Gail Carson Levine wrote this heartwarming tale of a maiden named Aza. Aza was abandoned as a baby and left at The Featherbed Inn where she is taken in by the family who owns and runs the Inn. They adopt her, love her, and raise her as their own daughter.
Aza has the loveliest and most enchanting singing voice, which in the musical kingdom of Ayortha is very admired. The kingdom holds regular "Sings" where villagers compose songs, gather, and spend the time singing their songs in turn. They also spend a great deal of their time singing as they go about their day to day activities.
Aza has one obstacle which is constantly on her mind. She is not beautiful, she is not even pretty. In fact, many people stare at her because of her odd looking appearance. Her greatest dream is to be beautiful.
Aza visits the castle where she meets the bewitchingly beautiful queen, and is made her lady in waiting, she encounters a prince who likes her for who she is, and finds a magic mirror where she beholds an image of her beautified self.
Does Aza get her wish? Is it really what she wants?
Aza is imprisoned, escapes, goes on a journey, and discovers there is a lot more to true happiness then outward appearances.
This is an enjoyable tale of love, jealousy, confidence, mercy, and doing the right thing. To me it was well worth the read.