Reviewed by Shelby N, bookworm extraordinaire
Most fairy tale retellings that are on the bookshelves of the nation are exactly that. They are retellings. Sometimes you cannot even tell what fairy tale the author started out with. Not with Shannon Hale! Instead of retelling a fairy tale, she creates one.
As you can guess from the title, the story Mrs. Hale chose to retell is 'The Goose Girl'. This story takes place in the fictional cities of Bayern and Kildenree. The main character is the Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, or just Ani or Isi. The story tells of her journey, not just to a foreign land, but also of her journey into finding herself. Ani grows up with birds and horses as her friends, as she can converse with them.
After having her mother rob her of her right as future queen, she is sent to distant Bayern to marry a Prince she has never met. True to the original story, Ani's lady-in-waiting over powers Ani, and tells the King and Prince of bayern that she is the Crown Princess, leaving Ani as a goose girl. With the help of many new friends, who know her as Isi, some geese, an unexpected love, and her newfound powers over wind, Ani defeats her lady-in-waiting and reclaims her title of Princess.
'The Goose Girl' is not a fairy tale retelling in which the plot barely resembles the original story. Instead, it dives into the story and deepens the plot. The original tale may leave readers asking 'Why?' or 'How?'. Mrs. Hale fixes these problems with imaginative ideas. One thing I did not like about the original 'Goose Girl' was that the prince Ani weds loves the false Princess, but the minute she is charged of being a traitor, loves the real Princess.
Mrs. Hale cleverly comes up with a solution! Whereas many fairy tale retellings I have read are sometimes choppy to read, this wonderful story is easy to read. With beautiful sentences, strong characters, and a wonderful plot, this is a must read for all fans of fantasy!
Market: Young Adult
Mature Themes: Death
This is a review I did for a site called Bookshop Talk, though it is entirely written by me.