Elodie leaves her family in pursuit of her dreams of becoming a masioner. But her best laid plans change instantly upon arrival in the town of Two Castles. There are no apprenticeships, and Elodie’s copper is stolen so she has no money. She meets the dragon, Meenore, in town and finds herself agreeing to be IT’s assistant. Meenore is no ordinary dragon. She is a mystery solving dragon, brilliant in the game of observation and deductive reasoning. Elodie’s first case with Meenore involves the Ogre that lives in one of the two castles in town. Count Jonty Um is a giant, shape shifting Ogre who’s greatest desire is to be liked and respected by the townspeople who clearly do not like him. Count Jonty Um seeks out the help of Meenore when his dog is stolen. Elodie soon finds that this mystery is much more than finding a missing dog. It’s about saving the Ogre’s life and maybe even her own.
I knew I would enjoy this book from the second paragraph. It says, “Albin stood to the side a few feet and blew his nose with a honk. He could blow his nose a dozen ways. The honk was the saddest.” I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by Gail Levine and this was no exception. I loved the mystery solving duo of Meenore the dragon and Elodie and the friendship that developed between them. I loved how Elodie didn’t take someone else’s word on who she should like and why. She gave everyone a chance and judged after knowing them. This was a fun, adventurous book, cleanly written and well done. Recommended reading level by publisher is ages 9-12. I would agree.
I read this book courtesy of NetGalley. A Tale of Two Castles will be released May 10th 2011.