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Enna Burning (Books of Bayern) Paperback – September 19, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10–This companion volume to The Goose Girl (Bloomsbury, 2003) focuses on the best friend of that novel's heroine, Princess Isi. Two years have passed, and 16-year-old Enna has returned to the Forest to care for her dying mother. Her older brother finds a mysterious piece of vellum that teaches him to set fires with neither flint nor spark. The warm energy of the fire turns destructive as Leifer becomes controlled by the desire to burn. When Bayern goes to war, he wins a battle by burning the enemy, but dies as well. Enna discovers the vellum and its power and hopes that her new knowledge will help her protect Isi and all of Bayern, but it puts her and her loved ones in mortal danger. In some gory battle scenes, Enna burns hundreds of people alive, winning the war, but nearly dying herself. Like her ability to fire-speak, Isi's gift of wind-speak is similarly out of control. In hopes of discovering a remedy to their problems, the two young women set off for a kingdom in the south where fire-worshippers live. The answer lies in balance. Not a retelling of a fairy tale, this is an original tale that stands on its own. With a richly detailed setting, eloquent descriptions, a complex plot, a large cast of characters, and romance, this high fantasy will be welcomed both by fans of The Goose Girl and those who have yet to discover it.–Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-11. Enna, the plucky Forest maiden who befriended The Goose Girl's (2003) princess-in-disguise, decisively assumes the role of heroine in this meaty, sprawling companion, which will enchant even readers unfamiliar with the first book. After Enna learns to speak the language of fire, she believes she can avoid the gruesome fate of her brother, who died wielding the same power against an invading army. Soon enough, though, the urge to burn becomes irresistible; indeed, Hale's visceral descriptions of Enna's fire lust, a yearning that "twisted like a snake in her fist," wouldn't be out of place in a novel about a more realistic kind of addiction. It must be said that readers will need a high tolerance for grisly violence and leisurely plot development, and the payoff at the end of the book may be overly tidy. But this novel's pulsing heart lies in rich writing and sharply drawn characters, elements that will be devoured by genre fans just like kindling beneath flames. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Books of Bayern
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582349061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582349060
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times best selling author Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and never stopped, eventually earning an MFA in Creative Writing. After nineteen years of writing and dozens of rejections, she published The Goose Girl, the first in her award-winning Books of Bayern series. She has published seventeen books for young readers including the Newbery Honor winner Princess Academy and its two sequels, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, superhero YA novel Dangerous, and the first four Ever After High books. Her novels for the adult crowd include Austenland (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell) and Midnight in Austenland. Shannon and her husband Dean Hale have collaborated on several projects such as Eisner-nominee Rapunzel's Revenge and early chapter book series The Princess in Black. They spend non-writing hours corralling their four young children near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on May 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Enna Burning, Isi's closest friend Enna discovers the gift of fire-speaking, and the story follows her struggle to contain it and understand her newfound and complicated desires to burn. But the power to burn is not so lovely as it might seem, and Enna cannot control it so well as she might imagine. The power to burn continues to consume her as a slow-burning fire will consume a log, until the situation is dire and Enna can do nothing but fight against the fire in her.

Enna Burning is a totally different animal than The Goose Girl, admittedly. However, it's refreshing to see such a different slant on the characters in this companion to The Goose Girl. Now one will see characters (in a third-person manner) through Enna's eyes. No one is exactly the same as they are in Goose Girl, perhaps the most interesting of these being Isi and Finn. Now we see Isi as a queen and a friend, rather than a quiescent and unlikely heroine, and Finn as a strong and capable "friend". Enna is a complete opposite of Isi, headstrong and confident and... well, fiery. For some Goose Girl fans it may be difficult to adjust to this stark contrast, but for others it will be refreshing and complex.

Enna Burning is written so masterfully that one will find oneself agreeing with whatever Enna thinks at the time, no matter how obviously wrong she may be about a person or a situation. There is a sense of urgency and danger that does not exist in Goose Girl, as Enna constantly struggles against the tide of fire within her, and often nearly loses control. This desperation only adds to the passion of the story, and makes the turning of each page more and more necessary.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MWpro on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having read and enjoyed "The Goose Girl" and "Princess Academy" with my daughters, it was only natural that we follow the citizens of Bayern in the next companion novel, "Enna Burning". It was well written and worth reading, BUT I wouldn't have wanted my children to read it without being able to discuss addiction and frankly, skip over the gruesomeness and extent of the main character's cruelty. Burning is such a horrible way to suffer and die. Yet the author accurately illuminates the problem of addiction. In the book, Enna's addiction costs her nearly everything. We used this book to talk about the process and impact of addiction on the lives of people, but without that discussion, I am afraid that it just might desensitize young people to the suffering of others and be read as a rather morbid fairy tale.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Roth on June 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Enna Burning as well as The Goose Girl you see interesting pictures of girls growing into women. Both Isi and Enna are trying to find their place in the world. Enna is looking for some way to help others. She wants to understand and to grow as a person. She wants to help her friends, her brother, and her country. In this desire she puts herself at risk. Enna learns the dangers of meddling in things that you don't understand, and also the beauty of life and the horror of war.

Shannon Hale has an amazing way of making you care about the characters. You understand Enna and her wants and desires. You even understand why she does horrible things. You relate to her and you grow to love her. You want her to succeed.

This book is amazing. I have recommended Shannon Hale to countless friends and family members. If you are looking for two books, buy The Goose Girl and Enna Burning. You won't be sorry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on December 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Following the death of their mother, Enna and her brother Leifer are on their own. One night, Enna sees her brother secretly reading a piece of vellum. When she asks how he was able to get the cold hearth lit so quickly, Leifer is vague and doesn't mention the vellum.

Enna is concerned about the sudden change in Leifer's mood and his indifference to their country of Bayern. When she tries to reason with him, Leifer becomes angry and they argue. Later that day, Leifer is again moody and unpredictable. When a heated debate almost proves fatal, Enna wonders what has become of the brother she once knew.

Soon Enna is reunited with her dear friend Isi, who married Geric, the prince of Bayern. Isi appoints Enna as her personal maiden, and they oversee the first major battle between Bayern and the kingdom of Tira. The fighting is harsh and bloody, with many lives lost, including that of the king of Bayern. When Leifer use his firepower on the enemy, the results are both frightening and breathtaking. Geric and Isi are now the ruling monarchs of Bayern, and Enna must say good-bye to her brother, who has died in the blaze.

Wanting to know exactly what happened to Leifer, Enna reads the vellum. The words are almost a welcomed relief for her, but she vows never to fall prey to the fire as her brother did. She is convinced that she can use her new ability to fight Tira, but as the power of the fire grows stronger, Enna loses control. In her recklessness she is captured by the very enemy she's fighting against. As a prisoner Enna faces even greater challenges and must fight to save her friends, her country, and herself.
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