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5.0 out of 5 starsDefinitely a dark edition to the series...and I love it!
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2020
Very enjoyable read and one of my favorite in the series.
I wanted to like "Enna Burning". I truly did. I feel that Shannon Hale is a fantastic writer with a beautiful style and I did enjoy "The Goose Girl" and "Princess Academy". I was especially thrilled in hearing that this was something of a sequel/spin-off of "The Goose Girl".
And it's not to say that Hale does not bring out a great idea. I'm as much as a pyro as the next girl who's worked at a scout camp and I'm all for the magic of burning things. After all, the first book of Bayern informed us of this section of magic.
However, it all comes down to Enna burns things and feels bad. Which is not a bad thing. That sounds like a great plot to me. However, in all the midst of wars and fire and action and plot Enna and her moral dilemma never became real to me. And I have to care about the person before I care about their pyrotechnics.
This all said... I still believe that the right audience would enjoy this book far more than I. There is a lot of action going on here, and the person wanting some action-fighting-burning enjoyment would appreciate this. And if Hale does nothing else, she writes with a beautiful choice of words.
I believe these are all qualities to get three stars.
My first impression upon finishing the book was "it's cute". Then, I reminded myself that the book's intended audience is twelve and that made me feel better. Enna Burning is equally as clean as Goose Girl, it's predecessor, and is a creative and inventive story of Isi's friend Enna who learns how to speak to fire. The land of Bayern is now at war and Enna believes that her new skills can help save her homeland. Enna has a mighty adventure as she learns how to control the fire and not let it control her. The writing is simple but that is appropriate for the audience and I believe that my daughter will enjoy this series in a few years.
I enjoyed this book more than the first book in the series. I don't love Hale's writing style, but I really liked Enna as a character. I also thought Enna's story presented a really interesting take on power and how it can corrupt even good people, which isn't necessarily something you always find examined in heroines of YA fiction. I would probably recommend this more to readers on the younger side of YA or for people looking for a solid, quick fantasy read.
I've read several of Hale's novels, and I thought this was one of her best. While the others were great stories, they started out slowly. Enna Burning, however, caught my attention right at the start and held it to the end. Enna Burning takes place during a war, and Enna uses her talents to help save her country from its enemies. However, the necessary violence and other war-time events were mildly described through Enna's "beautiful" point of view and never made me cringe in horror or concern for younger readers. Hale has done a great job!
As her country , Bayern, is torn by war, Enna learns to speak with fire and control its elements, but can she help her country without becoming consumed by fire and its desire to burn? I've became a great fan of Shannon Hale and the tales she weaves. There is a great dose of both suspense and romance, but most of all, it's a book I could easily allow my daughter to read when she grows a bit older. There is a great message of doing what is right, as she goes on this journey to discover herself.
The second book in the 'Goose Girl' series. I would say that these books are aimed at the 10-15 year old girl, but both my daughter and I loved them. Shannon Hale is a wonderful writer, she really transports you to the land of Bayern. I would describe these books a more grown up fairy tale, with a strong female heroine.