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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2003
I bought this book after I heard the author speak at a book store. I was so impressed with her that I took the plunge and bought the book. I have to say that I stayed up all that night reading it, I could NOT put it down. Shannon Hale writes with amazing imagery, and I felt that I was actually in the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2007
At first, I was skeptical of a book titled THE GOOSE GIRL, but I borrowed it from the library anyway. Little did I know that this magical debut would become one of my favorite books and Shannon Hale my favorite author.

To keep peace between two nations, Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, first daughter and jewel of Kildenree (Ani for short) is sent to the kingdom of Bayern to marry the prince. On the way, she is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting and half of her guards. Alone, Ani finds her way to the capital of Bayern where she gets the job of watching the king's geese, all the while waiting for her chance to regain her name.

Though a fantasy, THE GOOSE GIRL seems realistic. There is magic, but a believeable sort. Ani, too, is a believable and likeable heroine, and the supporting characters are three dimensional as well.

THE GOOSE GIRL'S biggest fault is that it's slow-moving. Not boring, but it is long and the story could have been told in less pages, which might be a turn-off to some readers. The first part is especially slow. There is also some violence, though certainly not as much as the sequel ENNA BURNING. However, Shannon Hale's writing is absolutely beautiful. Wonderful metaphors and imagery and vivid word choices make this one of the best debut novels that I've read and certainly one of the most magical books.

This is a novel that I strongly recommend to all, especially those who love retellings of fairy tales. Though certainly not perfect, THE GOOSE GIRL is truly a lovely book that definitely does not disappoint.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2003
I read this book in one sitting. All 300 pages. It was that good.
The language, as another reviewer wrote, is lyrical and beautiful. I always had a vague idea that a story existed about a goose girl, but I never knew it and am so glad that this book was my first introduction to the tale.
It's a story with a hint of magic, a heroine you can root for who connects to the natural world in an eloquent and profound way, and an ending that leaves you satisfied and glad. I'm really not sure what else to say, since I don't want to spoil any of it for you, so I will simply say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
My one disappointment: this author has not yet written any other books! Please publish another, Ms. Hale, because as soon as I finished this one I looked to see what else I could read by you, and there is nothing yet! Rest assured that your next book is awaited by an eager audience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2006
When I first saw The Goose Girl, and saw it was an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, I was immediately turned off. That's because I'd read other books like this, such as Ella Enchanted, and they had disappointed me greatly. Then, I read the first page, and my entire frame of mind changed for the better.

Hale's descriptive, vivid prose makes her intriguing plot and lively characters literally come to life. She's taken a classic Brothers Grimm tale and turned it into something more, adding details that explain the magic and justify the Princess's actions. Ani, the heroine, is far from perfect, and Hale doesn't try to cover this up. Instead, she bases the entire story on Ani's fear and unsureness, and shows her growth over the course of the novel. Fairy tales are timeless, especcially when retoldd in such a luscious, vivid way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2005
I guess I'll never understand the terms "young adult" or "adolescent" as applied to books. This book, though it does have a girl as the protagonist, also has rich, sumptuous language, and engaging plot, and very plausible and realistic use of, shall we call it: magic. As an adult, I immensely enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to friends as one of the best reads I've had for a long time. Again, I'm not sure where the "young adult" fits in; it's just a good book. I suppose that young adults could enjoy it, but I can't imagine there being some kind of book that is more "adult" in terms of language complexity, emotional connection, and just darn good storyline and plot.

The short of it is this: Get the book and read it! I don't care how old you are!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2006
"The Goose Girl" is so enchanting. It is the kind of book that you can't stop reading. "The Goose Girl" contained suspense, fairy tales, romance, changing emotions, vivid descriptions, friends, and enemies. This is the best book I have ever read. I usually don't like to read, but my mom made me read it. I am so glad I did. After reading this book, I recommend "The Princess Academy," it is just as imaginative and exciting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2006
A review by Katie

I greatly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is up for adventure and a creative twist on the classic fairy tale of The Goose Girl. At the beginning like some other books, it isn't as interesting, but stay put, as you read on, it becomes a book that no one would be able to put down until they finished it.

It is a book with twist only an author as special as Shannon Hale would be able to create on an ordinary tale; the book tells of a strange girl (Ani) who didn't open her eyes for three days when she was born plus, without much love from her mother. Although, her mother insists she grow up to be a leader and proper lady, Ani has other things on her mind. All Ani's siblings are much different from her by playing with other children (which she fails to do), Ani being unconcerned in other people compared to animals. Her loving aunt teaches her to talk to birds near the pond, which Ani greatly enjoys, until she is forbidden to even go close to the pond by her strict mother. Ani still continues to love animals, as she becomes closer and closer to her dear horse Falada who is kept in the kingdom's stables.

