Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Enna Burning (#2 in Books Of Bayern), by Shannon Hale
Synopsis: Enna and Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee (Ani for short) became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Ani married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Ani and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
In A Sentence: A very good book with some excellent qualities for a sequel
My Thoughts: So this was the sequel to The Goose Girl, and I’m rather impressed with how Shannon Hale is developing this tale. This started off as a retelling of an obscure Grimm fairy tale, and is now turning into something very different and original.
A lot of people have said that this story is darker than the first, but I’m inclined to disagree. The first one was pretty dark already, but I think this sequel feels darker because we already knew that The Goose Girl ended happily. With Enna Burning, we had no idea what to expect with this tale. Will Enna die, or will she live? Will there be a happy ending to this story, or will it be a sad conclusion? Because this is a middle book in a series, we have no way of knowing what direction the author would go.
I really loved the depth and creativity behind People-, Animal-, and Nature-Speaking. It feels new and interesting in comparison to other fantasy stories, and I like the idea that all people have the ability to wield them, not just a gifted few; it’s just some figure it out more easily than others. It’s a really good premise and it adds quite a bit to the novel. Sure, I did predict certain plot points before they happened, but Shannon Hale still did a great job with the storyline.
The writing is simple but still good, but I would once again recommend the audiobook version of this story. Having a full cast makes it much more interesting, in my opinion.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story, maybe not as much as the first book, but it was still a lot of fun. I am going to continue the series, and I would recommend this read to anyone who enjoys a good YA fantasy without a whole lot of angst.
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