Review "The Books of Bayern" by Shannon Hale

Discussion in 'Books' started by filmfan95, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    (Information compiled from Wikipedia, the Books of Bayern Wikia, and the Shannon Hale Wikia):

    The Goose Girl is a fantasy novel by Shannon Hale, and is her debut novel. Published in 2003 and winner of the 2003 Josette Frank Award for youth fiction, it centers on the life of Princess Anidori of Kildenree, and chronicles her journey to Bayern and the discovery of her gift of wind-speaking. It is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same title, and is book one of The Books of Bayern series.


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    In the summer of 1999, Shannon Hale and her friend challenged each other to write a book before the semester began. Not knowing where to begin, Hale took inspiration from Robin McKinley's Beauty, and decided to write her novel based on her favorite fairy tale, The Goose Girl.

    Hale says: "When I was a kid, my sisters and I spent many hours with my mom’s mammoth book of fairytales. 'Cinderella' was the initial favorite on the basis of ball gowns. But despite lack of fancy gowns, 'The Goose Girl,' by the Brothers Grimm, soon moved into the lead. We were completely captivated by the story alone. Even though it was my favorite, its strangeness and brevity always left me wanting more. Why did the princess let her lady-in-waiting steal her identity? How did she learn to command the wind? And what about the prince? I thought the story fairly begged to be written into a longer work. I'm thrilled that now, some three years later, it is."

    She had to toss her initial 80 pages of The Goose Girl, and set aside the project to work on other things. She spent some time thinking more about the outline and even wrote it into a short story, and a year later she returned to the project. She says, "I estimate that I lugged my way through 30 total drafts of the book."

    She finally completed the novel in 2001, and it was published by Bloomsbury in 2003.
     
    #1 filmfan95, Jun 21, 2018
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  2. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    Enna Burning is a fantasy novel by Shannon Hale, and the second book in the Books of Bayern series. Published in 2004, it focuses on the subsequent adventures of Princess Anidori-Kiladra's friend, Enna, who she met as the royal goose girl.

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    Initially, Shannon Hale had no intentions to write another Bayern book, citing the reason, "obviously The Goose Girl was a standalone book. It was based on a fairy tale, and fairy tales don’t have sequels, right?" But in the process of writing The Goose Girl, she discovered something about the character Enna that she felt she had to expand on. This moment of discovery was in The Goose Girl, when Ani was talking to Enna.

    "'Why aren't you playing?' said Ani, gesturing to the many games of cards and sticks around the room. ↵'Oh, the fire,' said Enna. Its orange fingers waved specters on the blacks of Enna's eyes. 'I get to looking and can't look away. Don't you ever feel like fire is a friendly thing? That it's signaling to you with its flames, offering something?' ↵ Ani watched not the fire but the play of its light on Enna's face and felt comfort that there were others who listened for language in what was supposed to be mute and seek out meaning in what was only beautiful."

    Hale asked herself questions about this moment, and Enna Burning was born. She wrote the prologue in fall 2001, did research for the outline, and began to write the novel full time in spring 2002. Nine months later, she sent it to her editor and it was finished at the of 2003. The novel was published in 2004.

    Hale says of Enna Burning, "Enna. She was such a vital, interesting, talk-to-me-non-stop character that I just had to give her a book of her own. Enna Burning challenged me and changed me."
     
    #2 filmfan95, Jun 21, 2018
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  3. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    River Secrets is the third book in The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. It is centered around the exploits of The Goose Girl and Enna Burning character Razo.

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    Shannon Hale says of River Secrets, "Razo was a very minor character in The Goose Girl, and though he didn't even appear in the outline for Enna Burning, somehow wormed his way into a significant part of that story. Insistent, is he? Oh, yes. I never planned on giving him his own book, but here it is. I've never had a character come to me so easily as Razo did, and I've never enjoyed writing a first draft as much as River Secrets."

    "Razo. He popped up in Goose Girl as an unexpected but fully formed minor character. He wasn't a part of my Enna Burning outline but ended up with a major role. Now he was filling my vulnerable little brain with ideas for his own story, which was hard to resist because he was a delightful character to channel. Okay, fine, Razo always gets his way." Hale also says of River Secrets.
     
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  4. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    Forest Born is the fourth and last book in the series The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. It is centered around Rin, Razo's younger sister.

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    Forest Born is the fourth book of The Books of Bayern, and Shannon Hale says of adding the book to the series, "The history of Bayern kept on stitching together in my mind. There was still growing to be done, dangers lurking, powers untested. My three girls--Isi, Enna, and Dasha--were poised for an adventure, and Razo's little sister Rin was becoming a character of profound consequences."

    She had struggle with the characters, and from this struggle Bayern Justice League was born to aide in the writing of the novel. Hale estimates that she cut more material from Forest Born than from any of her other books.
     
    #4 filmfan95, Jun 21, 2018
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  5. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    I used to read Grimm's Fairy Tales during my spare time in middle school and high school, and The Goose Girl is my favorite of the collection. So, naturally, when I discovered there was an adaptation of it as a novel, I just had to read it. And it was a great adaptation of the story. I want to read the rest of the books in the series now.

    For those curious, here's the Brothers Grimm story that the novel is based on:

    https://www.worldoftales.com/fairy_tales/Brothers_Grimm/Grimm_household_tales/The_Goose_girl.html
     

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