The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I cannot believe I read through this book so quickly! It was a fast, fluffy read, one that I am glad I accomplished. However, I am conflicted over this book, and unsure how many stars I would give it. The plot is wonderful, revolving around sisterly love and bravery and courage. It sounds like a book that would be perfect for my liking, which is why I purchased it. I could go into depth about what displeased me, but I don't really think it is necessary. I think that basically this author's writing style comes across a bit too young for me in most places and some specific details in the book have me slightly wincing at the silliness. Don't get me wrong, this is a fabulous fairytale type of book, however, I have read much better that I found myself, in a way, comparing it to while reading. Even though I have not read a tale even close to this storyline (which I do admire), the finished piece was not put together well enough for my taste. I think I just have really high standards for fairytales, expecting perfection and to be absolutely wowed, simply because fairytales in general leave me in awe. I was not left in awe, but admired the author's creative plot and effort.
The thing I did really did like about this book was the creative take on sorcerers and dragons. I loved Rhys and all his quirks and how a dragon's laughter sounded like bells. It was refreshing to read the scenes that talked of Rhys or dragons. What I didn't like was when the author tried to pass minor events as a major one, or have a character come to a thought or an idea that seemed out of character, or too all of a sudden. I was also a little put off with the ending. The ending was wonderful, but I didn't like how she wrote the reactions of the characters in the ending chapters. I just didn't get why she was trying to force a happy ending into a bittersweet ending. It was weird for me.
Overall, I am glad I read it. I've been meaning to give a Gail Carson Levine novel a try for a long time. I don't know if this novel is a good representation of the general style of her novels overall, but I don't see myself picking up anymore of her books. I see myself reaching more for fairytales written by Mercedes Lackey or Dennis L. McKiernan. I will be passing this book onto my oldest daughter, I have a feeling she will really enjoy the fun of this book.
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