Once again, on the recommendation of my friend Stephanie, I read Shannon Hale’s retelling of the Grimm’s fairytale, The Goose Girl. Just like she and several other bloggers, I really liked this one.
It is the story of a princess who was sent off to a distant land to marry a prince she never met and who is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting. The lady-in-waiting arrives in this foreign land disguised as the princess. The true princess is forced to disguise herself and work as a goose girl for the foreign king’s geese. During that time, she finds strength, friendship, courage and the ability to talk to the wind. I won’t tell you how it ends, but I was very content with the ending.
This story was beautifully told. It held my interest throughout. I was not familiar with this Grimm’s tale, but I know the Grimms’ tales sometimes have a bad ending. I kept waiting for that bad ending and Hale did a fabulous job maintaining the tension. I enjoyed this book so much, I was very interested in reading the companion book, Enna Burning.
Enna Burning is Hale’s own creation and tells the story of a Forest girl who has the “gift” of fire-talking. As she struggles with her gift, she must decide how to use it — for her country or the enemy. Again, Hale does a beautiful job telling this tale. I became so engrossed it the story, I stayed up way past my bedtime (which I never do) to finish it.
I will say that it did help that I read The Goose Girl first. The characters were the same and it helped to have the background from the first story.
To escape the “everyday” and get some inspiration from two strong women, I would recommend reading The Goose Girl followed by Enna Burning.