College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Princess Bamarre The Two Princesses of Bamarre

by Gail Carson Levine, HarperCollins 2003

Reviewed by Jon Sorenson

This fast-paced, fantasy adventure story, by the author of the Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted, is my 9-year-old daughter Brianna's favorite, and I find it quite enjoyable too.

Adelina and Meryl are very close sisters, but of opposite personalities. Meryl wants to ride a horse, wield a sword, and save their kingdom of Bamarre from monsters. Addie is timid and afraid of spiders, but is an expert in embroidery. Meryl is her protector. But when Meryl is the one to contract the Gray Death, a magical disease which has a cure only in prophesy, Addie leaves the safety of Bamarre castle and searches for the cure "because of the way she loves her sister and how much she cares about her," as my daughter says.

My favorite moment is when Addie encounters a spider while she is captive in a dragon's cave. As a bedtime story it is a failure, because Brianna will not fall asleep as we follow Addie's encounters with specters, gryphons, ogres, and dragons, but it is a wonderful, empowering story with a surprising ending, which I won't reveal, except to say that she gets the handsome guy in the end.

- Jon Sorenson is a professor of computer science and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Butler University.