The Two Princesses of Bamarre

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

by Gail Carson Levine


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064409667
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 159,774
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Out of a land laid waste
To a land untamed,
Monster ridden,
The lad Drualt led
A ruined, ragtag band.
In his arms, tenderly,
He carried Bruce,
The child king,
First ruler of Bamarre.

So begins Drualt, the epic poem of Bamarre's greatest hero, our kingdom's ideal. Drualt fought Bamarre's monsters-the ogres, gryphons, specters, and dragons that still plague us-and he helped his sovereign found our kingdom. I

Today Bamarre needed a hero more than ever. The monsters were slaughtering hundreds of Bamarrians every year, and the Gray Death carried away even more.

I was no hero. The dearest wishes of my heart were for safety and tranquility. The world was a perilous place, wrong for the likes of me.

Once, when I was four years old and playing in the castle courtyard, a shadow passed over me. I shrieked, certain it was a gryphon or a dragon. My sister, Meryl, ran to me and held me, her arms barely long enough to go around me.

"It's gone, Addle," she whispered. "It's far away by now." And then she crooned a stanza from Drualt.

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

I quieted, soothed by Meryl's voice and her warm breath on my ear.

Meryl was my protector, as necessary to me as air and food. Our mother, Queen Darla, had succumbed to the Gray Death when I was two and Meryl was three. Father rarely visited the nursery. Bella, our governess, loved us in her way, but her way was to moralize and to scold.

Meryl understood me, although we were asdifferent as could be. She was fair, and I was dark complexioned. She was small and compact, a concentration of focused energy. I was always tall for my age, and loose-limbed, and my energy was nervous and fluttery. Meryl was brave, and I was afraid of almost everything -- from monsters to strangers to spiders.

As a child Meryl loved to act out scenes from Drualt or scenes from a made-up drama in which she saved the kingdom. Our games would begin on the miniature carriage that was our nursery's best feature. I'd sit inside, and Meryl would climb up to the driver's seat. We'd travel to the Eskern Mountains, where ogres and gryphons dwelled, or to the elf queen's castle on the shores of the Haun Ocean, or to the western desert, where the dragons had their lairs, or to Mulee Forest, where specters abounded.

She would rescue me from a flaming dragon or a hungry ogre. When I was supposed to, I would shriek in terror that was half real; but when I could, I'd stay still and watch Meryl perform -- that was what I loved.

Her favorite game was the Gray Death adventure. Oddly enough this one didn't frighten me. The Gray Death wasn't a monster or a spider I could see and shiver over. It was invisible. If I caught it, it would be somewhere within me, and while the outside world was fall of danger, I knew my interior. I was certain I could oust an intruder there.

In the game I always portrayed the Gray Death's victim. For the first stage of the disease, the weakness, I'd begin to walk toward the worn nursery couch, growing weaker as I went. After a few steps I'd fall to my knees and begin to crawl. I'd drag myself to the couch but lack the strength to climb up onto it.

I'd fall asleep there on the floor. A moment or two later I'd wake up and rise, consumed by fever. I'd rush to the fireplace and rub ashes into my cheeks, because the faces of the afflicted always turned gray near the end. I'd pretend to shiver, and I'd try to make my teeth chatter.

Meanwhile, Meryl would be busy battling monsters, consulting with sorcerers, climbing mountains, sailing stormy seas. While I shivered, I'd keep one eye on her, because I couldn't start to die until she was ready to rescue me. When she triumphed and found the cure, I'd slump to the floor.

She'd rush to me, cradling the cure in both hands. Sometimes it was an elixir in a golden chalice. Sometimes it was the feather of a gryphon or the tooth of a dragon or even a plain black stone. Kneeling at my side, she'd whisper, "I have found it, maiden. You shall live." She'd cure me, and I'd jumpup. Then we'd frolic about the nursery, skipping around the carriage, banging on the suit of armor, clasping hands and dancing around the small spinning wheel.

We knew that a cure would be found one day. A specter had prophesied it, and the prophecies of specters always came true. The cure would be found when cowards found courage and rain fell over all Bamarre. That was all we knew. No one knew when the cure would be found, by whom, or what form it would take.

