Pub. Date: May 13th 2005
Source: Library (ebook)
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.
After hearing about Shannon Hale time and time again from Enna I finally decided to pick up this book. I'm glad that I did too!
What a unique book. I could not and still cannot get over how unique the storyline was! With all of the books today being dystopian or paranormal/supernatural, this was a breath of fresh air for me. I will admit that there have been books about princess' going "undercover" or in disguise too, but Shannon Hale added so much of her own touch that it was like nothing I have ever read.Ani can talk/understand animals. Animals. Can anything be cooler?
Ani was such a great protagonist. She was smart, cunning, and even funny at times. The only issue I had was that while she was great, I didn't really connect with her. I loved reading about her struggles, but I didn't ever really feel bad for her or worry for her. Does that make sense?
Shannon Hale is a wonderful storyteller. I loved the way she paced all of the events in the book, there was never a dull moment for me. There were times when I could guess what was going to happen, but it was still an entertaining story.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was such an entertaining book and I recommend it to everyone! It wasn't my favorite book, but it was one of those books that just made my day.
Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars