Friday, February 22, 2008

River Secrets


River Secrets by Shannon Hale

Well, I've finished the "Goose Girl" series. I finished River Secrets last night and overall I really enjoyed the series. It was fun to journey to a whole new world, I love when authors can create a whole new place complete with food, customs, prejudices, stories and history. Shannon Hale has joined the ever expanding group of women/mother authors whose talent is amazing.
Hale, whose most recent novel, The Princess Academy (2005), was named a Newbery Honor Book, continues the story begun in Goose Girl (2003) and Enna Burning 2004) in this stirring, stand-alone adventure. The kingdoms of Bayern and Tira have just completed a war, and Bayern teenager Rizzo is astonished when he is chosen to join a company of the castle's best soldiers on a diplomatic mission to Tira. A poor swordsman with a reputation as "a brave fool," he knows that his most noteworthy talent may be "cramming two cherries into a single nostril." Once the company arrives in Tira, though, he learns why he was selected: he sees and remembers everything, without "seeming to pay attention to anything beyond dinner," making him an excellent spy. Tension between the kingdoms heightens with a series of recurring, pyrotechnic murders, just as Rizzo falls for an intrepid young Tiran. The story's pace is leisurely, but Hale's accomplished writing will easily pull readers into her vividly realized world. The expertly chosen, often poetic details set and pace the story, and the fully drawn characters, whose dialogue crackles with wit, will point readers to the underlying themes of cultural prejudice and the corruption of power that touch on contemporary political debates. Suspenseful, magical, and heartfelt, this is a story that will wholly envelop its readers.

1 comment:

Menghinifamily said...

I loved it! I wasn't sure I would since the main character is a boy and the other's are girls, but I did.