Saturday, October 13, 2012

Book Review: The Goose Girl

"She was born Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, 
and she did not open her eyes for three days."

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was added to my list of books I need to read this year because it's simply been on my shelf far too long. Why it's sat there for so long, I have no idea. Because it was amazing. Beautifully written. Just... breath-taking. It's a rare novel that I love so much that I don't want to put it down, and I want to read it slowly so as to savor every word. The Goose Girl was one of those books.

"The Goose Girl" is a fairy tale written by the brothers Grimm. If you want, you can read it here. It tells the story of a young woman, a princess, who is to move to another kingdom and wed the prince. She has the ability to speak to her faithful, loving horse, Falada. Falada was to take the princess to this new kingdom, along with her chambermaid. But the chambermaid was jealous, and during the journey, forced the princess to switch places. Upon arriving at the neighboring kingdom, it was the chambermaid who was introduced as the prince's betrothed. The true princess was given a job... to work with the king's geese. She became the goose girl, working alongside the goose boy. There is much more to the story, but I don't want to spoil it for you.

Shannon Hale's version follows the Grimm version closely, but adds so much. It reads like a fairy tale. (As it should.) And while it is not fast-paced or filled with action scenes, it is simply amazing. Ani is a strong protagonist, and the friends she meets along the way are invaluable. I enjoyed the relationships Ani had with the other characters.

The goose boy, Conrad, was one of my favorites. As was Enna. So it's said with no surprise that I'm especially excited for book two in the Bayern series, Enna Burning. I'm curious to see how the kingdom of Bayern will have changed from The Goose Girl to Enna Burning, and I'm hoping old characters will show up. The Goose Girl has officially been added to my list of favorite books ever!

And because I love the cover so much, here is the Spanish edition. I want it!


Cecelia said...

Loved this book, and I'm so glad you did too! I don't think it matters when you come to a book, as long as you loved it. I too like that Spanish cover, but it's a major spoiler! Thanks for sharing your review.

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