The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine: A book review

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The two princesses of Bamarre

This is one of my favorites.

Much like Ruby In Her Own Time this book deals with a character becoming fully herself. The two sisters are not particularly close as I remember it. One is strong and brave and outgoing and the other one is more shy and timid. The brave one gets sick and the only one who can save her is her sister who has to outwit a dragon to get the cure.

The great lesson is that we all have strengths, and that we are all stronger than we know when the chips are down. Something I am deeply aware of in myself. Especially this month of reminders. Not all strength is in muscle some is in wit and some is in faith. And some, as in this story, is in devotion to what is right and necessary. Like saving your sister.

I loved this story as I, too, have two daughters. One is very outgoing and always has a bunch of friends going and doing. The other is more contemplative, she has had a few close friends but has not been the type of person to have a huge group around her. I am more like my youngest and when my oldest friend asked me what my oldest was like I was suddenly deeply aware that I had a child who was a lot like her. So I said, “She’s like…she’s like you!”

I love stories that allow someone unexpected to be the hero. Perhaps because I am always rooting for the underdog, I am not sure. But I love that sense of surprise when someone stands up and says, “I’ll do it.” And surprises everyone.

I like the chance for a day in the sun.

Gail Carson Levine has rewritten a number of fairy tales into wonderful updated stories–Ella Enchanted(no offense to Anne Hathaway but the book was better than the movie), Fairest, etc and a number of books about fairies, “Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg” etc

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