Two Princesses of Bamarre, The

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9780060575809: Two Princesses of Bamarre, The

"Step follows step.
Hope follows courage.
Set your face toward danger.
Set your heart on victory."

Princess Meryl dreams of one day protecting the kingdom of Bamarre, while timid Princess Addie is content to stay always within the safety of the castle walls. The one trait they share is their devotion to each other. Their world is turned upside down, though, when Meryl is stricken by the incurable Gray Death. To save her sister, Addie must 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 Bamarre -- hang in the balance.

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Review:

After stealing the hearts of middle-grade girls with her delightful Newbery Honor-winning Cinderella retelling, Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine here creates a fairy tale of her own and gives it a characteristic grrrl-power twist. Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a thrilled audience of Addie, their governess, and the young sorcerer Rhys. But when Meryl falls ill with the dreaded Gray Death, Addie must gather her courage and set off alone on a quest to find the cure and save her beloved sister. Addie takes the seven-league boots and magic spyglass left to her by her mother and the enchanted tablecloth and cloak given to her by Rhys--along with a shy declaration of his love. She prevails in encounters with tricky specters (spiders too) and outwits a wickedly personable dragon in adventures touched with romance and a bittersweet ending. Young fans of princess stories will gobble this one up. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From the Back Cover:

A kingdom beset by monsters . . .
A disease that weakens and destroys . . .
An epic poem and a hero of long ago . . .
A story of danger and desperation.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre couldn't be more different. Princess Addie is fearful and shy. Her deepest wish is for safety. Princess Meryl is bold and brave. Her deepest wish is to save the kingdom of Bamarre. They are sisters, and they mean the world to each other.

Then disaster strikes, and Addie -- terrified and unprepared -- sets out on a perilous quest. In her path are monsters of Bamarre: ogres, specters, gryphons, and dragons. Addie must battle them, but time is running out, and the sister's lives -- and Barmarre's fate -- hang in the balance.

Gail Carson Levine left her mark on fantasy with her well-loved 1998 Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted. Now she has created another shimmering and tapestried landscape of fantasy and fairies. Bamarre and the journeys of its two princesses will burn themselves into the minds of readers, and all will relish this moving saga about two sisters groping their way toward heroism.

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