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Showing 1-10 of 222 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 494 reviews
on December 2, 2016
My 13 year old niece recommended this book. I did not expect to like it very much. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved it . The author writes in a very descriptive way and I was captivated by the story, this book definitely is for old and young alike. I can't do justice to the story, but in simple terms it is about a princess who is betrayed by her maid servant when the princess is on a journey to be married to a prince in another kingdom. Her entourage is killed off and the princess escapes. She finally makes it to the next kingdom ( after many trials) to find her maid servant has taken her identity and is scheduled to marry the prince. Of course the princess is in no way ,shape or form after her travels to claim she is the rightful princess, so she gets a job as the keeper of the castles geece. The princess has a secret. She can talk to swans at home and she could talk to her horse. Then she learns how to speak to the geece. She lives in the servants quartets and learns how to take care of herself and make friends. This is not easy for the princess as she was always a loner and had others taking care of her. She is biding her time and trying to find a way to let the prince know who she really is. I will only say great story, great ending!
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on March 24, 2017
I'm a fairy tale connoisseur and love to read new and different versions in addition to the classic versions, and this one kept me turning pages. I was disappointed I couldn't just veg and read it in one sitting!! The copy I received was in almost pristine condition considering its age, so I'm especially happy. I bought my own copy after borrowing it from the library.
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on March 9, 2014
The Goose Girl is a fantasy based on a fairy tale. It is a slow moving tale at first, and some might be tempted to stop reading in the opening chapters where we are introduced to the excessively timid Princess Ani, a girl taken from her position as next in line to the throne and instead sent on a months long journey through the forest for a strategically arranged marriage to the prince of a larger neighboring kingdom. Ani has the ability to talk to swans and other birds and communicate telepathically with her trusted horse. But Ani is often tongue-tied as she speaks to humans, making her seemingly weak as royalty. On her journey to meet her betrothed she is attacked by those she once trusted, almost killed, and sent escaping into the forest. There she is cared for by a forest dwelling woman and her son, eventually preparing her to enter the city and find a way to reclaim her identity from one who has stolen it. That leads her to months spent as the palace goose girl, tending her flock of geese, learning their language, and in the process learning exactly who she is and who the poorer people of Bayern truly are.

This is a beautiful story. I didn't originally think that it would appeal to me, and the slower pace of the beginning chapters still hadn't convinced me that this story would be a five star read for me. But somewhere down the line I ended up falling in love with this book. Ani was a wonderful heroine for this book. Yes, she really is a pushover and weak and uninspiring for a lot of this book. She allows almost everyone to walk all over her. But seeing her transformation from the weak Crown Princess Ani into the stronger goose girl, Isi, and finally taking her place as Pricess Ani, future wife of the prince of Bayern was fascinating to read. It was a journey that should appeal to all girls who have felt awkward and weak and poor spoken as they try to make their way in the world. A lot of us feel that way sometimes, and especially when we are in those awkward years of adolescence. This is a story of overcoming, finding our place, and making a difference in the world. Beautiful.

Princess Ani drives this story capably, but the story is enriched by the wide number of supporting characters she encounters in her time as a goose girl. The forest people who befriend her are loyal and kind, willing to sacrifice all for her once they know her secret. Talone ... love him! Such loyalty and devotion. The romance is subtle, but oh so sweet. I couldn't help smiling at the Happily Ever After ending of this story. And once you read how the romance happens, you can hardly imagine that it could have worked out more perfectly any other way. If Ani had simply rode into the palace as the girl who left her kingdom at the beginning of the story she would not have been the strong princess that she became after her struggles throughout this book. Loved it!

This is a book I highly recommend to all readers of all ages. It is a beautiful tale with great characters, and it is definitely my favorite Shannon Hale story. Five stars!
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on July 15, 2015
Why have they not made this into a movie yet?!!

The first chapter or two were a little slow, but once it picked up I thoroughly enjoyed it!!
I listened to the audio too, and it is a full cast audio and it was fabulous!!! I highly recommend the audio, and I'm not usually that into the audiobooks.

The author, Shannon Hale, has such a great way of making you really feel invested in her characters. Her descriptions are easy to visualize and not over done.

