I have read a lot of books in my life. Some of my favorites include the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and the Wild Magic series by Tamora Pierce. However, none of those have such history with me as Gail Carson Levine’s The Two Princesses of Bamarre.
I received this book in a box shipped to me by my older cousin. The box was full of books that she simply didn’t want anymore. Most of them were uninteresting to me, but then I saw this book. With yellowing pages and a banged-up cover, this copy seems much older than its 2002 print date. I like to say it’s all of the love I’ve given it over the years with my constant rereading.
For those that may not know (and it might be a lot of you, considering that I’ve only ever met one other person who actually knows this book), this book follows the stories of two princesses, Addie and Meryl. Meryl (the blonde on the cover), dreams of going on adventures and slaying dragons. She loves to pull her sister into her swordfighting practice and is braver than many knights. Addie, on the other hand, is shy and afraid, yet she always goes along with her sister.
Addie’s world is then flipped upside down when Meryl falls sick to a plague that is ravaging the kingdom. Aided somewhat by a handsome young mage, Addie must set out by herself on a quest to find a cure for her sister before it’s too late. In the process, she faces dragons, specters, and other creatures, finding her own courage along the way.
This book was one of the first books that inspired my love of the fantasy genre. Reading about the princesses and their struggles, as well as all of the fantasy beasts that Addie encountered, excited me. I found that I loved stories of heroes and magic. Whenever I have a moment of doubt or writer’s block, when I don’t know what in the world I’m doing on the project I’m working on, this is a book that I can read to remember my passion for creating worlds and making people feel the way that this book never fails to make me feel when I read it. It’s a book that I recommend to any fantasy lovers out there or any lovers of a good book.
I would love to hear what books inspired your reading or writing adventures! Leave them in the comments below!
-Jessica PrietoHeading photo by: Iñaki del Olmo.