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 sisters' 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.
Levine (Ella Enchanted) enters a world of high fantasy with this latest princess tale, peopled with sorcerers, elves and fairies, but plot twists win out over character development. When teenage narrator Addie was two years old, and her sister, Meryl, just three, the siblings lost their mother to the Gray Death, a mysterious illness that continues to plague the kingdom of Bamarre, randomly selecting its victims. Meanwhile, under their monarch father's weak rule, "ogres, gryphons, specters and dragons... were slaughtering hundreds of Bamarrians every year." When the Gray Death strikes Meryl, Addie becomes determined to find the cure. Rhys, a sorcerer who fancies Addie, outfits her with a cloak ("It's not a cloak of invisibility," he tells her, "but if you're in shadow... you won't be noticed") and a tablecloth that produces food on demand; Bella, the girls' tutor, bequeaths to her gifts from their mother, seven-league boots ("the boots go seven leagues when you take a step") and a spyglass that can view a distance of seven leagues and also penetrate stone and wood. Despite Addie's myriad adventures (an encounter with a specter, an ogre and a dragon) and the courage she gains throughout, her character remains an enigma. Other subplots, such as Rhys and Addie's courtship, are not fully developed. Even after the heroine completes her mission (Levine plants clues to its outcome with a Beowulf-like poem interspersed throughout the novel), readers may feel let down. Ages 10-up.
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I love it
I love it. It is so suspenseful I never want to put it down. I'll sit and read it for hours at a time.