The goose girl. 383 pages. May 13th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.RATING: 4 STARS. This was by far my favorite book from the series (so far, I haven’t read Forest Born yet) and I think it’s because it’s based on a fairy tale. Ani – short for Anidori – is send away to a foreign country to get married to the prince. Her mother arranged everything to get more ties with Bayern. Ani grew up under her aunt’s guidance and that’s how she learned to speak with animals; a skill that isn’t appreciated by most. When she is on her way to Bayern, Ani is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting and she managed to escape. She takes the job of goose girl for the King until she finds a way to tell the truth.
Ani was a strong character. I liked how she embraces being different and how she uses her gifts. She becomes a goose girl without whining or feeling sorry for herself. Better, she starts to enjoy her new life and the freedom it gives her. There are no twists or unexpected turns, but that's not what this story needs. It was magical.
Enna Burning. 317 pages. September 19th 2006 by Bloomsbury USA children.
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?RATING: 3 STARS. We already saw Enna in the first book, where she quickly became one of Ani’s best friends. I liked that we got to see her story. This book continues a few years after Ani’s marriage. Bayern is in trouble when Tiran wants to invade their country. Enna finds out that she has the talent to speak with fire and she uses that power to set fire to Tiran camps; until they capture her.
Enna was a bit out of control. I understand that she had to let go of the fire once in a while, but she made some pretty stupid decisions that led to more chaos. Her recklessness was sometimes a bit too much, but at the same time she shows that she is brave and willing to do anything for the people she loves.
River Secrets. 290 pages. September 16th 2008 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Razo has never been anything but ordinary. He's not very fast or tall or strong, so when he's invited to join an elite mission escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern's great enemy, he's sure it's only out of pity. But as Razo finds potential allies among the Tiran, including the beautiful Lady Dasha, he realizes it may be up to him to stop a murderer and get the Bayern army safely home again.RATING; 3.5 STARS. Ahhh, Razo. Another character we saw in the first two books. He has something naughty about him. He reminded me a little of Puck from The Iron Fey series. I liked his development. In the beginning he is very innocent and not aware of his own potential. It was good to see how he grows and realize he has things to offer. I also liked that this story took part in another setting; Tiran. He is there to make sure that there won't be another war, but it's hard when there are many people who want to kill you to sabotage the peace.
I can't wait to read Forest born!