Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Enna Burning

By Shannon Hale

Enna Burning is the second book in Hale's Bayern series. I am not sure if series is the right word because you don't really need to have read The Goose Girl in order to read and understand Enna, but they take place in the same world with some of the same characters, so you can call it what you want.

I found the prologue to Enna creepy, and if this had been the first Hale book that I had read, I might very well have put it down. The creepiness of the prologue does not continue throughout the whole book, though it appears a couple more times. Having finished the book, I can understand why the prologue is written the way it was, but it was still creepy.

The actual story of Enna begins a couple years after the end of Goose Girl, and Enna has returned to the forest. After her brother finds out how to speak with fire, Enna also learns to speak with fire and the story chronicles Enna as she tries to use and control this new ability.

I liked Enna's character in Goose Girl and was looking forward to reading/learning more about her. I didn't think this book did a good job of keeping with the character. By the very end of the book, I felt like the "real" Enna was back, but most of the book I kind of found her annoying and wondered what had happened to the spunky girl from Goose Girl. I do realize that part of the change in her personality was her inability to control the fire, but at the same time, the change started before she had read about the fire. So, I can't really explain it.

The story is not as strong as Goose Girl, but it is able to stand alone. I particularly liked that Enna's friends (particularly Razo and Finn) were such great friends, even when they couldn't understand exactly why Enna was doing what she was doing. While I didn't like how quickly Enna gave in to her captors, I liked Hale's explanation and the fact that Enna was able to redeem herself so completely.

Overall, I really did enjoy Enna Burning and I found myself promising to stop after just "one more chapter" over and over again. I didn't think the story had the same lyrical flow as the other Hale books that I have read, but I did enjoy it and would recommend it to people that enjoyed The Goose Girl.

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