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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The Two Princesses of Bamarre is a fantastic, original fairy tale centering on two sisters who are complete opposites of each other, but also lovingly dedicated to one another. Meryl is an adventurous sort, taking her inspiration from the famous Bamarrian hero, Duralt. She is a born swashbuckler and a gifted bard, spinning heroic tales for her sister and friends. Addie is easily frightened and content to work Duralt's escapades into her embroidery. Yet the two young women are constant companions, until Meryl contracts the deadly Grey Death, the same plague that killed their mother.
There is a prophecy that tells about the cure being found only when the most timid seek it. When the sisters' cowardly father, the king, fails to find the cure and gives up, Addie realizes she must overcome her own timid nature and try to save Meryl herself, even though it means she must face the wilds of Bamarre alone -- wilds fraught with specters, griffins, and dragons. But perhaps the most challenging part of her secret quest is that, when she sets out, Addie has only six days before her sister dies! With a few magical items supplied by her friends and a sword from Meryl, she bravely ventures into Bamarre's most dangerous regions, all hope of Meryl's survival left up to her.
I have never read any of Gail Carson Levine's books, but she is a Newbery Honor Book author. If The Two Princesses of Bamarre is any indication of what her other books are like, then I've discovered an author whose books I need to follow. She is a real treat to read -- a fun, talented storyteller. The Two Princesses of Bamarre was a pleasure. (Sierra Phillips)