Monday, August 30, 2010
by Shannon Hale
The Books of Bayern, book two
*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't read The Goose Girl yet and you plan to, skip this review!!
Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
(description taken from Amazon.com)
I was really impressed with this book. It never ceases to amaze me when an author can take a fairy tale or legend, something where the story is already known, and create a whole new, believable world or twist on it...but then to actually compound on that and continue in the world with a fresh NEW story. That's just reading magic! Shannon Hale is a master.
Enna is a great character. I loved her in The Goose Girl as Isi's forthright and passionately loyal friend, but here you get to see her in much greater depth. Finn also reappears, much to my delight! The two of them must face new challenges and Enna is tested to the depths of her very soul.
The concept of fire, as an element, burning you alive...with impatience, with anger, with passion...very, very cool idea. I loved that this is central to the book, yet Enna never fades to the background in the face of the magic she holds. Enna's struggles, her morality, her essence never disappear.
An excellent book. I cannot wait to get my hands on River Secrets soon!