My daughter and I switched books. She is reading one of my review books for Bethany House Publishers and I read this book that was recommended by one of her friends.
The Goose Girl is the first in a quartet of books named “The Books of Bayern”.
We first meet up with Anidoro-Kiladra Talianne Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree when she is a wee bairn. (I’m feeling Scottish today,and if it’s not Scottish, its crap!) She doesn’t open her eyes for 3 days and the whole castle is wondering what is wrong with her. Her aunt, not her mother, takes care of her.
Ani is a little…different. Her aunt teaches her to speak to animals, namely birds. She also teaches her the old stories of when humans could hear the fire, the wind, the trees and the animals. But, this is strictly frowned upon by the Queen and her entourage. The Queen has the gift of people speak…she can weave a spell around people and get them to do her bidding. And she is very good at that.
We follow Ani through her youth and then her subsequent betrothal to a man she has never met. She is sent off to another kingdom and that is where the book gets interesting.
A princess, grown in the lap of luxury, is required to learn how to take care of herself. She is an unlikely but likable heroine, who is interested in taking care of herself and not being beholden to others.
There are a few twists in this story that are foreshadowed and a few that are not. (You will know what I mean at the end, gentle reader.)
Ani is truly a likable character though this story is a bit plodding at times…the imagery is great. And Ani truly seems to be humble but not stupid, caring and not contriving. The other characters are developed well…including the other Forest folks who she aligns herself with. I suppose, when you are trying to build a whole new world, the topography, the culture and the climate…along with the people who live there, takes a while to develop. Though, i just might be impatient, gentle reader, and want the author to get on with it. I do feel like I know both kingdoms well.
I wish for a list of how the author wants the names enunciated. I hate having names that I have no clue (and not because I cannot read) how they are pronounced. I continuously try out different names within the same letters to see which one feels better on my tongue. Sometimes, that never happens and I am still left wondering by the end of the book.
I feel as if the end were a bit rushed…not the actual denouement of the story, but the story of Ani herself and her love. Though, in true fairytale fashion, that often is the case.
I look forward to reading the next installment, Enna Burning.