The Two Princesses of Bamarre Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-11-11 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 310 user ratings

"I did exactly what my mother told me not to do last night, stay up late and read a book all the way through. I have been in a reading slump for a while having drowned in children’s books this semester and my adult book well I started it in the summer and am about halfway through. I thought a quick something I’ve really wanted to read would get me back in the groove. Addie is afraid of everything. Her sister Meryl is the brave one who protects her. Then the tables are turned and Addie must take up the dangerous quest her sister has always sworn to do. Addie may be a princess but she reads like your average young woman. I think everyone either is an Addie or a Meryl and whether it is a friend or a sibling you have the other sister in your life too. (I’m an Addie.) I actually think this might be my new favorite Gail Carson Levine. I think it is the most heartfelt though I did feel a little cheesy at the end but we all need some happy ending now and then. This one also has the added bonus of there being no movie version to haunt me." said.

"Gail Carson Levine captivated me once again with her tale, "the Two Princesses of Bamarre." This was also one of my favorite books in middle school and I read it more than once. I could really connect with the story because I also have a sister who I would do anything for and even though we are different, we get along and really help each other out. As you may have guessed the story tells about two sisters whose father rules over the kingdom of Bamarre which for some time has been plagued with the gray death. Meryl, the brave sister yearns for adventure and wants to conquer this affliction. However, it is Meryl that falls ill with the gray death and it is up to her meek sister Addie to save her. I liked that the story showed Addie overcoming her fears. Another thing I really enjoyed were the magical objects she had to help her. I thought that they were imaginative and so useful. For example, she had boots that dizzily transported her wherever she needed to go and a tablecloth which, once spread out, provided a bountiful meal. I have always loved the fantasy genre and this book really exemplified fantasy for me at the time. It had magic and mystical creatures, was set in a faraway land and had a story I could really connect with. This book is a great read for middle graders and has a lot of valuable lessons such as bravery, helping your family and perseverance. " said.

"I liked this book. It was a fairly fast-paced, fun adventure. Two sisters, the princesses of the kingdom of Bamarre, at first glance appear to be very different. Meryl is brave and desperate for adventure. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful of everything, particularly of losing her sister.

What transpires is that Addie must embark on an adventure to save her sister. She discovers her own courage, and in the end works with a small group of brave Bamarrians to save the day.

I liked the descriptions of the monsters of Bamarre: the dragons, gryphons, spectres, and ogres. And Addie herself was good and clever, loyal and kind. She even gets up a bit of romance in the end.

Somehow, though, this book was missing something for me. Maybe it just read a little too young. Or maybe it was that, other than her proposed fears (which she quickly overcame), Addie just had no flaws. She didn't seem to have a lot of depth to her character. She was very much a fairy-tale character, as were most of the characters in the book -- all good or all bad.

That doesn't make this a bad book. I enjoyed reading it, and I thought it was sweet, but it lacked the character development and strength of Levine's Ella Enchanted.

And one other issue I had trouble figuring out: is Addie really only 12?? The story starts out with her at this age, and no significant time appears to have passed before her adventure begins. (view spoiler)" said.

"I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Gail Carson Levine, but for some reason I had it in my head that she wrote "simple" stories. Maybe they were good, but I just wasn’t expecting all that much from them. My only exposure had been watching the movie Ella Enchanted (cute, but nothing amazing) and one of her fairy short stories (again, cute, but forgettable). Granted, not a fair account, but that’s where I was. I had picked up this copy at a garage sale and finally decided to read it (fully expecting to give it away when I was finished). Let me just say, I was so wrong about Gail Carson Levine!

Addie was such a good character. She was meek and the exact type of person the phrase “Scared of her own shadow” would apply to. She always lived in the shadow of her bold sister, and she was perfectly happy to stay there. I, like Addie, was always content to stay in the background while my friends took center stage. Because of this, I felt an instant connection with Addie.

While much of the plot was predictable and neatly tied together, the story didn't feel stale or boring at all. It is obvious from the outset that Addie will find courage, but her progression from timid coward to capable woman is paced well and enjoyable to read. I appreciated that Levine had Addie find courage in her own way. She never became a daring swordswoman charging into battle like her sister, but she instead found confidence in her own strengths and abilities. This made for a nice “Stay true to yourself” message without being overly preachy.

The quality of world building in this story surprised me, in a good way. The specters added a level of fear and interest that was different from the norm. They could appear as anyone, and so they often tried to trick the characters by pretending to be benign people. This concept 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.

Often dragons are written pretty similar to human characters with very human-like personalities. This dragon wasn't very human at all. 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. She was a complex character older tweens and teens will probably appreciate.

The objects Addie has with her on her journey allowed for even more inventive scenes. Reading about and trying to guess how she should best use these resources was fun. The epic poem about the hero Drualt woven throughout the story also added a layer of depth to the world and was a nice way for the author to foreshadow events.

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. This should be a hit among tween girls, and would make for a great recommendation to girls who are a little shy or insecure. While not a tween, I still enjoyed this story very much.

4.5 stars
" said.

"I remember picking this book up once in fifth grade and not enjoying it very much, mind you, I didn't get too far into the story, but in the few pages I read, The Two Princesses of Bamarre didn't manage to capture my attention.

In the following years, I read many of Gail's other books and loved each and every one, but I was always a little wary of Two Princesses and never ended up giving it another chance. However, with the release of it's sequel, I finally decided that maybe I should pick it up again, and the decision payed off.

The slow beginning, which drove me off the first time, worked much better in the audiobook format, and I was able to get fully engrossed in the world of Bamarre. I do wish Meryl had appeared a bit more, but the story does rather well focusing mostly on Addie and her journey, her growth and development throughout the story is wonderful.
" said.

" I have read this book so many times! I love it! " said.

" Read for the 2016 Book Battle, but didn't work for me. Partly because she's *twelve*, and his efforts at hand-waving the fact away don't work against the fact that he's an adult and she isn't. " said.

" dragons, ogers ,fairies this book is evrything! " said.

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