If I were to dabble in writing children’s literature, there are two authors I would want to research extensively, simply because their work is astounding to me. One is Dianne Wynne Jones, the other is Gail Carson Levine.
Levine’s work has always left an impression on me. I first read The Two Princesses of Bamarre when I was very young. I don’t remember my exact age. But this story held me spell bound and is one of the inspirations behind my own writing.
Reading it again, at 25 years old, nothing has changed. Addie is still a lovely protagonist who is very dynamic and who grows considerably throughout a fairly short book.
The lore behind the world is rich and wonderfully seductive. While the poetry is far from astounding, it does its job well. It paints an epic picture of the warrior Drault and the kind of world Bamarre is.
Levine’s voice is poignant and not too in your face. She describes things simply and beautifully. Her delicate way of dealing with young death and young love is rare to find. I feel lucky to have always had her work in my life.
Of course, this review is likely very biased because of my childhood reading habits. But it’s still a very honest review.