Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern)

It seems I have a fairy tale remix theme going on here but again, we find ourselves with a twist on a classic.  This time we introduce The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale (one of my favorite authors), a Brothers Grimm story with twist.  Hale won a Newbery Honor Award for this novel and for good reason.  This coming of age journey is beautifully told and holds true to the test of time, even read as an adult. 

The Goose Girl is a story about Princess Anidora-Kiladra (Ani for short) who is born a little different and is outcast from the very start.  We learn early on that she, like her outcast aunt, has a magical gift of speaking with animals, particularly birds.  This gift is dismissed as Ani grows and we come to find that her mother, the Queen, makes a political decision to betroth Ani to a neighboring Kingdom's Prince.  Half-way through her journey, her lady-in-waiting, Selah conspires with some of the guard and is overthrown.  Ani then goes into hiding and becomes a servant (the goose girl) to the kingdom that she is supposed to become Queen to.  Ani meets all sorts of characters while in disguise as she is trying to find her way to her rightful throne. 

Hale does an excellent job of story-telling.  Her words paint a wonderful picture of the surroundings and colorful characters sprinkled within this tale, even the smaller characters have a flavor all their own.  Ani is a character you can really root for.  She is flawed and naive but grows in herself and with her abilities and becomes a confident young lady ready to stand up for what she believes in and finds her inner power.  I of course love the twists and revealing moments sprinkled throughout the chapters! A very thrilling, fun and adventurous twist on a classic!

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