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Forest Born (Books of Bayern) Paperback – October 25, 2011

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Forest Born (Books of Bayern) + River Secrets (Books of Bayern, Book 3) + Enna Burning (Books of Bayern)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Books of Bayern
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599906929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599906928
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–11—In her fourth fantasy about the land of Bayern, Hale has created a strong stand-alone companion to The Goose Girl (2003), Enna Burning (2004), and River Secrets (2006, all Bloomsbury). Forest Born centers on Razo's sister, Rin, and her special abilities. The struggle that she goes through as she begins to recognize her talent of persuasion and her elemental connection to the forest brings the typical fantasy themes of good vs. evil to a place that makes them very personal. Rin discovered as a child that her words could be powerful. But that power left her feeling confused and wrong. Since that time, the wrongness has curled up like a snake inside her, making her doubt whether she can ever find peace. Rin encounters Isi, Enna, and Dasha from the previous Bayern stories and through them she finds hope; perhaps what makes her different could be a blessing, if she is able to find balance in her gifts. Lurking throughout the story is the tumultuous backdrop of diplomatic negotiations and threats of war. Everything finally comes to a head when Isi's nemesis from Goose Girl returns and kidnaps her son. All four women need to work together to defeat Selia, who has been completely corrupted and consumed by her people-speaking power of persuasion. Fans of the earlier titles as well as admirers of the genre will find Rin's journey a compelling read.—Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Hale adds a fourth entry to her Books of Bayern series with this exciting, stand-alone title focused on teenaged Rin, who follows her brother, Razo, from their forest home to the city’s royal court. Characters from the series’ previous titles all hold major roles in the ensuing adventures in which Rin joins a battle to protect Bayern from evil forces. As usual, Hale’s vivid, poetic language; romantic and action-filled plot twists; and friendship themes create a rich, satisfying read. But it’s Rin’s sensitively drawn struggle to recognize and accept her own power that will stay with readers most. Grades 7-10. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Shannon Hale's writing is irresistible to me.
They are good stories full of depth, have compelling characters with flaws and greatness, and the plot leaves you thinking.
Sue C.
Rin has had a happy childhood in the Forest of Bayern.
The Children's Book Reporter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By jaybelle05 on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I found out that Shannon Hale would be writing another Book of Bayern, I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical. So often in the modern entertainment world, it seems like writers, actors, and movie producers make more of the same thing not because they have another story to tell but because they want to make money off of the public.

However, there were two things that convinced me to read this book. First, "Forest Born" is not a sequel. I enjoyed having read the other books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets) first, but this one has an enitrely different main character. It could stand alone. Second, I love Shannon Hale's first three Books of Bayern. I trust her enough as an author to write for the sake of the story and not for the sake of publicity. The fact that I am twenty years old and still enjoy reading her books for pleasure (which in my mind is one of the main joys of reading), should testify to her writing ability.

All that being said, I bought "Forest Born" and loved it. What made it stand out was not the plot (although the plot was captivating) but the character development. I could understand and relate to Rin more than I ever have to most literary characters. Reading her story was a little like looking into myself.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, whether or not they've read the other three Books of Bayern. Full of excitement and insight, I can't wait to reread it again.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Yoomi VINE VOICE on September 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Shannon Hale's writing. I've been a huge fan since Princess Academy. Then came Goose Girl. I snatched each one up as soon as they came out because I couldn't get enough. Not only can she tell a good, original story, but she does it with flowing language and beautiful imagery. Forest Born has that same voice but I can't say that it's my favorite.

Rin is Razo's younger sister, the youngest of the siblings, and as it often happens, she has a hard time figuring out who she is. She tries to shadow her Ma, Razo, and even the trees. Especially the trees, which seem to speak a language she can understand and get lost in. But there is something else about her that is ugly and black and wanting to get out. It's an internal battle and only she can fight it. It's teenage angst told in Bayern style.

As with all of Shannon Hale's characters, I fell in love with this one. I loved Rin's character and I wanted her to find herself but the journey was filled with so much self-loathing and self-pity that the only moments of relief are the scenes with Razo, Isi, Enna, and Dasha. I understand the the journey of self-discovery is a long one and often a difficult one. I didn't have a pleasant adolescence so I get that. And I don't mind dark and twisty stories. But it's difficult to read about someone's inner tortured angst for 300 pages. The action starts to pick up towards the end and that is when Rin begins to make progress. By then, I just wanted to find out how it would end.

I wanted to like this book. I was so excited to hear that another Bayern book was coming out. But like Rin, this book feels like a shadow of the other ones.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Children's Book Reporter on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Rin has had a happy childhood in the Forest of Bayern. But as she grows older, she realizes that she doesn't know who she is, what she is supposed to be--or if she even likes what she might become. To discover herself, she leaves the forest, her beloved trees and even more beloved family, to become a handmaid to Isi, her brother Razo's friend--who also happens to be the Queen of Bayern. War has only just ended, but a new, mysterious threat faces the monarchs. Rin joins Isi, Enna, and Dasha (the three mysterious "fire sisters" who can speak the languages of wind, fire, and water) on a mission to save Bayern and the queen's own son. Rin soon realizes that in order to be truly helpful, she must find her own self (and maybe her own language) along the way.

Shannon Hale is, in my opinion, one of the best contemporary authors, so it means a lot when I say that Forest Born is one of my favorites of her books, and that Rin is my favorite character. Upon beginning the book, I felt a little disappointed with Rin, feeling that her character wasn't as well developed or interesting as Bayern's other heroines--but then I was knocked over with Shannon Hale's ability to use a seeming flaw as a crucial element to the plot. I hate spoilers, so I won't give anything away...but Rin's struggles and victories make her arguably the strongest Hale character yet. For those of you who follow Shannon Hale's work religiously, I felt that Forest Born's plot was not as heart-stopping as Enna Burning's or as well-paced as Princess Academy's, and that the humor was not quite up to the level of River Secrets. (But they're still very good.) On the other hand, her descriptions and metaphors are better than ever, and...the characters! Every book has its own particular strength and Forest Born's is the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love Shannon Hale. I love her writing style and I am a fan of the Bayern books (Goose Girl being my favorite). With that said, I had a harder time getting in to this one at first.

Rin is Razo's little sister. I enjoyed reading about her big family. Hale did good at showing the dynamics of a big family (Rin had Nieces and Nephews who were her age and older than her. She had grown big brothers. She was always babysitting for her younger nieces and nephews). The problem I had with Rin was it was hard to get to know who she really was. She was constantly changing herself to fit around the people who she was with. Later you found out why she did this, but for the beginning of the book it was hard to get a good grasp of the main character. You also don't get to know everything when Rin does while a certain scene is happening, so she seemed over dramatic with her problems at first. But once I got all the details of that previous scene, I had an easier time understanding Rin and sympathized with her.

I had fun reading about all the characters in the Bayern world and where their lives had lead them to. I loved reading about the "fire sisters" on this journey and to see Rin gradually become one of them. Rin's powers were different than the other girls, so I got to see a new kind of experience with the powers that go with "the languages". I don't think Rin's story is finished. If Hale does write another story in Rin's point of view, I think I will enjoy it more than this one now that Rin has grown into her own self.

This book is a good read for all the fans of the other Bayern books. If you haven't read any of the Bayern books yet, don't start with this one. Start with Goose Girl so you can get a full look into how wonderful Hale can weave and create this beautiful fantasy world known as Bayern.

3.5 stars!
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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.

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