The Books of Bayern: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (Book 1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Click the image to view this book on Goodreads.

Anidori-Kalidra Tailee Isilee was born eldest princess with a tongue to speak, but not a word to motivate. From a young age, though out of place amongst her peers, Ani learned the language of bird-speak from her aunt. The geese on the castle grounds were her dearest and closest friends. Until, one day when her over-powerful mother found out. She put an end to Ani’s friendship and devoted Ani’s time to study.

Ani grew up, constantly feeling out of place, and constantly never able to explain why. No matter how hard she tried. However, a tragic change of events throws Ani’s life into complete chaos! In a blink of an eye, Ani is no longer, and will never be again, Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee. Enduring such a change teaches Ani how powerful her voice can be.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was a highly enjoyable book. It checked nearly all the boxes that I prefer in good books. It had good imagery, relatable characters, an exciting and stressful plotline, and a truly believable world.

This book is written in a first-person view. As in, it is from the thoughts and observation of the one and only main character, Ani. It is one of those books that, though has other supporting characters, it has one primary character that could either spoil or elevate the enjoyment of the book. I always find it a bit risky when picking up a book like this. If done right, it is great! You can connect so deeply with the character! This is only if the character is initially attractive to the reader. Personally, Ani was a wuss in the beginning. Though I could relate to her to an extent, her lack of a spine got on my nerves.

This introduction of the main character didn’t bode well for me. However, Shannon does a remarkable job with Ani! When you first see Ani, you are seeing a girl that will not emerge in the conclusion of the book. She will be different! Not in a bad way, mind you. The arc Ani undergoes is so HUGE and so subtly done that I nearly didn’t notice it. Ani’s arc was so enjoyable to read. This was part of what made this book so good.

Another part was the plotline of the book. Though the farthest thing from a mystery book, Shannon weaves excitement and stress into the threads of her story. Throughout the whole book, I was mentally yelling at Ani telling her to get her butt moving, at the prince for being so stupid, at other supporting characters who were so oblivious, and at the villains for leading a lie for SO. LONG. It was very enjoyable, though a bit of a lip-biter instigator.

Overall, the thing I love the most about the book was the detail given to the cultural differences! I loved that the villagers could distinguish a “forest-born” from yards off, that “forest-born” could distinguish the villagers, and, above all, the reader was let in on the differences. Pretty quickly, I could tell the difference in the dialogue of the different characters that are from different places, status, and backgrounds. It was intriguing! I just loved it!

Triggers: brief implications of sexual harassment, mention of an immodest neckline, and some violence.

Overall, this is a clean, exciting, and highly enjoyable book that I’d recommend to preteens and up! It is a great adaption of a much-beloved fairytale with a unique twist. Lovers of fantasy should like this book!

Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this series? Have you read other books by Shannon Hale? Let’s chat in the comments.

Also, I’d like to apologize for not posting a book tag yesterday. I completely forgot. I thought I had one lined up, but I didn’t.

God bless you!

Books are slow, books are quiet. The Internet is fast and loud.

Jonathan Safran Foer

4 thoughts on “The Books of Bayern: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (Book 1)”

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