The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

November 23, 2009
By , Arden Hills, MN
Princess Ani had never been a satisfactory princess, despite being born with the gift of being able to communcate with birds and horses. She could not lead, she couldn't act properly, she was clumsy, and she often found herself at a loss for words. None of these mannerisms were helpful if you want to become a queen, so Ani's dissapointed mother shipped Ani off to marry a prince she'd never met in the kingdom of Bayern. On the road, however, Ani's serving-maid, Selia, and gaurds betray Ani and try to murder her. When Ani flees to the forest Selia takes her place, pretending to be the Princess, and heads to Bayern without Ani. Ani must rely on the people of the forest, and get a job as a Goose Girl in town to support herself while she figures out how to reclaim her crown from Selia. Filled with low intrigue and excessive rambling I felt this book was fairly slow getting started, and I, never being very interested in stories of princesses and kingdoms, was sceptical. It wasn't until I'd dragged myself to the last 50 pages where Princess Ani leads her new-found friends to reclaim the throne from Selia that the story commences it's action-packed and dramatic climax with exciting and unexpected twists.

All in all it was a good read, but I could of just skipped to the last 50 pages of the book and been satisfied. With a slow exposition, excessive details, and endless ramblings it was hard to stick with the book until the end. Luckily, the book compensates for the poor start by ending with a magical amalgamation of action, drama, and, of course, a “Happily Ever After.”

Rated: 3 out of 5 stars.

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