Once, at the end of our game, I asked Meryl if she really planned to quest for the cure. I was nine at the time, and Meryl was ten.

"I'll leave as soon as I'm strong enough to ride a charger."

She'd never come back! A monster would kill her.

She took a heroic stance, legs apart, brandishing an imaginary sword. "I'll find the cure, and knights will flock to me. We'll destroy the monsters and save Bamarre. Then I'll return home."

She wouldn't. She'd be dead. But I knew better than to say so. Instead I asked, "What will I do while you're away?"

She lowered her pretend sword and smiled...

The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Copyright © by Gail Levine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Two Princesses of Bamarre 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 319 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Two Princesses of Bamarre' is yet another incredible book from Gail Carson Levine. It takes place in Bamarre, a mythical kingdom plagued by monsters such as spectres, ogres, and dragons. Centuries ago, the great hero Draught came to the land of Bamarre and fought off many of the monsters, but left after his love, Freya, was killed. Now, the monsters have returned in full strength. The king of Bamarre has two daughters the elder, Meryl, is brave and adventurous, while the younger, Addie, is frightened by everything and prefers to be rescued rather than rescue. But Addie must rise to the challenge after Meryl is struck with grey death- a mysterious illness that begins with weakness, followed by seven days of sleep, and then three days of fever. At the end of the third day, the victim always dies. No cure has been found, but now Addie must set out, leaving the comforts of the palace behind, and face all the monsters of Bamarre to save her sister. 'The Two Princesses of Bamarre' is bittersweet and touching, and I cried when I read the ending. The tie-ins between Draught and Addie are clever, and the characters are deep and real. I felt Rhys was a little 2-D, and the romance between him and Addie was unneccessary and would do better without. But overall, a great read and a neccessary one. I would recommend this book for 8-14 year old girls, although older girls may still enjoy it. It will probably be too long a read for anyone below second grade. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Two Princesses of Bamarre is a fascinating book filled with suspense, action, drama, romance, and lastly, a young lady's loyalty and love for her sister. I read this story for a book report last year and could not put it down. My eyes widened and I smiled as I got excited reading many parts of the book, and I squealed during all the romantic and surprising areas. This book opened so many doors in my Literature selection. I used to be very picky about books and I wasn't drawn to them as much as I am now. I never thought that I would be so interested in romance and action! I definitely recommend this book to readers of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutly great especially for a fantasy lover like me. It has fantasy creatures, action, adventure, love and suspense all in one. If you are a fantasy lover this book is DEFINATELY for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Two Princesses of Bamarre was one of the best I've read! A fairytale story with lots of adventure. Addie and Meryl are very different but are both brave and love each other. The story is told by Addie, the shy one, who learns more about herself and finds love as she goes out to find a cure for Meryl. It was just kind of weird when Rhys was gone for 30 pages and came back. The time when he and Addie were apart kind of messed up the effect. In think effect is the word. Well, I couldn't put the book down! Gail Carson Levine is one of my favorite authors, even though I've only read 2 of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is one of my FAVORITE books, but i wouldn't reccomend it to anyone over about 5th grade or under first grade. Parents. if you are checking for child appropriacy, it has some killing and death appropriate for about second-graders and up. gail carson levine is a fabulous author and if you enjoy this book, or ella enchanted, you should read fairest and a tale of two castles, however, fairest is slightly longer and a tale of two castles is more entertaining for the older person.
PriscyPK More than 1 year ago
This book is funny and packed with thrilling adventures of a princess afraid of just about everything. It was good. I wouldn't rate 5 stars because I had a problem with the ending but that's just my opinion. I don't want to be responsible for you not reading a book that you may really like. Before taking my advice, ask around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If anybody LOVES to read especially about fantasy this is the book for you! I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the Best books I have ever read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great book from Gail Carson Levine! I loved this book almost as much as i loved the book, Ella Enchanted, also written by Gail Carson Levine! This book is a real page turner! A book you would really want to read again and again! I read it 3 times in one week! I would have read it more. Trust me, this book is a MUST READ type!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book. Gail Levine has done it again with her great fantasy stories. I really loved this book!!! I read it all in 1 day cause i couldnt stop turning the pages until the end! A REALLY MUST READ!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. IT has everything you can imagine. Romance, Action, you name it. At times you will feel sorry for Addie or even feel happy for her. Once you start this book you won't want to stop. I read this 5 times within 3 days. I wish it would never end! So if you are a person who loves fantasy and likes princess books then this is the one to read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
