A story of sisters

The Two Princesses of Bamarre ~ Gail Carson Levine

Halloo peoples. YES I KNOW I’VE BEEN AWFUL WITH POSTING. Time flies, children. It’s already March for cryin’ out loud. But!! I have made it up to you by rereading a book because I NEVER do this. Like never. Be proud. I admit, I didn’t like this book as much as I did the first time, but that’s inevitable because I’ve read a lot of books since then and my reading taste has definitely changed. I think 5 or so years is enough time for my taste to mature a lil bit, right? But I still loved this book because argh amazing.

Princesses Meryl and Addie live in a world of dragons, sorcerers, spectres, gryphons and unexpected heroes. However the deadliest characteristic of this world is the Grey Death, an illness that has no known cure. First comes the weakness, then 12 days of sleep, 3 of fever and finally… death. Safe from the dangers of the kingdom, Meryl and Addie are as close as sisters can be – Meryl courageous and outgoing, Addie timid and fearful. Meryl has always stood up for Addie, always been there to fight her battles, but when she is struck with the Grey Death, it’s Addie’s turn to be bold and aid her sister by searching out the cure. With the help of Rhys, a young sorcerer, Addie begins a hazardous journey across the kingdom to a land that is yet to be found. But time is running out for Meryl, and Addie is no closer to discovering the cure. Can she save her sister and rid the kingdom of the illness before Meryl is gone forever?

So, um, wow this book. I’m in loooove and I 100% think that this should be an actual fairy tale because it’s so beautiful. You can sort of tell it’s a children’s book because the writing is very simple, but there were some fighting scenes that were pretty graphic. Obviously, being a teen, I wasn’t too bothered by this; in fact, it made the tale a lot more gripping. There was constantly something happening, and it was told in such a beautiful manner. I loved the little poems throughout too, and argh the ending!! I was so so shocked and completely broken and yet I guess I was supposed to be slightly happy? But I was just in tears because it’s such a bittersweet finish, written excellently, similar to the rest of the book. Although I have to admit that reading the beginning felt like walking through caramel, but I think the author was trying to develop Addie and Rhys’ relationship a little more so that, by the end, it didn’t feel like they were rushing into anything. But I still felt like the actual quest took up a pea-sized slice of the book? Can we be a bit more generous here?

So onto the characters: Rhys is the cutest, sweetest, squishiest lil guy ever and ah so adorable. He and Addie fitted really well together and they both helped each other in many ways throughout the book. There wasn’t a lot of Meryl, with her being ill and all, but I liked her motherly character and her bravery through everything. Um, their dad?? Did he even care about his daughters a smidgen? His behaviour towards them was actually so awful like what is this parenting. He is king, I know, and the princesses have Bella and Milton (my darlings) to care for them, as well as Rhys to protect them, but that’s absolutely no excuse for him to just ignore them?? I swear he doesn’t even care that one of his daughters is dying and the other is going on a super dangerous quest alone at the age of, like, 18 or however old she is. Especially as they don’t have a mother like what is this man I want to strangle him. But at least he wasn’t evil or anything. And there were so many amazing and really caring and adorable characters that were so squishy and I love them all. Not to mention Addie and Meryl and their absolutely unbreakable bond, and I just love how this book is shaped around their love for one another. Addie is so shy and afraid of almost everything, but when it comes to saving her sister, she’s willing to face her fears no matter the cost. I adore the themes of this book, how Addie’s love for her sister is what causes her to discover her courage and realise that fear can be conquered by love. And it’s so so original because it focuses on Addie’s love for Meryl, and not any kind of romance, which is so refreshing (although there is a teensy bit of romance sprinkled in nonetheless).

ALSO DRAGONS (!!) and if that ain’t an incentive to read this, I don’t know what is.

All in all, this is an absolutely enchanting tale of two sisters’ love, undying friendship, and unspeakable courage. Sure, it’s primarily for younger children, but can be enjoyed by anyone because argh. Perfection.

Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ (7/10)

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