Thursday, 7 October 2010

Book Review - The Goose Girl

Author : Shannon Hale
Series : The Book of Bayern, #1

Hardcover : 383 pages
ISBN : 158234843X
(ISBN 13 : 9781582348438)
My Rating : ★★★★★

Book Description : A magical retelling of the Grimm's fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen. Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, is born with the ability to speak to animals, a gift that is nurtured by her aunt. When the king dies, the queen announces that Ani's younger brother, not the crown princess, will succeed her on the throne. Unbeknown st to anyone, the queen has promised Ani in marriage to the prince of neighbour Bayern. The devastated teen is sent with a retinue over the mountains to Bayern and is betrayed by Selia, her lady-in-waiting, and most of her guards during the journey. Ani escapes, takes the name "Isi," disguises her distinctive blonde hair, and becomes a tender of geese to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim her from the imposter , Selia. Ani meets and falls in love with Geric, who is, conveniently, the prince she is to marry. She is able to convince him and the king of her identity, marry, become queen, and stop a war between the kingdoms. This retelling retains many similarities to the original tale, including the gruesome punishment for treason. Hale's retelling is wonderfully rich one, full of eloquent description and lovely imagery, and with a complex, a large cast of characters, and a strong female protagonist. Fans of high fantasy will be delighted with this novel, the first in a planned trilogy, and impatiently await those to follow.

My Thoughts :  Now, THIS! is a true "fairy-tale." 
A book that actually takes you back to your childhood when all you did was watched your favorite princess movie over and over again on TV. 
It filled my whole body with warm light and left me reading the last few chapters over and over again, I truly couldn't help myself. 

Personally, I haven't read the original Grimm's fairy tale so I wouldn't know where to compare but like all fairy tales, this book also had some typical traits. 
Nonetheless, I just LOVED reading this book. 
The story itself is all explained above, anything more would definitely spoil the fun. 
It is by far the best "fairy tale" I've read this year. 

There was one thing that bothered me, which was the ending. 
It felt like it was stalling or taking one too many turns before the finale. 
Which can make you go nuts sometimes. At this point, I was willing to give it a 4.5 star, but I heart just melted after actually having finished the book. 
I can just imagine myself reading this book to my daughter one day before she goes to bed.
It's that sweet. ^_^ 

Favorite Quotes and Moments 

"There's a story my aunt used to tell me that's about, well, about a lot of things, but to me it was mostly about the wind."
Enna sat squarely in front of Ani and placed her hands in her lap.
"You'd better tell it now, goose girl, or I'll bother you about it till next marketday. Hey there, Bettin." said Enna, getting the attention of another girl, "come closer. Isi's telling a story."
Ani nearly blushed from the attention as the other girl joined them, but she lowered her eyes and thought about the words she would say. 
(this was perfect for me, a moment that was so true,sweet but forgotten, that I felt like I was going to sit next to them and listen to what she had to say.)

"Oh, but I like my geese. Like cats, they can't be told what to do, and like dogs, they're loyal, and like people, they talk every chance they get."

"Enna, said Ani as the girl rose to leave, "those guards would kill me if they knew I was here."
"I know," she said. "I won't tell anyone. You'll see that I won't. And Isi... can I still call you Isi? It fits you. I want to tell you how I believe you. I don't know why. I wouldn't believe Razo if he pricked his finger and told me he was bleeding, and your story's almost as crazy as your bedtime tales, but I really do believe you. And when you get tired of worrying and mourning your horse and trying not to be afraid, tell me and I'll do it for you a while so you can shut your eyes and sleep peaceful."
(oh, I cried reading this passage. To me, a friendship and trust is more powerful and moving than pretty much any love story.)


Elizabeth Mueller said...

Thank you for joining the bloghop. You have a charming blog! :) I've heard many people talk about this book. Now I know what it's about. Thanks for sharing!

~Elizabeth :)

Nat said...

I have not read this one yet but hear great things about it. Thanks for the review!!

Natalie (Id So Rather Be Reading) said...

I am so excited you liked this one! I got it and am really excited to read it :) Have you read Austenland by Shannon Hale... you will probably like it.

Kathryn said...

This was my first Shannon Hale, but definitely not my last. ^_^ thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out!

Post a comment

I love sharing opinions and listening to your critiques.
Thanks in advance for your comments =)

Related Posts with Thumbnails