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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Goose Girl

Author: Shannon Hale
Reason for reading: Once Upon a Time Challenge, YA Challenge, Mythopoeic Award Challenge
Rating: 4/5

Am I the only participant in the Once Upon a Time challenge who hasn't read this book? It sure seems that way at times. I also had never heard of the fairy tale of The Goose Girl.

Ani is the crown princess of Kildenree. As a child, she was taught by her wise aunt how to speak to birds. She grows up, trying and forever feeling like a failure as the heir to the throne. So when her mother tells her grimly one day that she is destined to marry the prince of neighboring Bayern in order to keep the peace, Ani is crushed. Determined, though, to do her best, she sets off on the long road through the forest. Things do not end up as expected and the princess must learn to rely on herself and learn how to live as a peasant before she can hope to be queen.

This book is a very spare retelling of the story, written without a lot of fluffy, flowery language. For me, that worked in favor of the book, because you felt as if the writer was giving you a story set in a place so real they didn't feel the need to over-elaborate. At the same time, the book didn't grab me the way some fairy tale retellings do, because it was a very simple story.

It took me a while to get into this book, but I really thought that the dangers that Ani faces feel real. Sometimes in fairy tales, the monster or witch really doesn't convince the reader that they are evil enough, but in this case the odds that Ani were fighting against seemed insurmountable. And despite the fact I pride myself on predicting the outcome of books and movies, there were a few twists and turns that took me unexpectedly. I'm glad I managed to slip in one more read for the Once Upon a Time challenge

Eva's review
Stephanie (The Written World)'s review
Melody's review
Deslily's review
Annie's review
Debi's review
Nymeth's review

(And if I missed you, send me a link and I'll add you on!)


Debi said...

This book so totally captivated me! Glad you enjoyed it, even if it wasn't your all-time favorite retelling.

If you want it, here's my review, but certainly don't feel obligated to link it.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoy this one :) Here's the link to my post.

Stephanie said...

This one started off slow for me too, but ultimately it was a satisfying read).

Chris said...

I still haven't read it! I did however buy it, so I'm on my way to reading it :p I have a feeling I'm going to be horribly disappointed with it though after all of these wonderful reviews...I don't know why. I hope not!

Melody said...

I really enjoyed reading this book! I hope you'll read Enna Burning too! And thanks for linking me. :)

Trish said...

Well, now *I'm* the only one! :) I still haven't read any Hale, but I think I need to soon. I've heard such great things about her books.

Rhinoa said...

I read this this year as well and loved it. My review is here if you want to link to it. I need to go back and update all my old posts to link to others reviews at some point too. I can't wait to read the two follow up books and I think a fourth is planned.