leslieluvzbooks, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by leslieluvzbooks)
A fairy-tale for the ages! Shannon Hale's adventure takes you far beyond the traditional and into a deeper world of magic and adventure, crafting an underlying motivation for the antagonist that both does proper homage to the original tale and moves beyond it for a truly compelling storyline. I want to read all the Bayern books!
honeyandlavener, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by honeyandlavener)
This book is so amazingly fantastic, the way Shannon Hale describes the 'powers' these people have, it makes you feel like you can understand it, like you know just what its like to have that power, even though she made it up, it feels so real. All the characters are so lovable, i adore this book, Shannon Hale is a profound writer
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Lobymustard, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Lobymustard)
Shannon Hale is an amazing writer. With books filled with things imposable in our world, in hers it all makes sense. And with so much story and things going on her characters don't lack. She has the wonderful ability to put you into a world that seems so real and surround you with people you wish so badly were your friends.
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Cioccolata16, October 29, 2009 (view all comments by Cioccolata16)
Susan Hale definitely knows how to weave a fairy tale. As a loyal fan of fantasy novels, this first book of the trio satisfied my craving. It's your typical story of a princess in disguise, trying to get back her stolen crown from her corrupt lady in waiting. There is magic, mystery, and a bit of livestock to keep things fresh. Draws you in and then keeps you tied to the pages until you are done!
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
""In this affecting debut novel, Princess Ani, the shy, sensitive, first-born daughter to the king and queen of Kildenree, embarks on an adventure-filled journey to learn the many lessons that will make her a true queen. With the help of her aunt (the queen's sister), Ani discovers that she was born with the 'gift of animal speaking.' But her gift frightens others. The narrative's leisurely pace plays up Ani's sense of isolation; at a ball hosted by her parents, for instance, the nurses hold Ani's siblings close and whisper of 'men and secret things. Every word they spoke seemed to empty Ani more, like buckets dipped into a shallow well.' Considering Ani unworthy of the crown, Ani's newly widowed mother sends her off, at age 17, to be married to the prince of a neighboring kingdom-mainly to keep peace. On the way to 'the other side of the mountains,' her lady-in-waiting steals her identity and wrests control of the guards so she may enter the kingdom of Bayern as the Kildenree princess. Meanwhile, Ani dodges attempts on her life, is looked after by an older woman in the Forest, and finally makes it to Bayern, to be hired in the palace as a goose girl. Only when she develops humility, a sense of justice, a talent for peacekeeping, an ability to command the wind and the gift of 'people speaking' can Ani reclaim her place as the future queen of Bayern. In an attempt to weave all of the elements of the original tale, the novel at times bogs down in detail. But those who enjoy getting lost in an enchanted world will discover here a satisfying and richly embellished retelling of a classic that communicates values still pertinent to contemporary readers. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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