Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Book Review: The Goose Girl

Goodreads Synopsis
She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion.

I first read Shannon Hale's YA novel, The Goose Girl, about five years ago back in high school. I remember absolutely devouring it at the time, but since then the details of the plot had become foggy in my mind. It is very rarely that I read a book more than once, but my recollection of how much I enjoyed reading it the first time around motivated me to purchase a copy of my own and read The Goose Girl once again.

Needless to say, The Goose Girl was just as enchanting and heartwarming as I remember it being all those years ago! I found the magical world which Shannon Hale created through the weaving of folklore and fairytales to be quite delightful and enthralling! The Goose Girl is based on an original tale by the Brothers Grimm, but is reborn through Hale's own creativity and imagination. I especially enjoyed the depiction of three types of rare gifts in the novel: the gift of people speaking, the gift of animal speaking, and the gift of elemental speaking. It is quite obvious from the beginning of the novel that Ani possesses the gift of speaking to animals, but an interesting twist awaits readers at the end!

Not only did I enjoy the folkloric aspects of The Goose Girl, but also Shannon Hale's depiction of Ani's struggle from an unconfident crown princess to a fearless goose girl. Readers are almost guaranteed to feel sympathy for her initial helplessness, but will eventually revel in her ability to overcome every obstacle that comes in her way. I think the author did a good job of trying to keep her characters as realistic as possible, while adding a hint of magic at the same time. 

Having finished reading The Goose Girl,  I was happy to discover that this is actually the first novel in a series of four books which are set in the realm of Bayern! If I had known that years ago I'm sure I would have read the entire series by now! While the subsequent books do not focus on Ani as the main character, they do incorporate many of the main characters from The Goose Girl. Although I think I would miss reading Ani's perspective, I'm interested to see what the rest of the books in the series have in store! 

Rating: 4 Stars


Neri said...

That was a great review. I have a bad habit of picking up a book because of the cover and then the synopsis determines if I read it or not. Based on this I would of totally skipped over this book. The story sounds enchanting and I love fairy tales. Thanks for telling me about the book i'm going to add it to my tbr list.

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Neri @In The Name Of Books

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