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The Two Princesses of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  59,182 Ratings  ·  2,150 Reviews
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 th
Published April 24th 2001 by HarperFestival (first published March 1st 2001)
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Ashley Stangl No, it's set in a different world with very different magical creatures. However, there is a prequel, "The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre" coming out later…moreNo, it's set in a different world with very different magical creatures. However, there is a prequel, "The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre" coming out later this yeat.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Lola  Reviewer

Follow Princess Addie as she is overcoming her fears in order to find a cure for her sister who had the mischance to fall into the claws of the Gray Death. This is a charming adventure brimming with princesses, dragons, elves, fairies, ogres, sorcerers and magic! Over and above that, it explores the themes of sisterly love and courage. Even a coward can be transformed into a knight. It can absolutely make a beautiful storytelling for children.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: some-of-the-best
Wren ϟ WrensReads
WrensReads Review:

Starting off the new year correctly with a book about two sisters. One sister is a courageous blonde ready to find the cure to Sir Grey Death and the other is a brunette who is a coward who has to find her strength.

Meryl is the older sister. She dreams of fighting the dragons and rescuing her people from all the foes, including those small enough like Sir Grey Death.

The Grey Death is a long, drawn out processes that eventually kills its victim. With the cure prophesied, there i
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Ella Enchanted
I love this book!!! Even though Ella Enchanted is Gail Carson Levine's most well-known book, I think that The Two Princesses of Bamarre is her best book. It's really exciting, but also well-written. If you love Ella Enchanted, this is the book for you.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls who are into those wimpy Disney princesses and anyone who wants to read a good adventure
Shelves: young-adult
This book is so good!

It did take me a while to get into it. The first half or so of the book is kind of slow going. Two sisters. One is bold. One is shy. Yawn.

But then in the middle, when the shy sister has to leave the castle to save her beloved sister's life, it gets REALLY exciting. Specters. Gryphons. Dragons. Battles. WOW! I could hardly put it down at that point.

There's also a story within a story, a legend of the kingdom, and it is as well done as the main story.

The almost end had me bawl
Naomi Brist
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've grown up with this story. To say that it has had an impact on my life is an incredible and unforgivable understatement. Everyone knows this author because of Ella Enchanted, but I believe that this book is much, much greater. It has romance, monsters, action, magic, and adventure; all things that people look for and enjoy in a good book. But what really makes this story great is not any of those things. What makes it great is how a young woman who is afraid of everything ventures out into a ...more
Sabrina Stoutamyer
This book is one of the first fantasy novels I ever read. It's one I loved from beginning to end, and it's one that I never tire of reading over and over again. It's the only book I've read more times than I can count on my one hand and several more on the other. This is an awesome read with great morals about finding courage in a world that is against you doing so. It's about family and the beauty of being there for each other, even if you're not quiet the same. It's got poetry, dragons, action ...more
In one of my very early post, I listed some of my favorite books. This book was, and still is, on that list! From the first time I read this to the most current, I still am intrigued every time I turn the first page. I mean, monsters, diseases, poems, heroes, dangers, desperation, romance—those few words definitely mean it has to be a good book.

Gail Carson Levine is just an amazing author. I love her books, Ella Enchanted and Ever. They are great. However, I can’t say that this is my favorite ou
I THINK I read this before, but I can't say for sure.

Anyway, this was good, but I don't think it entirely holds up for an adult reader. I needed the relationships to be fleshed out more, both the romance and the sibling relationship.

But I did like the bare bones of the story a lot.

Re-read February 2016

Hahaha, well, this time I KNOW I read it before, but I couldn't remember much at all about it until I started reading. Then I remembered more.

I do think it's not quite subtle enough for my adult ta
An adventurous, fun story, The Two Princesses of Bamarre was... making me smile knowingly at some parts, then sitting in surprise at another. Sweet fairytale of a love that makes cowards brave. Complete with wily monsters, fearsome dragons, and courageous legends.

It was a quick but good read for me, and I know my younger sisters also loved it.
Sydney Cornwall
May 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-356
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book was really cute! It's written in the first person, which was a change, as few of the books I read are, and the protagonist of the story is Princess Addie, a sweet but cowardly girl who couldn't be more different than her sister, Meryl. Princess Meryl is courageous and longs for adventures where she can kill dragons, gryphons, and ogres. Addie would rather stay safe at home and wishes for peace, not wars like her sister. The two are even opposites in appearance. Addie has dark brown hai ...more
Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
I didn't think that Gail Carson Levine could write anything more spectacular than Ella Enchanted. I'm not going to say that The Two Princesses of Bamarre was better than Ella Enchanted, but it definitely was as good as it.

Addie and Meryl had such a great relationship. I loved reading about them, and how Addie was willing to risk her life to save her sister from the Gray Death.

Rhys...sigh. Oh, Rhys. He's a very attractive sorceror, and I loved him! Gail Carson Levine created a romance that wasn
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favortie-books
At first, I thought that since this book was going to be too princess-y, and medieval time-ish, I asked myself, "Why bother?"

My conscious had told me, "Suck it up and read it fool. You'll like it. You always like princesses, now."

And I did. Like it, I mean. This wonderful, original story has been on of my favorites. I loved it! I don't remember much, but I do remember about the princess thinking she was frail, weak, not strong at all like the older one, going on a bunch of journeys. She had
Sep 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12 And Up
Shelves: fantasy
Cute and funny (like all of Gail Carson Levine's books! :D)!!