But, with the gift of persuasive "people speech", her mother eventually sends Ani away to the kingdom of the prince she has been betrothed to (Bayern) in the hope of not starting war. Along the journey, Ani's lady-in-waiting (Selia) turns against her with all but one of Ani's protectors, and as a result, it becomes a hard journey of "running for your life" for fear of being killed by Selia's soldiers. Selia (pretending to impersonate Ani by using her name as her own), goes to Bayern and pretends to be Ani by using her name and running the kingdom as Ani should've if she hadn't been taken over by Selia. Ani runs alone all the way to Bayern, all along meeting new people she starts to trust more than others, until she finally finds comfort in being a goose girl for the Bayern king's geese and living with people she eventually calls "friends". Unfortunately, no one suspects anything about "Ani" (who is actually Selia) until...accompanied by her new "friends", Ani steps up to Selia in the hope of taking back her true-born royal name. So, for anyone (girls or boys) who enjoys reading a book that becomes more exciting by the minute and can't stop turning the page, read The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. After you do, I also recommend her other books such as Princess Academy (more for girls but boys can read it too!), and the sequels to this book, Enna Burning and River Secrets which are both about friends Ani meets in The Goose Girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2004
Imagine a rush of sweet, warm air washing over you, tingling your senses and flowing into a smile. 'The Goose Girl', by Shannon Hale, is like that soft breeze, a story of a girl of winds and birds. Crown princess Anidori-Kiladra was born with a mysterious love for the birds of her palace, especially the graceful swans. Encouraged and guided by her aunt, she quickly learns the tongue of her most beloved friends. But another friend awaits her. Falada, the colt who she saw taking his first breath, speaking his first word, talks to her and loves her even more than the swans did. Yet with the death of her aunt and her mother keeping her away from the swan pond, young Ani strugles to fit the mold of a princess.
Years later, with her father dead and her mother as cold as ever, Ani learns that she is betrothed to a prince in the next kingdom, Bayern. Ani, her lady in-waiting Selia, and all of her guard embark on a perilous journey through the Forest. Never having left her sheltered palace in Kildenree, Ani is easily amazed by everything she encounters, but soon the unthinkable happens.
Selia and half of her guard revolt, attacking the others and chasing Ani until she is lost in the Forest, thirsty, hungry, and mourning for her lost friends and Falada. Worst of all, she knows that Selia, whose plan is to pretend she is the princess and become queen of Bayern, will reach the kingdom before her. And even if Ani does make it to the king alive, how will she ever produce the evidence to prove that Selia and her band of murderous guards are frauds?
Ani makes it to Bayern alive, but she must hide. She knows if she reveals herself without protection and witnesses Selia's lover, Ungolad, will kill her, so she takes a job as the palace's goose girl.
A story of a confused girl with unexpected love and the struggle to find herself, this novel is a masterpiece. Each and every detail is beautifully woven and stitched into a magical, enchanting story.I loved it and it instantly became my favorite book. It keeps you thinking, wondering about the way the world works, wondering if everything has its own tongue...
When the wind whispers, can you hear it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2007
I'm a sucker for modernized mythology and fairy tales (Mother Goose with morality, essentially). This book is easily one of the best. In the strain of Ella Enchanted it covers the fairy tale of the goose girl. When starting out I was expecting this book to follow the old tired plot "princess doesn't want to marry prince but falls in love with him despite her feminist leanings." This was a welcome twist on that unfortunate plot line, with the main character Princess Ani, kicking serious butt.

The queer, shy, swan and wind whispering Princess Anidora of Kildenree is sent to a neighboring country in marriage. After en-route betrayal Anidora is reduced to goose girl, herding the flocks for the royal she was meant to marry.

A book like this doesn't come along often. I was elated at the finishing page, completely transported to the mystical lands Shannon Hale created. I wish I could wipe my mind free of the plot and read it all over again, completely fresh, welcoming the thralls of a perfectly executed story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2003
This is one of the top ten best young adult fairy tale retellings I have read, and I thought it was excellent. Other versions of the Goose Girl fairytale have disappointed me, but Shannon Hale's book succeeded. Princess Anidori, Ani, is the Crown princess to the throne of Kildenree until her mother (the queen) announces that her younger brother will claim the throne and she will be married to the prince of Bayern, a country bordering Kildenree. Ani, weak and indecisive, is on her way to the country when half her honor guard massacres all those loyal to her and try to kill her in an attempt to make Selia, her lady-in-waiting, the queen.
Ani runs, and through the kindness of a few good people, survives and ends up as a goose girl in Bayern. She must find a way to reclaim her name, though, and soon--for the prince's marraige to Selia/Anidori is fast approaching and war is on the verge of breaking loose.
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