The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Addie, the 12-year-old Princess of the kingdom of Bamarre, is a sweet but cowardly girl. She comes by it honestly – her father, the king, is also a coward. Addie’s sister Meryl, however, is adventurous and courageous and she wants to save their kingdom from evil magical beasts and a plague they call the Grey Death. Addie adores and admires Meryl and she knows she’ll never be brave like her sister.
When Meryl gets sick, Addie is desperate to save her but, because her father’s efforts are timid and ineffective, eventually she realizes that her only hope is to do it herself. Armed with several fabulous magical gifts, such as a tablecloth that always presents a delicious feast when unfolded, and a pair of boots that lets her cover seven leagues in one step, Addie sets out to save her sister and her kingdom.
During her quest to find a cure, she’ll have to battle magical beasts such as dragons, griffins, and ogres. There’s some embroidery involved, too. Importantly, Addie gets the chance to travel her kingdom and witness the lives of the people her family is supposed to protect.
My daughter and I enjoyed listening to Gail Carson Levine’s The Two Princesses of Bamarre (2001) together. This is a satisfying story with an entertaining magical adventure, an unexpected ending, a good lesson, and a sweet romance.
HarperAudio’s version, which is six hours long, is read by January LaVoy whose work I always love. She’s one of the best so, if you plan to read The Two Princesses of Bamarre, I recommend this version.