Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Publishing Information: May 13th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Adventure
Series Information: First in The Books of Bayern series
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: Gifted for my personal library from Amy
Recommended For: Fans of Jessica Day George, Patricia C. Wrede, strong heroines, and sweet romances
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.
Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.
This was Amy’s choice for our On the Same Page feature, and a few years ago she even bought it for me (before we were best friends) when she had me for Secret Santa! So it is no question that she LOVES this book, and therefore I knew that I would love it as well. Well, friends, love it I did. I adored Ani and her strength, but I also loved that she was unsure about herself and her abilities. She was very real to me, and I love it when that happens. I could honestly go on and on about this book, but as we try and change it up for our On the Same Page posts I thought I would share a read alike guide with you instead of a traditional review!
So, if you liked The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, try…
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George – While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.
Entwined by Heather Dixon – This story follows Azalea and her sisters, they live with their mother and father and their favorite thing in the world is to dance. Unfortunately, their mother dies giving birth to their youngest sister and the palace goes under a period of mourning, in which no dancing is allowed. Azalea finds out some information regarding the secret passages in their castle and they discover a magical wood beyond their castle that contains a dancing glen, taken care of by a man who only goes by the name Keeper. Then, evil comes to the castle and there is an epic battle and all of these love pairings come about in a non-obvious way and it was so sweet and refreshing from the immediate I-have-to-have-you-now that comes in most YA romance novels. Also? I cried. This alone makes me like this book because it was so unexpected. The relationship between the girls and their father is even better than the romantic relationships in the book, which is rare and beautiful.
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede – I absolutely loved this series growing up, these stories are light and fun and filled with everything a fairy tale needs, and it is rare that I fall in love with an author’s work as much as I loved these books. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in a not so ordinary princess tale filled with dragons, friendships, strong characters and a few sweet romances.
Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey – I loved the plot twists and the introduction of the fae into the already dragon ridden world that Tess lives in. It was interesting to see how strong Tess was when she was given everything she thought she wanted and how she weighed it against what it would cost her. I also adored the love story of this novel. It was not instantaneous which always makes me very happy but it was gradual and heartbreaking and strong and most importantly, it was believable. I wanted more from this love, though the author provided just enough to make it beautiful and lasting in my mind.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long – It is really not question that I was bound to adore The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I mean, lets be serious, any novel that has characters from Shakespeare’s plays is bound to be an Alyssa book, not to mention the swoons, and hello? The whole thing takes place in a forest. I LOVE FORESTS. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I loved the book for those reasons but I am no fool, there has to be some uniqueness in a novel for me to have full out adoration, and friends, The Treachery of Beautiful Things has all of those things! The fey world was beautiful, intricate, and at times a tad creepy, the characters were layered and interesting, not once was I bored while reading throughout this novel. I do have to be up front here and say that though I did appreciate the way the novel ended, it wasn’t how I pictured it in my mind, nor was it the ideal ending that I had hoped for. That isn’t to say it wasn’t appropriate or lovely, because it definitely was.
Wow…in retrospect it seems like I really love me a good dragon story! The bottom line is that The Goose Girl was a wonderful retelling, it was filled with a strong heroine, a very sweet romance, and a heartbreaking friendship between a girl and her horse. If you are looking for something endearing and all around lovely, I suggest you pick up one of these books immediately!
On the Same Page is a feature here on Books Take You Places that I am hosting along with two of my very dear friends, Amy (Tripping Over Books) and Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide). Essentially, we will be reading one book a month together and then doing a non-traditional review such as a playlist, character analysis, and so on…To find out more about this new feature, head on over to its dedication page!