As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

October 4, 2010

TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE by Gail Carson Levine, 2001

The Two Princesses of BamarreBrave and adventureous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other. The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters' lives - and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre - hang in the balance.

Review by McKaylla, High School Student

One of my favorite books growing up, this fantastical tale of the love between sisters and the devotion of a family and ultimately all love, has inspired me ever since the first time I read it. Beautifully written and told, I laugh, smile, cry and marvel every time.
Addie and Meryl are sisters, the two princesses whose land is plagued by a sickness called the Gray Death. They are exactly opposite; Addie is timid, shy and terrified of most everything whereas Meryl wants to one day fight dragons and to be the one to find the foretold cure to the Gray Death. Growing up Meryl always cares for Addie but things take an unexpected turn when Meryl is struck with the feared plague. Unable to do anything about it Meryl is forced to slowly succumb.
But the love of sisters is great. Addie begins to find herself and takes on a quest to save her sister, doing all in her power even in the face of her greatest fears.
I think this book is unique in the fact that it takes a person who although is already a very good person, is shaped by her love for her sister and the strength given by that love to overcome her deepest fears. Addie and Meryl are among the most heroic heroines I have ever read about in Middle Grade fiction. Characters are also unique; there is everything you could hope to read about, dragons, specters, gryphons, sorcerers, ogres, dwarves, fairies and elves and each character is masterfully depicted and ultimately feels very real.
All in all, this book is one of my favorites. Everything about it is just filled with magic and beauty. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did!
Market: Middle Grade
Language:  none
Sensuality: none – small romance but no objectionable material
Violence:  Mild if any
Mature Themes: Overcoming fears

Book Formats:
The Two Princesses of Bamarre (paperback)
The Two Princesses of Bamarre (hardcover)

To learn more about the author, go here: Gail Carson Levine


Becca said...

I'm reading this one with my 9-year-old right now, and she says it makes her "shivery" - which is, at our house, a very good thing.

Amy Finnegan {} said...

So true, Becca. This book is so charming! It's my second favorite of Levine's, after her Newbery winner, Ella Enchanted. Though I know several people who prefer BAMARRE to that one :)

Once you finish this one, I'm betting that your daughter will love Ella Enchanted, too!

GREAT review, McKaylla! You certainly sound older than a typical "high school" student :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I loved, loved LOVED! THIS BOOK! I thought it was so wonderful.