Gail Carson Levine here creates a fairy tale of her own and gives it a characteristic grrrl-power twist. Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a
Step follows step,
Hope follows Courage,
Set your face towards danger,
Set your heart on victory.

This was one of my favorite books growing up - I love the focus on the strength of family bonds and the idea that you can be afraid, yet still be brave and strong.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
dragons, ogers ,fairies this book is evrything!
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for the 2016 Book Battle, but didn't work for me. Partly because she's *twelve*, and his efforts at hand-waving the fact away don't work against the fact that he's an adult and she isn't.
Tara Higgins
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book so many times! I love it!
Kai (Quartzfeather)
I remember picking this book up once in fifth grade and not enjoying it very much, mind you, I didn't get too far into the story, but in the few pages I read, The Two Princesses of Bamarre didn't manage to capture my attention.

In the following years, I read many of Gail's other books and loved each and every one, but I was always a little wary of Two Princesses and never ended up giving it another chance. However, with the release of it's sequel, I finally decided that maybe I should pick it up
Small Review
I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Gail Carson Levine, but for some reason I had it in my head that she wrote "simple" stories. Maybe they were good, but I just wasn’t expecting all that much from them. My only exposure had been watching the movie Ella Enchanted (cute, but nothing amazing) and one of her fairy short stories (again, cute, but forgettable). Granted, not a fair account, but that’s where I was. I had picked up this copy at a garage sale and finally decided to read it (ful ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jami by: Shandi
I liked this book. It was a fairly fast-paced, fun adventure. Two sisters, the princesses of the kingdom of Bamarre, at first glance appear to be very different. Meryl is brave and desperate for adventure. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful of everything, particularly of losing her sister.

What transpires is that Addie must embark on an adventure to save her sister. She discovers her own courage, and in the end works with a small group of brave Bamarrians to save the day.

I liked the descriptio
Hayley Larson
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
Gail Carson Levine captivated me once again with her tale, "the Two Princesses of Bamarre." This was also one of my favorite books in middle school and I read it more than once. I could really connect with the story because I also have a sister who I would do anything for and even though we are different, we get along and really help each other out. As you may have guessed the story tells about two sisters whose father rules over the kingdom of Bamarre which for some time has been plagued with t ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did exactly what my mother told me not to do last night, stay up late and read a book all the way through. I have been in a reading slump for a while having drowned in children’s books this semester and my adult book well I started it in the summer and am about halfway through. I thought a quick something I’ve really wanted to read would get me back in the groove. Addie is afraid of everything. Her sister Meryl is the brave one who protects her. Then the tables are turned and Addie must take u ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book first when I was a little kid, sometime between fourth and fifth grade, I think. It was one of the most influential books of my childhood, so it only made sense that I reread all grown up as I am.

It wasn't as stunning as I remember it being when I was a kid, but it was still really amazing. The story-telling and the feeling in the book was something that you don't find in some of the 'finer' books of this time. And maybe it was more because of my nostalgia than because of the po
Molly Murphy
Ok, the whole book, the whole great book, was RUINED by the horrible ending.
First of all, I like that Meryl, the daring, adventurous, passionate one, was small. I love it when the small people are like that. Also, I love that Meryl was the oldest 'cause a lot of people protray the oldest as some wimpy, over-mature person who never gets into any adventures. Finally, the firstborn is the spitfire!
And then I liked the twists, that Addie had to go and conquer all of her fears and learn to be stron
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Princess Addie lets fear rule her life, wishing for nothing more than a safe and happy life. Her sister, Princess Meryl, is very brave and would love nothing more than to seize adventure, in whatever the form. When the illness that has stricken the kingdom hits close to home, will Princess Addie find the courage to go on her own adventure for the benefit of them all?

The Two Princesses of Bamarre is a well imagined fantasy for middle grade students, although it can be enjoyed by all. Well paced w
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a kids' book, so I'm going to excuse the simplistic writing style and clunky plot. It also could have done without the insta-romance, but what I loved about the story was that the protagonist was afraid of everything. I'm tired of heroes who kick ass and do amazing things without batting an eyelash. It's like every hero has to be some kind of adrenaline junkie with a death wish. Addie is a homebody who prefers embroidery to slaying dragons. Yet, when called upon, she doesn't let her fear ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book was well crafted in every aspect until the last couple chapters. The ending was atrocious and utterly dissapointing. In my opinion, the end completely ruined the rest of the story. If you choose to read the book, please stop reading at the chapter that ends with rain and go no further. The end you make up yourself will be a hundred times better than the end by Levine. Don't get me wrong, I love the author; she's one of my favorites. But she really messed up the ending to this one.
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Around the Year i...: The Two Princesses of Bamarre, by Gail Carson Levine 2 7 Jul 10, 2017 01:28AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 5 Feb 11, 2015 04:13PM  
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Just letting you all know: I'm only going to review books I love. There's enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Yo
More about Gail Carson Levine...

Other Books in the Series

The Two Princesses of Bamarre (2 books)
  • The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre
“Step follows step,
Hope follows Courage,
Set your face towards danger,
Set your heart on victory.”
“Drualt took Freya's warm hand,
Her strong hand,
Her sword hand,
And pressed it to his lips,
Pressed it to his heart.
Come with me,' he said.
Come with me to battle,
My love. Tarry at my side.
Stay with me
When battle is done.
Tarry at my side.
Laugh with me,
And walk with me
The long, long way.
Tarry with me,
My love, at my side.”
More quotes…