I normally don't review a book until at least two days have past. Time to break that tradition! Today I finished the Goose Girl, and today I will review it! People might wonder why, but all I will say is why not? It's a definite 5 out of 5 stars!
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
5 out of 5 stars
Published in 2005
Summary from Goodreads: She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale's likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm.
I don't know how Shannon Hale does it. She conquers that problem that most authors writing in third-person have- the dreaded problem in which the reader can not relate to the main character. However, Shannon Hale totally gets rid of that problem! I felt as if I could totally relate to Ani without being bogged down by the third-person. Also, with third-person tends to come something called flowers. I absolutely loathe flowers, so it's a good thing the Goose Girl was not overflowery! I was so glad that the writing was UNDERSTANDABLE and great!
Ani is a great example of a believable character. In the beginning, she is a plain, boring girl. She follows everyone's directions and orders. She worries constantly about what others think of her. She is weak, and she knows it as well. However, throughout the story, she really develops. She learns to speak her mind (at least a little bit), become a bit braver and trust people. She becomes less shy and more amazing! She gets a bit bolder and more humorous. She's not afraid to be herself.
I thought fairy tales were boring and full of romance and mushiness. I thought wrong. While the Goose Girl has a bit of romance, it's not entirely centered around that. It's also about speaking and talking to animals and loving animals and truly caring for them with all your heart. It's about that special feeling you feel when caring for a pet or looking at the cutest animal ever. It's also full of action and a bit of fantasy! I liked how I could get interested in the fights just as quickly as I got into talking with Falada! I loved it all!
One thing I will say is that this plot, the flow and ease of it all, is totally unexpected. There are characters that aren't your average villains. There are some who you will fall in love with and others you will hate with passion. Everyone is created with a purpose, and it's either to make you hate them or love them. There really is no in between, which is what I love even more.
As for this cover, I will just say to judge the Goose Girl by its cover. The girl on the cover is so pretty! I just love her dress and the geese in the background. If possible, the cover is just as good as the writing itself! Which is kind of impossible, but it's totally theoretical!
So, just keep in mind that the Goose Girl is not entirely your light, average, fairy tale read! It's that and so much more! Just read it and find out how epic it is for yourself!