If you've read any of Gail Carson Levine's fairy tale retellings (ELLA ENCHANTED, FAIREST, THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE and so on), you know she makes them her own. Knowing the fairy tell doesn't give away her plot lines. So, I wasn't surprised when she turned Puss in Boots on its head.
In A TALE OF TWO CASTLES, people (and fabulous creatures like ogres and dragons) aren't always what they appear to be. Gail Carson Levine mixes classic fairy tale with classic mystery (think CLUE) to deliver a story unlike anything I've ever read.
And while the ending does wrap up the mystery, it could lead into a sequel. I hope so. I would happily follow Elodie and her friends through another adventure/mystery. If you've read it, would you read a sequel?
If you'd like to read about more Marvelous Middle Grades (ones you haven't already read), the following people would love to oblige you:
Have a Marvelous Monday!