Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Enna Burning" by Shannon Hale

I have been waiting so long for my local library's copy of The Goose Girl to be returned (whoever has it must be a REALLY slow reader!) that I finally gave up and tried one of Hale's other books. As it turns out, Enna Burning is actually a sequel to The Goose Girl, but I don't think it contained any spoilers, so I should still be able to enjoy "Goose" if the library ever gets it back. In fact, I may enjoy it even more now, since I am already familiar with several of the main characters.

Enna Burning was just as well written as The Princess Academy, although I think this one was geared towards slightly older children (perhaps young teenagers as opposed to preteens). Comparatively, this story has more danger, more romance and more angst in general. I was especially captured by the love which was developing between Enna and Sileph, and the sweet and pure relationship that grew between Enna and Finn. While it lasted, it was an engaging love triangle; until Sileph's lies were revealed, I felt just as torn as Enna between Sileph and Finn. Steadfast and unwavering Finn, with his heart of gold, certainly deserved to be the one to win Enna's love.

The story has the same fairytale-like quality as Hale's Princess Academy, although the writing itself doesn't have the same sweetness. "Enna Burning" actually reminded me more of M.E. Breen's Darkwood in tone, though "Enna" was the better book.

I thought it was interesting that this novel was set mainly in a country named Bayern. I wonder if it is common knowledge that Bayern is the German word for Bavaria (a southern region of Germany)? "The Forest" west of Bayern, where Enna was raised, certainly seemed to be modeled after Germany's black forest to the west of Bavaria. Not that this is a problem for me. I just found it interesting.

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