"The Two Princesses of Bamarre", is a wonderful story about two very close (but very different) sisters, who have very different goals in life, Meryl to be brave and free her kingdom from its problems, and Addie to live her life. But when Meryl becomes sick, Addie realizes she must follow her sister's dream. It's very sad. I have never cried over a book before this one. I love the Drualt poem interspersed in the story, and it's very touching how the two sisters love each other and support each other through everything. Probably one of the best books of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a masterpiece from the beginning to the end. People may say Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings books are the best, and I agree that they are excellent but this is by far the most well written story I have ever read. I hope i can someday write as well as Gail does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
G.C.L. is one of my favorite fairy tale writters! I've read her last hit "Ella Enchanted", I loved it! I heard about another book she had written which is "The Two Princess Of Bamarre". As soon as I started reading I was pulled into the story. G.C.L. puts so much detail and great cliff hangers that u can't put it down. I finished the book in 4 hours and I was so excited! I cried at the end, this book describes such a strong relationship between sisters and is really inspiring! G.C.L keep up the good work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Merly is brave but caught a diease that causes her life. Addie is shy but needs to go to find the cure. The two princesses need to help each other. Addie went on a quest but stumbled on orges, a prince, boarding school, and lots more fairy tale creatures. Guess what happened in the end? Well you better read the book! This is a wonderful book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Two Princesses of Bamarre was one of the greatest fantasy books I have ever read. The adventure pulls you in as if you are part of it yourself. The great tale of adventure pulls you into an all new, fantastic, land where monsters and creatures ravage the land. Fantastic story - wonderful twist. Great world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this well-written and intriguing book. The author really drew me in, and the exciting, thrilling plot held me captive until the very last page. A must read for all fantasy lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read I recommend this book to everyone who likes adventurous/fantacy books.I only wish I could find another book as good as this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read the first page I knew this was the book for me. From the beggining to end it held me and never let me go. It is about two princesses. One is named Meryl, and she is fearless and likes to go on adventures, and the other is named Addie, she is fearfull and even afraid of spiders. When Meryl gets sick with the Gray Death, a terrible disease with no cure, Addie sets out on a journey to help her sister. With many twists and turns this book keeps you begging for more. It is definatly one of my favorite books, my favorite author is Gail Carson Levine, and it is a tad better then Ella Enchanted, only because there was more action. This book as friendship, romance, fantasy, action, and adventure. I highly reccoment that you read it TODAY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great it had soo much adventure, love and it had great poems and i love that their Faries if you haven't read this book i reccomend it. you will love this book i've read it over and over again you'll love this book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first I thought I'd read it just to read it, but then I could not put it down! It was a great book. The copy that I read was my teachers but it was so good that I wanted to read read it over and over again so I decided to buy it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When my friend gave me Ella Enchanted to read, I read it every available second until I finished it, and even after that.I decided immediately that Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author.Then when Scholastic came to our school, one of the books for sale was Two Princesses of Bamarre. My friend bought it, read it in a day, then gave it to me. I absolutely LOVED it. It kind of gave me hope when I saw that fearful Addie (???Its been so long, i don't remember if thats her name or not???) conquered her fears and saved her kingdom. It was funny,adventurous,romantic, and many other things I can't give words to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like action with a little romance in it, this book is for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever read it!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was an inspiration. I love to write and hope to be published soon. My favorite character was Rhys. He was created an astonishing character. If you like princess books and you love adventure (like me)this book is a MUST read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutly wonderful,I liked it so much I stayed up til 12:20 finishing it. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and the princess being the heroine.