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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Book: The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale

Acquired: Border's Books before it closed

Retail Price: $8.99

Sale Price: N/A

Number of Pages: 383

Synopsis: Some people are born with the first word of a language resting on their tongue, though it may take some time before they can taste it.

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue. She spent the early years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the swans. then, a colt was born with a word on his tongue-his name, Falada-and when Ani spoke it, she found the key to his language, too. But as Ani's gift grew, so did other's mistrust of it, and soon her mother felt she had no choice but to send her away to be queen of a foreign land...

Stars: ★★★★★

Review: This was one of those books that make you care about the characters and what is happening to them. I loved this book so much and can't wait to tell you why.

The Goose Girl is based off of a Brother Grimm fairy tale. In the fairy tale a young princess is sent to be married to a prince far off. Her mother sends her with a talking horse, a handkerchief with three drops of blood her blood on it, a dowry fit for a queen, and lastly a chambermaid to assist the princess in the long journey. Essentially the chambermaid takes advantage of the princesses good heart and threatens her life. The chambermaid and the princess arrive to the far off home of the prince and everyone believes that the chambermaid is the true princess.

Now the book stays very true to the old fairy tale, which always doubles my happiness. The book very much embellishes the story a bit. Firstly, Ani is the first born to a modest king. She loves her aunt and her aunt's stories dearly. As a child she tells her that there are three kinds of people. People who are gifted with "people-speaking", which is the power to say things and have people believe what is said. People-speaking can be used for good and bad and is just as rare as any talent. People who are gifted with "animal-speaking" which clearly can speak to animals. You do learn that each animal does have it's own language, just because you can speak to one animal does not mean you can speak to all. Falada and Ani speak to each other mentally. Lastly are the people who are gifted with "nature-speaking". Nature-speaking is very rare and is believed to no longer exist. People that were gifted with this could speak to the elements like fire and wind.

Secondly Ani's Aunt teaches her to speak to the swans. Everyday they would go to the pond when no one was around and practiced speaking to the swans. Her aunt in forms us that two very important people have people-speaking: her mother and the key-mistress' daughter, Selia.

Ani is supposed to become queen one day, but when her father dies, her mother informs her that against her and her father's knowledge betrothed her to a far away kingdom's prince. A large kingdom with many resources.

Alright so from her Selia heads a band of soldiers on the long travel against Ani. I wont go further other then to say I really love prince Geric. I think he is a sweetheart who needs to follow his heart and is allowed that with Ani in the end. I love how the king and Geric find out that Ani is the true princess. Shannon Hale does take a lot of creative license with the story, but it is wonderfully done. I think every thing fits together and Ani is a true heroine. She does not fall apart when everything is stripped from her. She never sulks when she is given a job well below her status. She loses everything and tries to find happiness in life. She is strong and a wonderful role model for young girls and that for me, is a wonderful change to books these days.

Now this is a series. There are three other books: Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born. They are not all about Ani, although they do have her in them. The two of the books are based off of characters that Ani befriended while she was known as Isi the goose girl. I have not read them as of yet, but I have wanted to. I'm a little disappointed I haven't read them. This was a book a read quite some time ago and I thought I did a review, however looking everything over on the site I realized there was nothing for a review. I was appalled with myself, but better late then never. :) I hope you love the book as much as I did.

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