“Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a thrilled audience of Addie, their governess, and the young sorcerer Rhys.
But when Meryl falls ill with the dreaded Gray Death, Addie must gather her courage and set off alone on a quest to find the cure and save her beloved sister. Addie takes the seven-league boots and magic spyglass left to her by her mother and the enchanted tablecloth and cloak given to her by Rhys – along with a shy declaration of his love. She prevails in encounters with tricky specters (spiders too) and outwits a wickedly personable dragon in adventures touched with romance and a bittersweet ending.”
I Love this book! My sister introduced me to this book, and I have read it multiple times. It stars Meryl the Princess who wants to save her kingdom, her little sister Addie, on the other hand does not, she is content to watch as her sister plays at saving the kingdom. I love Addie, her personality is something I related to as a kid, she is not very courageous in the beginning, she is scared of almost everything, but when it comes down to it she bucks up her courage and leaves to save her sister. Family means everything to her.
Gail Carson Levine is a great author I have read many of her books and love them, I get drawn into them every time I read them, regardless if it is the tenth time or the first time I read it. The way that she developed Addie’s personality and lets her find her way while still staying true to the base of who Addie is, created a princess who has the courage to go out and find a seemingly impossible cure for a sickness that threatens her sister. Throughout her journey Addie grows as a Princess and a person, she gains the courage she needed but still contains the vulnerability she had at the beginning of the adventure.
One thing I love about this book is that reason, Addie, Meryl and Rhys are characters one can relate to and are not out there so relatable that they’re fantastical story cannot seem unreal, that it should not happen to them or that something is off about it. It is the perfect mix of Fictional, and reality. The reality is that we all face hard things in our life and while people will let us down and we face things in life that we may think we cannot handle but we do, and do with courage. Though I cannot speak for Levine and why she wrote the book and what she wanted readers to take away from it, but what I get from the book is that no matter where in life one goes, family and friends are always looking out for you.
Addie, Meryl and Rhys, are imperfect characters, that do not try to pretend that they are perfect, they know that they have faults, they accept that, they embrace it and when doing that it helps them get to their end goals in the adventure and they are able to get through it all. I love this book and strongly recommend it to any reader not matter their age! It is a timeless tale that is longing to be enjoyed by people for years to come. As my Favorite quote from the book states “Step Follows Step, Hope follows Courage, set your face toward Danger, Set your Heart on Victory”