Completion Date: June 8, 2007
Publication Year: 2006
Purchased in 2007
Book Two in The Bayern Series
After reading The Goose Girl, I became very interested in reading other books by Shannon Hale, but I am afraid that this one just did not work for me. It was not a terrible book, but it was a weak second book. Honestly, I think it could be skipped with no loss to the series.
Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
This book is about Enna, who was Princess Isi's best friend in The Goose Girl. Enna was also an animal caretaker for the royal family, and the person that Isi first trusted above all else with her secret. Now, time has passed and Isi is married to the Prince of Bayern. It is time for Enna to have her tale, and while she is a sweet-teenager, she just did not work as well for me as Isi did in the previous installment. Isi has the ability to control wind, and is being nearly driven crazy by it, she would not wish the ability to talk to the elements on anyone. Enna finds herself caught up in something beyond her, though, when her brother, Leifer, brings home the power to control fire.
During this book, Bayern is at war with Tiran. Many people are dying, and Enna finds that she has a power that can bring a change to the advantages of her side. Throughout the book she battles with the moral issues involved with the things that she does with her power in the name of war. That's a great deal of the book to me, her trying to come to terms with this new power. Other things do happen, but I would not want to spoil the book entirely for those that intend to read it.
Upon completion, I just found that while a lot happened during the book, none of it really did a very good job to keep me entralled with the story. There was a lot of wasted spent on Enna coming to terms with herself, and while necessary for Enna, it was not really captivating for me. Still, not a terrible novel, just not as good as The Goose Girl.