Saturday, September 20, 2014 11:32

Review 288. Shannon Hale – series: The books of Bayern.

This series came highly recommended by Emily from Reverie Rhapsody (and if you don't know her, you should check out her beautiful blog!) This is one of her favorite series and after devouring a book every day, I understand why.

179064The 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.
248482Enna 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
2876228Razo 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!

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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

25 comments:

  1. I really love Shannon Hale and this is one of my favorites! I also love Book of a Thousand days! You should check it out!

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  2. The Books of Bayern are so good! Forest Born was actually my favourite book in the series - you're in for a real treat. My favourite thing about these books is the writing style, which I think mimics the classic fairy tale style a bit. Makes me feel like I'm reading a much older story than it really is.

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    1. So I have something to look forward to, great!

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  3. YES YES YES!!! :D HIP HIP HOORAY!! I'm so glad you loved this one Mel! <3 And of course like you know I hold this series very closely to my heart ;) I figured that The Goose Girl might be your favourite too though! It's definitely the one with the best character development and is just very very solid. And while I still adore Enna Burning, I have to say that it's definitely not on par with The Goose Girl! But Razo definitely brings on the humor in River Secrets :3 But in Forest Born, you'll probably see that Enna is just as feisty, but she's more matured as well :) My fingers crossed that you will love it as well!! :D
    YAY! I'm so glad you enjoyed my favourite series, Mel heehee! :D Fantastic reviews!! <3

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    1. I can't wait to see Enna's development, because I really liked her presence in The Goose Girl. She was a loyal friend :)

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  4. I need to read more books from this author!

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  5. Haha, love that you mentioned that Emily recommended this series to you. I actually own the first and third book of this series, thanks to Emily buying me them for my birthday! And for that reason, I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed this series overall! The characters sound quite interesting and I love how each book explores characters you've seen in previous books further. Great review! :)

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    1. Well, she did, so she deserves the credits. Who knows how long it might have taken me to read the books otherwise!

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  6. Sounds like cute books :D Not for me, but I'm glad you mostly enjoyed them all. <3 Amazing reviews Mel :) Thank you for letting me know about these books. <3 I might have to read them one day, if I'm more ready for this genre ;p

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  7. I LOVE Shannon Hale! :D Have you read Palace of Stone? I haven't gotten around to starting Goose Girl, but I have it on my wishlist and I've promised myself that I'll read it soon. :D Great reviews!

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    1. Not yet, but after reading these books I hope to pick up her other works soon too :D

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  8. I had never heard of this series or the author before but it certainly sounds an interesting one. I may have to check it out. Glad you enjoyed it so much! :)

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  9. I've heard some glowing praise about these but I tend to forget about them unfortunately D: Seeing them here and reading about how you enjoyed them is a perfect reminder though for me to get going with the series :D I'm glad you had fun with these and how fast you got through them all! The mark of a good read! Thanks for the lovely reviews Mel, I hope you have even more fun with the next one!! xx

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    1. Good thing I gave you a little reminder then!

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  10. Awesome, so glad you've been enjoying this series so far! I, too, have heard many a good thing about it, but unlike you I have yet to get my butt in gear to actually read it. Just having you say that the read was magical is enough to make me move the series up my tbr!

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  11. I love fairy tale retellings, and hadn't heard of this series before now, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Older books deserve love too! The fact that you compared it to The Iron Fey means that there's a strong chance I'll like the story, although it doesn't seem like any of the other installments quite measured up to the first one, here's hoping that Forest Born will knock your socks off!

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    1. The first book is a charming retelling of a fairytale I've never seen retold before. I hope so too!

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  12. I actually prefer Hale's adult fiction over her middle grade and YA work, but this series has so many positive reviews that I actually just picked up The Goose Girl from the library last week. Looking forward to reading it!

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  13. I've only read The Goose Girl, for some reason I wasn't as motivated to pick up the next book even though I really enjoyed the first. But I do want to read them someday since Shannon Hale is awesome. :) It's good to know that they might not be up to par with the first book, I'll keep that in mind. At least these books are pretty quick reads. I hope you'll love Forest Born!

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  14. I actually haven't heard about this series before, but from what your reviews tell me these books would certainly be something I'd enjoy reading! So, I'm going to look this series up (as soon as I get home!). Lovely review(s) Mel!

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  15. The Goose Girl was my introduction to Hale's work. I love what she did in retelling/reimagining the story. So, so good.
    I own the three later novels of this series, but I haven't read them yet. I'm kind of bummed they're not also fairy tale retellings. But maybe I'll get over that disappointment and actually read them at some point!

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  16. I have The Goose Girl on Kindle and have been meaning to read it for a while now since I've heard so many good things about it. I didn't realize there were 4 (?) books to this series but I like when authors change MCs like this. Can Razo speak to something like Ani and Enna can?

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