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The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern #1)
by Shannon Hale
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 870L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury USA Children's
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2003
NO. PAGES: 400
GENRE{S}: Fantasy
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
SERIES: Books of Bayern
AWARD{S}:
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
ISBN: 1582349908
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop


The Story
The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern #1)—Book Review

Princess Anidori-Kiladra was born with special gifts, but none of them make her feel like she is suited to become the next Queen of Kilandree. Rather, Ani's magical ability to communicate with animals only reinforces her feelings of self-doubt. After a tragic accident, the Queen announces that Caleb, not Ani, will be the new successor to the throne. Betrayed and abashed, Ani faces an uncertain future, betrothed to an unknown prince in a neighboring kingdom. Resigned to her fate, Ani and her guard make the six-month journey to the kingdom of Bayern. Along the way, Ani finds that her mother's betrayal was only the first of many that leave her fighting to survive. And as she does, Ani learns who she really is after all.
The Scoop
The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern #1)—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

The Goose Girl is a beautifully crafted fairy tale. While the story is a bit slow to get going, readers who stick with it are rewarded as the protagonist becomes more interesting and the plot gets progressively more exciting. Initially, Ani is a meek girl that is plagued with self-doubt. Ani's mother, the Queen, makes her feel like she is not good enough, but her father, who dies, is a comfort to her. When she is forced to become self-reliant, Ani also becomes more bold and self-assured. It may be interesting to discuss how the events in the story serve to build Ani's self-confidence. While animals play a central role, this book is not for sensitive animal lovers as Ani's beloved horse is driven mad by those who plot to betray her. They have him killed (Ani sees his bloodied body and dismembered legs) and his head is then hung on a wall in the town square. Criminals in Bayern are executed by hanging and their bodies are also hung on this wall. The story does involve the use of weapons and some descriptive violence during battles, and half of Ani's guard is massacred. Ani is attacked and her life is threatened several times. The ending, however, is a happy one and Ani and the prince of Bayern share a sweet kiss. Fans will look forward to the next book in the series, Ena Burning.
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