So the theme of my books this week seems to be unloving mothers. I went from Flowers in the Attic to this and in comparison Ani’s mother is a saint, but still. Ani was always different, her aunt taught her at a young age how to speak to the swans and that she has a speech on her tongue that she will learn in time. She learns she’s being shipped off from her home in Kildenree to Bayern to be married to a prince she’s never met. Her escort party splits off in to two groups, one that aims to protect Ani and one that aims to kill her and give her lady in waiting the crown. She gets away, barely and tries to reclaim her title and her crown, but can she do that as just a Goose Girl?
It was an entertaining read, not too long. I found the 3 types of speech interesting and actually plan to read the second one and learn more about Enna and her fire speech. I don’t have much to say about this one other than I genuinely enjoyed Shannon Hale’s writing and I will read more of it.
Based on the old Grimm fairy tale of the princess who becomes a goose girl for a time, due to the betrayal of her servant, this story by Shannon Hale breathes new life into an old tale. Her story of Ani adds new elements, such as Ani's ability to speak to and understand bird and her new found ability to command the wind while keeping the basic structure of the old tale with it's elements of betrayal and political intrigue between kingdoms. Hale's kingdoms of Bayern and Kidenzee ring true as does Ani's relationships with her mother, the Queen and Selia, the Lady in Waiting with powers of her own that she uses to assume Ani's place as Queen in the Kingdom of her husband-to-be. Ani's ambivalent feelings about her own role as Princess of Kidenzee, future Queen of Bayern and then as a goose girl in hiding add dept and texture to this novel.
Although it didn't totally charm me as Book of a Thousand Days did, this was an excellent read and a great addition to the re-imagined fairy tale genre.