The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Once I got past the first chapter, things sped up quite a bit and I was pulled into the story. Soon, I couldnt put it down, just like when Id read Ella Enchanted. The two princesses of the title are Addie and Meryl. Meryl is the brave, adventurous one, while Addie is quiet and content to see the world from the safety of their home. But when Meryl contracts the Gray Death, it is only Addie that can save her.
Fueled by fear (the Gray Death has no known cure and their mother had died of it when Addie was just three) and a bit of righteous anger (at their ineffective father, who only quotes from The Book of Homely Truths, but does nothing real), Addie sets off with some gifts left behind by her mother and Ryhs, a sorcerer (and love interest&). Her mothers gifts are very useful: seven league boots and a spyglass, but somewhat hard to use. In fact, her first trip in the boots has Addie catching a troll by mistake!
But it is one of Rhys gifts that saves her when a flock of gryphons descend upon her a magic tablecloth that continuously fills with food until the stupid gryphons gorge themselves to death. Youd think that would be adventure enough for anyone, but then Addie meets up with the dragon, Vollys, and all bets are off.
This book is packed with adventure and readers will cheer as Addie overcomes all the obstacles set in front of her by using all her wits and strength she never thought she had. As always, Levine has created a strong girl heroine who does what has to be done. Recommended for readers aged 10 and up.
All their lives, sisters Meryl and Addie have played at saving their
people from the specters, ogres, dragons, gryphons, and the mysterious
Gray Death that plague their cowardly father's kingdom. Brave Meryl
always played the hero, while shy and cowardly Addie always took the
part of the damsel in distress. Both sisters were comfortable in their
roles and never questioned their futures, until Meryl falls ill with the
deadly Gray Death. Always following a specific progression, and always
ending in death, Addie knows exactly how many days her sister has left
before she succumbs to the illness. Empowered by a prophecy that claimed
the Gray Death would be vanquished when "Cowards find courage," Addie
battles her fears and, racing against time, she sets out to find a cure
to save her sister.
Supplied with a cloak that helps the wearer blend into the shadows
(but it doesn't work on dragons and specters), a table cloth that
provides an endless supply of food, seven league boots, a spyglass that
allows the viewer to see over long distances and through walls, and an
elfin herb that provides strength and dampens pain, Addie finds she must
rely upon her own ingenuity if she is to find a cure and make it back
to the castle alive. A handsome wizard provides sporadic moral support
and an invisible stranger lends an occasional helping hand, but this is
not a story where the hero triumphs with the help of a gaggle of
friends. Instead, Addie is pretty much on her own and she must learn to
find strength, courage, and ability within herself instead of always
relying on others.
While much of the plot was predictable and neatly tied together, the
story didn't feel stale or boring at all. Addie was very easy to like
and while it is obvious from the outset that she will find courage, her
progression from timid coward to capable woman is paced well and
enjoyable to read. I also liked that she found courage in her own way.
She never became a daring swordswoman charging into battle like her
sister, but she instead found confidence in and developed her own
strengths and abilities. The secondary characters were all likable, but
though the wizard worked as a love interest for Addie, his type of
character wasn't my favorite. Given this is pretty much a solo story and
Addie needed to stand on her own, I can see how GCL couldn't really
make him a more prominent or involved character. Still, I wish he had
been more...useful or accomplished. He wasn't really Addie's equal by
the end of the story.
What really made the story interesting was the world GCL created and
the creatures she populated it with. Instead of the typical witches and
goblins, we got specters and gryphons. The specters added a level of
fear and interest that was different from the norm. That specters could
appear as anyone was creepy, and the puzzle that presented in having to
figure out who was real and who was a specter made for some fun scenes.
Sure, gryphons aren't exactly unique, but the way they were used in the
story gave a slightly fresher spin on things. Same goes with the ogre
and, especially, the dragon Addie encounters. The dragon was a real
scene-stealer, and, refreshingly, she wasn't very human. Though she
possessed some human-like traits, overall her way of thinking was
definitely different. She wasn't a villain, but she wasn't good either.
All of her scenes were very interesting to read and refreshingly
different from how dragons are often portrayed.
Reading about and trying to guess how Addie should best use the
resources she had at hand was fun. Sometimes she didn't come to the
smartest conclusion, but she usually did sooner or later. The epic poem
about the hero Drualt woven throughout the story added an extra layer of
depth to the world and was a nice way for the author to foreshadow
events and provide lessons without being too heavy handed (though she
wasn't exactly subtle, either). The ending was not my ideal, but it
worked. I wasn't expecting to like this story as much as I did, but it
was a fun, nice read and I was pleasantly surprised. Recommended.
