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THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE

Gail Carson Levine, Author, Lynn Redgrave, Performed by . HarperChildren's Audio $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-694-52528-7

The robust voice of esteemed British actress Lynn Redgrave escorts listeners on an adventurous journey in Levine's (Ella Enchanted) latest fantasy novel. Princess Addie and her older (by one year) sister Princess Meryl are the best of friends, even though their personalities appear to be totally different: Addie is fearful and shy while Meryl favors swordplay and entertains thoughts of slaying monsters and dragons. But when Meryl is stricken by an ancient, fatal illness known as the Gray Death, Addie must overcome her fears and embark on a dangerous quest to find a cure. Addie's search leads her through forests filled with ogres and specters and even to a dragon's lair, where she learns the secret of what will heal Meryl. Along the way, Addie is bolstered by magical gifts and occasional visits from Rhys, the young sorcerer she has come to love. However, finding an antidote for the Gray Death does not save Meryl in a way that anyone would expect. Redgrave energetically characterizes a colorful line-up of characters and beasts, from the stern busybody of a governess, Bella, to Rhys, whose accent falls somewhere between Scottish and Indian. But Redgrave most convincingly portrays Addie's shift from trepidation to courage. Ages 10-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 06/11/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
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