The Two Princesses of Bamarre is one of those princess books for girls that is actually good.
Princesses Meryl and Addie are sisters, but not the catty, jealous rivals that fictional sisters are often portrayed as. They're best friends. They confide in each other, squabble with each other, make grand plans together. Though their personalities are different—Meryl is the brave and confident one, ready to go on adventures and fight monsters, while Addie is meek and shy, afraid of spiders and interested in embroidery—they bear a strong love for each other. So strong, in fact, that when Meryl is stricken with the fatal illness known as the Gray Death, Addie is willing to risk her life by (literally) going outside her comfort zone in order to find a cure for her sister.
That's right, Addie is a princess who goes out and does things instead of waiting around for someone else to solve her problems. And, best of all, she doesn't do it in order to prove something to herself or others, or to rebel against her father or societal norms, or anything of the kind. She does it in order to save her sister. She does it even though she's afraid, simply because she loves her. But she's not a loner. She's more than willing to accept help from both friends and strangers. And she's not rebellious. Both girls are respectful of their father, even though they acknowledge that he is a weak king.
Addie is afraid of many things—spiders, thunderstorms, heights, death. But when she finds herself having to face all of these things, she takes a deep breath, goes out, and conquers her fears—because she has to. She is a far cry from the princesses who sit around and wait for things to happen to them. She is a coward who finds courage because she's motivated by love for her sister.
Full of thrilling adventure with a dash of romance, and set in a lush world of monsters and dragons, Two Princesses of Bamarre is one of those books that girls will want to read over and over—and why not? Meryl and Addie are strong and brave girls with vivid imaginations who care about each other. These are the kinds of princesses that girls should be reading about.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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