Reprinted here with the author's (my) permission.
myrl is the one who wants to go on adventure to find then cure for the awful Grey Death, slaughtering monsters along the way. addie is the one who wants to stay at home and is totally content with her life as Princess Adelina.
and then they're switched.
addie sets out on a dagerous quest to find the cure for the Grey Death when her beloved sister Myrl gets it. addie must face terrible danger as she encounters specters, is attacked by an ogre, gets captured by a dragon...
and meets the charming and daring Rhys.
I loved this book so much and at one point it made me cry. I love Ella Enchanted but i have to admit that this one was better. The two princesses of Bamarre are anything but alike. Meryl dreams of going on perilous uests and adventures whlie Addie is content to stay at home. Then Meryl is diagnosed with an incurable disease and it is Addie who has to embark on the journey to find the cure and ultimatly find the Meryl within her.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre is the story of two sisters, Meryl and Adelina. Adelina is timid, but talented one while her sister Meryl is brave and strong. Their father is the king who pays little attention to them. Their mother, the Queen died from the Gray Death when they were babies. The Gray Death is a plague that afflicts many in the Kingdom of Bamarre and anyone that gets it, dies. Meryl vows to become a warrior princess when she is older to restore safety throughout Bamarre, because dragons, specters, gryphons, and giants do present many dangers. When Meryl is suddenly afflicted with the Gray Death, Adelina is terrified she will lose her sister so she faces her fears and tells her nurse that she is leaving as well as Rhys, the kind new sorcerer that is staying at the castle. They each give her gifts to help her on her journey and she is off. She's afraid of spiders, but she fights many monsters in the hope that she can fulfill the prophecy "the Gray Death will be cured when cowards find courage and rain falls over all Bamarre."
This book was great, because it was so easy to identify with the characters. I loved the suspense, there are times when you will gasp in terror and others where you want to cry. It is does not go overboard in the fantasy genre, but is so believable and captivating. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good read!
The land of Bamarre has a hero named Drualt and two princesses: swordswoman and lecturer Meryl and fine lady Adelina. However, it is plagued by disease, and Meryl is stricken with a potentially lethal illness.
I plucked this book off the library shelves because it looked mildly interesting and because I have always been drawn to stories that focus on the complexity of sisterhood. This story stuck in my mind not for the characters in the foreground, Meryl and Adelina, but for the shadowed Drualt, who is so much more than an folk hero.
Girls who like a touch of faery in their fantasy will enjoy this book for what it was written to be, but careful readers may find something else in the pages, something to touch them, too.
This book is amazing. Although kind of hard to read and understand at first, it has an amazing ending and shows the strength of sisterly love. It's great. I picked it up because it was one of Levine's books, but read it because it was awesome. The first book ever to make me cry of joy and of sadness. Truly amazing.
Princess Addie is shy and quiet, while her sister Myrtle is outgoing and brave. But when Myrtle comes down with the dreaded Gray Death, it is Addie that must set out on a quest to find the cure. Can Addie survive even though the whole quest thing is Myrtles strong point?
I totally LOVED Ella Enchanted, so I picked up this book with great anticipation. Although many other people think its great it didnt really work for me. I didnt have any trouble finishing the book, but it just didnt have the sparkle that Levines other books have. My recommendation: read it if you have time, but otherwise pass this on for something else.
For the second time, congratulations Miss Levine for making another super hit! I loved Ella Enchanted and whenever I go to the library, I look for that book and read my fave parts of it before I leave. Even though this is not as good as that one, since I think nothing can top that one, i still recommendthis book to others and one more thing levine... Keep on going, your books are going GREAT!
This was probably not one of Levine's best but fans of fantasy will love this book. Two complete opposites go on a journey together and find soo many things about each other that they didn't know before. Mainly for younger readers. This might be a bore if you're already in high school.
this book is by gail carson levine, the same author who wrote ella enchanted. this book kinda goes along the lines of ella enchanted casue it deals wiht mythical and unrealistic creatures and an adventure taken on by a "brave" girl. so if u like ellad, you'll like the two princesses.
when Meryl is struck with the gray death, an uncurable illness, it's up to her whippy sister addie to save her life.
this is an exciting story that keeps you hooked and turning the pages.