This is definitely a book that I would read again and again! I highly recommend it to everyone!!
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on May 13, 2014
I read a lot of fairy-tale-based books, and The Goose Girl is one of the best I've ever read.
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, or Ani for short, has known all her life that she will someday have to become queen of Kildenree. Taught by her aunt to talk with birds at a young age and able to converse with her horse, Ani is felt- and feels herself to be- unsuitable for her role as future queen. She does her best, aided by her friend and lady-in-waiting Selia. But after the death of her father the king, her mother announces that her brother is to be the Crown Prince, and Ani is to be married to the prince of the powerful neighboring kingdom, Bayern.
On the way to Bayern, Ani is betrayed by Selia, who has the power of people-speaking (it gives you the power to easily persuade and convince others. There are also the powers of animal-speaking: talking to animals. And nature-speaking: talking to the elements like wind and fire, which is very rare). Selia takes Ani's place and with the help of some of Ani's gaurds massacres the rest. Ani is forced to flee, and ends up as the goose-girl in the castle of Bayern.
I won't tell you the rest, but I can say this: Hale never disappoints. I've read other rewrites of this fairy-tale, and this one deals with all the problematic parts in the original. It has an excellent pace, Ani's character development is believable and well-written, the minor characters are excellent, amusing and lively. The world Hale builds feels real and whole. The one thing that bothered me was that romance is a bit hard to swallow, because we don't get to know him as well as Ani does.
It's a great book. I read really quickly, but I didn't go through The Goose Girl too fast because every sentence is worth reading and draws your attention. I don't think there's a superfluous word in the whole book, which isn't something you can often say.
To conclude: it's worth the money. I'm hoping that I get to read the other books in this series soon.
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on August 20, 2013
My sister recommended this book to me. The title kind of threw me off a bit, but I decided to read it anyways. I really enjoyed it & was happy to find that there were books to follow. Soon my teen daughters were reading all the books as well & loved them. The lead characters in this book, and in the series that follow, are usually young woman who are strong and willing to fight for what is right. It is full of funny little spots that kept my daughters and I giggling as we read, along with action, drama and clean romance.
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on July 1, 2016
This book was purchased at the request of my teenage daughter so I cannot provide a helpful review. What I can say, from my daughter's actions, is that the book "smells" good. Not sure what it is about new books, but the first thing she does is randomly open the book and stick her face in it to get a whiff. Her reaction indicated that it did pass the "smell" test. That is worth two stars in my book as a dad. The book did arrive before the expected time in good condition which is also worth two stars. As far as content, I will probably never be able to review that since there are many other books that are much higher up my reading list.
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on November 27, 2012
I've had this book for a couple of months. I read "Austenland" by Shannon Hale and laughed out loud, but for some reason, I hadn't delved into this book. I am very sad that I have put this off for so long because I adored this book!

The Goose Girl is apparently a retelling of a fairy tale, but I am not sure which one. I am apparently unfamiliar with it, but I assume a google search would ease my curiosity. Hold on...ok Wikipedia has an excellent synopsis of the fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm. Reading that synopsis I can assure you that Shannon Hale kept very near to the original fairy tale.

Ani is the crown princess of Kilderan and she can talk to animals. There are others who can influence people with their words and others still who can speak to the earth. Ani soon learns that she is betrothed to the prince of Bayern and is sent with 40 guards and her lady-in-waiting to Bayern.

The trouble begins when Selia, her lady-in-waiting uses her skills to influence the guards to put her forward as the crown princess. This begins Ani's long journey through Bayern where she makes many friends and learns the plight of the people of Bayern and earns her own way as the king's goose girl. Both Selia and Ani are blonde's in a country full of dark headed people.

I won't say anything else, but I read it in 3 days (that included me working full time, so basically every moment not eating, sleeping or working I was reading!). Ani's speech at the end where she is giving the prince, the prime minister and the king a piece of her mind is awesome!

Favorite Quote:

"A warning there, pig boy," Conrad shouted from across the camp. "Don't touch her hair without leave, or keep a good hold on your hat."
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on March 29, 2014
I loved that this story-line took some unexpected turns. Character development was slow for Ani which was actually refreshing. She seemed more true to life in her apparent willingness to let others decide her life. Many of the supporting characters were easy to like if a little stereotypical, and you are pushed along in affection for Ani as they discover her as a hero and a leader. I felt left a little in the dark by questions over her horse, her mother's handkerchief, her golden cup. I think Hale attempts to show Ani's loss of right to princess by birth and gifting so that when she finally becomes princess again it is through her character, but I think for a fairy-tale I would have expected these things to be explained a little more clearly. The prince is the picture of Prince Charming. I liked him, but he wasn't much of a strength in his own right which can be both a disappointment and a testament to Ani's own worth without love.
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on November 10, 2011
I find Shannon Hale's book The Goose Girl, the first Book of Bayern, an amazing mixture of a great plot and realistic characters. Anidory-Kiladra Taliana Isilee is a timid, self conscious, 17 year old Crown Princess of Kildeanry that tries as hard as she can to live up to the expectations of her queenly mother. However, she is deemed unworthy for queen because of her ability to speak to birds and is sent to marry a Bayern prince to keep peace between the countries. But unknown to Ani, she is also sent on an adventure of a lifetime. On her travels to the neighboring kingdom of Bayern she crosses the forest where her jealous lady-in-waiting betrays her. Ani runs into the unknown forest barely escaping with her life. With the help of friendly forest dwellers, Ani makes her way to the capital of Bayern but not in time to stop her lady-in-waiting from taking her place in the foreign palace. Ani, not knowing what to do but desperately needing money, takes the job of goose girl for the King's geese. She starts an amazingly different life as a common forest girl without any servants or guards and barely enough money to buy anything. She makes friends with other workers and learns how to make decisions and think for herself. She chooses to show her identity to her friend Enna who helps Ani in her most dangerous moments. When her once lady-in-waiting finds out where the true princess is, Ani is forced to run again. But when she returns Ani is determined to get back her birth right as queen. This young adult novel has great descriptions and just the right amount of magic and romance. I think this is a VERY good book :-D
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