The Backstory of Bamarre
Lady Peregrine is a Lakti, and her mother has taught her that the Bamarre are far inferior to her people in many ways, even though her loyal servant, Annet, is Bamarre. Soon, however, Perry learns secrets from the fairy Halina that make her doubt her entire existence. Still, she accompanies her father on a mission to her father's military headquarters, armed with several magical implements that her mother has given her. Among them are seven league boots, as well as a pendant that could keep her safe during fighting against the Kyngoll's her father is facing. Unfortunately, she needs these devices when she is captured, but her fate is not what she suspected. She ends up in a situation where she learns that her deep seated prejudices are unfounded, that her family is not comprised of the people she has known and loved for years, and that the fate of the Bamarre may rest with her.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this story, and I don't want to give away anything in this prequel to The Two Princesses of Bamarre (2001). Even though it's been a long time since I read that one, I was quickly drawn back into that world. It was good to see the magical keepsakes again, and to discover the origin story of one of the important characters discussed in the first book.
Perry is an intriguing character who must deal with a lot of conflicting ideas about her identity and her family. She meets these challenges in a realistic way-- she is reluctant to embrace them at first, but slowly comes around to her new reality and is able to champion a new cause. She also encounters magic for the first time, and finds it surprising. She also has a tentative romance, which is never a bad thing in an adventurous fantasy.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre was one of my daughter's favorite books in middle school, and I know that she is very excited to see this new journey into that world. Readers who loved Wrede's Enchanted Forest or Pierce's Tortall, as well as the princess tales of Baker, Green and Zahle, will definitely want to step out with Perry... in her seven league boots!