The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Goose GirlSummary: Princess Anidori-Kiladra of Kildenree had every reason to expect she would one day rule as queen of her country.  Instead, her mother offers her as a bride to the prince of Bayern, hoping in that manner to make peace between the two countries.  During the trip to Bayern, however, half of Ani’s guards rebel, setting up her maid Selia as princess of Kildenree.  Ani flees for her life, ultimately finding work as a goose girl for the palace of her betrothed.  To unmask Selia and claim her rightful identity, however, Ani will have to learn to trust her co-workers, as well as her own abilities.  The first of the Books of Bayern.

Review: Although Hale’s retelling of “The Goose Girl” adds no major changes to the original story, it feels as fresh and contemporary as if Hale had invented the tale herself.  Readers will fall in love with her vividly imagined world, where people can talk with animals and control the elements, and with her characters, whose flaws only make them more endearing.  The action never flags, yet the plot elements never seem forced or gratuitous.  Hale’s deft storytelling will enchant readers and bring them back to Bayern for more.

Published: 2003

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