The Books of Bayern


Rachel Faulkner writes, What do you think of when you hear, “The Brother’s Grimm”?.

What do you think of when you hear, “The Brother’s Grimm”?. Maybe you think of your favorite fairy tale. Maybe that’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or Cinderella, or Hansel and Gretel. Or maybe that’s the Goose Girl. For renowned, New York Times bestselling author Shannon Hale, the Goose Girl had a novel somewhere in it. After writing bestselling book Princess Academy, this blooming author decided to continue her legacy with a novel retelling of the Brother’s Grimm story “The Goose Girl”. In the most elegant and lyrical writing of the modern era, Shannon Hale wrote her first book of Bayern as a retelling of the famous story. In it, she tells the story of Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isile, the first daughter of Kildrenree. When a backstabbing servant steals the crown on the way to Bayern and a betrothed husband, Ani, who changes her name to Isi and hides her long, golden hair, becomes the goose girl in the worker’s settlements of the Bayern capitol. Using the language of the wind and the birds, she quickly falls in with the Bayern ways, but it is not safe. Can she ever escape the clutches of her murderous guards and rightfully claim her throne? That’s to be decided in The Goose Girl. Apparently, one book was not enough to do justice to the story behind “The Goose Girl”. Shannon Hale quickly published a second book, cleverly titled Enna Burning. In this fascinating story, Enna, friend of Ani and Bayern chicken-keeper, has discovered how to control fire. When Bayern wars with Tira, the country to the south, all Enna is working to protect may be demolished as she is captured and labeled “fire-witch”. And what about the fire, which is slowly turning Enna into someone she doesn’t even know. This book is possibly my favorite in the Bayern series. The last book, as of yet, is called River Secrets. It follows the story of Razo, the old sheep boy turned warrior, who travels from Bayern to the capitol of Tira, Ingridan. But when Tirans are found burned, Razo worries that Enna is once again out to demolish the Tiran army when they are there to negotiate peace. Could Enna be at fault again – or is it someone else? These books are currently my favorite series and I would recoomend them to teens and preteens of both genders who are looking for a clever twist on love, war, and adventure. For those other fanatics of the books of Bayern, the adventure is not over yet. Coming October of 2009, Shannon Hale plans to release a new book, tentatively titled Forest Born. She promises more adventure with Isi, Enna, and a character from River Secrets, Dasha. Read them if you dare, but be warned, you will be completely addicted to them!