The Compulsive Reader: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

This is one of my absolute favorite fairy tale retellings, and after reading and rereading it for over five years, I've finally got around to writing up a post on my thoughts!

Ani is the Crown Princess of Kildenree, and a poor one at that. Despite her constant effort and desire to please her parents and her people, she doesn't quite have the confidence and poise her mother possesses, and would rather spend her days outdoors, conversing with the birds. So when she finds that her mother changes plans suddenly and sends Ani to the neighboring country of Bayern to marry the prince in order avoid war, Ani isn't entirely surprised. But on the way there, she is deceived horribly, and her lady's maid takes her place while she is left to die in the wilderness. But despite her self doubt, Ani learns to survive, to trust, and to reach out to others, and must choose to fight back in order to take her rightful place, or remain a goose girl for the rest of her life.

Shannon Hale's debut novel is just mesmerizing. Her sweet, magical, and lyrical style is simply wonderful to read, and her attention to detail and seamless storytelling is just perfect. The Goose Girl reads like your favorite fairy tale, only much more detailed and involved. Ani is a very endearing character, and her coming-of-age story is memorable and empowering as she gains confidence in her abilities and her self-worth. The Goose Girl is a light, captivating fairy tale retelling that manages to be original while at the same time holding on to those qualities that made it a wonderful tale in the first place, which takes true talent. The beginning of Shannon Hale’s Books of Bayern series is entertaining and delightful.

Cover Comments: I love the original cover art. The colors and the style of the artwork are just perfect for the book in my opinion. It is the cover that originally drew my eye to the book all those years ago in the library, and I was sad when I discovered that it got a face lift. However, I do not think the new cover is bad. It's one that I think that will appeal to more readers, despite the fact that it seems more MG than YA. Yes, The Goose Girl can be enjoyed by MG readers, but I think it is mainly a YA book. What it boils down to here is: don't judge a book by its cover. Go read The Goose Girl.


Cecelia said...

I agree with you: I think the original cover fit the book perfectly. Not that I intensely dislike the new art, but it doesn't capture the essence of the story in quite the same way. I'm glad I have all three 'Bayern' books with their first printing artwork.

Beth F said...

I haven't read this one yet, but Iv'e heard great things about it. I like the original cover too.

Anonymous said...

I just finished re-reading these books, and they're just a pleasure. Glad you enjoyed!

Erica said...

I love this book! It's sooo cute. I love the orignal cover, I'd never seen it before.

Kristen said...

I love the original cover as well. I read this a few months back, but haven't continued on with the series yet.

Janssen said...

I adore this book. I lent my copy out two years ago and it just came home this weekend.