The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars
Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?
I liked Perry’s character. She is headstrong and awkward, but always willing to learn. I love how she interacts with the different characters in her life. There are so many social dynamics that have to be understood and navigated through as she tries to build a new life for herself. I love how she gradually learns more about her birth family and about the Bamarre culture.
The world-building is excellent! There are so many layers to the different cultures and history. Their different manners, their attitudes, and their customs are all explored as we learn the difference between Lakti and Bamarre people. They have different values and priorities, and that affects their behavior. Lakti people value strength and plain straight-forward language. The Bamarre value courtesy and selflessness, so their speech is much more quiet and apologetic.
The plot is good, with plenty of intrigue and action. I loved the magical elements in the story. There are some serious scenes, but also some humor to balance things out. The writing style is excellent, pulling the reader into the scene and tugging on your emotions.
However, I did not like the way the ending was rushed. It was all a little too convenient and quick. After all that build-up, it was disappointing. If the ending had been better, it would have been a 4-star book for me. Not that the ending is terrible. It’s fine. I just felt like it could have been more drawn-out and complex. It was a little too simple and easy.