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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
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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.
Kept your interest from page to page and chapter to chapter. Love is a powerful force for good in all relationships. It's healing.Published 4 months ago by Sandra Marshall
This is well written and an easy read. I prefer the Princess Academy series but this series has been a fun read while on break.Published 5 months ago by joshhow09
I chose this rating because I love Shannon's books and this was another book of hers that I absolutely love. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Clara Evans
This book is so absurd, I don't even know where to begin. Until reading this book, I had no idea a book could be so bizarre and so tedious at the same... Read more