the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

January 12, 2012
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee is born the Crown Princess of Kildenree. Nicknamed Ani by her Aunt, the young princess learns to communicate with geese and other wild birds but is seen as an outcast after her Aunt dies. After her father's tragic death Ani learns a terrible truth her mother has kept from her; Bayern, the country to the east of Kildenree, is hungry for more territory and to avoid a war Ani is engaged to marry the Prince of Bayern.

Shy Ani accepts her fate and leaves the only home she has ever known with only a group of soldiers and her lady in waiting Selia for company. While on the road to Bayern Selia betrays Ani and leaves her for dead, taking Ani's place and name.

With the help of humble forest people, Gilsa and her son Finn, Ani arrives at Bayern's capitol and acquires work as a lowly goose girl. Struggle to adjust to a knew life and yearning for her hose Falada with whom she shares and unique bond, Ani finds that her trust has been worn out. After Falada's death, for he has been driven made by Ani's absence, the princess finds an empty spot in herself for another language, the language of the wind. On a quest to take back her place and save her small country from attack by Bayern due to Selia's treachery Ani is on a journey that will save her forever.

Shannon Hale's book starts a little slowly but she makes up for it with vivid descriptions, believable characters, and an ultimate search to find who someone really is. The Goose Girl should be a book on everyone's reading list.

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