes that Aza is [[spoiler: part ogre and a traitor to the crown]] and dismisses her with disgust. By the time he's cooled down and realized that her story makes more sense than Ivi's and the Duke Uvu's, the guard sent to assassinate her tells him that Aza is dead. [[spoiler: Good thing the guard was lying, which allowed Ijori to rescue Aza from a DisneyDeath . . .]] According to the guard that tells a (not-dead) Aza, Ijori let out a SkywardScream.
* PinocchioNose: See if you can tell what Ivi does before she lies. Aza even mentions it.
* RedemptionEqualsLife: Inverted. In a stark contrast to the original fairy tale, Ivi becomes (relatively) better after [[spoiler: Aza kills Skullni and interrupts Ivi's DespairEventHorizon that almost ended in a suicide.]]
* {{Rewrite}}: See FridgeLogic above.
* TakeAThirdOption: On waking up from his coma and becoming well enough to rule from bed, King Oscaro is faced with his wife having committed treason and [[ItMakesSenseInContext taken orders from a spider in a mirror]]. A SadisticChoice ensues: if he punishes her, he loses the love of his life, but if he pardons her then she is still free to rule by his side and [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen make bad decisions]]. Choosing neither, he exiles her to one of his vacation palaces and decides to abdicate in a year so that she will never have royal power again.
* ThisIsMyNameOnForeign: Ayorthian names begin and end with the same vowel, so Ivy of Kyrria becomes Ivi of Ayortha.
* {{Uncoffee}}: Ostumo, a common hot morning drink made with molasses.
%% * UnfortunateImplications: It's revealed that ogres and humans have interbred several times over the course of history. Ogres are represented as an entirely evil species (even though all other species have clear capacity for good an evil...) [[ImpliedRape who can convince most sentient beings to do whatever they like with only a few words]]....
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Or Apples -- Aza throughout the book emphasizes her hatred of apples, and she encounters a rather deadly one among gnome traders, courtesy of [[spoiler:Ivi]].
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Once again, Aza, through no fault of her own. It's not forever, though.
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