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4.3 16
Middle Grade Fiction 240
An unlikely heroine saves the day
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Gail Carson Levine is a great storyteller and usually it takes me just minutes (well, it feels that way, anyway) to devour one of her books. For some reason, The Two Princesses of Bamarre took me much longer. I must have picked it up and read the first few pages at least 5 times before I finally sat myself down and said, Darn it, Im going to finish this one!

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.
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