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River Secrets
Shannon Hale
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River Secrets (The Books of Bayern #3)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  28,629 Ratings  ·  2,239 Reviews
Young Razo travels from Bayern to Tira at war's end as part of a diplomatic corps, but mysterious events in the Tiran capital fuel simmering suspicions and anger, and Razo must spy out who is responsible before it is too late and he becomes trapped in an enemy land.
290 pages
Published 2006 by Bloomsbury Children's Books :Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers
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Jan 14, 2009 Cara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
This was a perfect way too round up the series. I was really excited about this one since it had Razo as the main character. He is the funniest character of the series and I'm so glad he got to shine in his own book. You get to see past characters fairly often and some good new characters as well.

Here is a quick run down of the book: Razo and the other soldiers of Bayern's Own must go to Tira to help along with the peace that is trying to be formed. Of course this doesn't turn out to be easy wh
Jul 19, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This is possibly my favorite of Shannon Hale's books so far (although it is hard to choose). The plot was perhaps slightly more predictable (just slightly), but Razo's character is absolutely hilarious! I love how Hale takes time to add in little funny or observant tidbits that aren't necessarily pertinent to the plot, but that add depth to the characters. This is definitely a worthwhile read (but read Goose Girl and Enna Burning first.)
Jan 10, 2009 Ash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, great book!! I really liked it. I was so glad to see that the next book in the series was about Razo. He's always so funny and a trustworthy friend.

Quick overview: Razo is chosen to join an elite mission to escort the ambassador to Tira. Razo can't think of any other reason that he would be chosen except out of pity, which is what most of his fellow soldiers think. In hopes of making peace with Tira they enter into the capital only to find that some Tiran are not so easy to forget their d
Katie Tatton
I plugged through this one, hoping it would catch my interest later in the book like Enna Burning did. Alas, it was not to be. Shannon Hale (the author) was quoted as saying that Razo was her favorite character, the easiest to write, the most real to her. Unfortunately, that's not the case for me. Razo is the short, funny guy in the group who questions his worth in the war and wonders if he'll ever get over his first love. As the youngest son, he wishes he was the best at something, just for onc ...more
Mar 21, 2008 LeiAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
This one is somewhat different from the other Books of Bayern, in that our main character, Razo, does not discover an ability in "nature language" as our previous main characters have done. He falls in love with a girl who has an ability to speak with water, but he himself does not have an ability.

I like though, that while the other books are about a person discovering a strength, an ability, a power that they have, this book has the same basic theme, even though our main character does not have
Jan 23, 2008 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have to call this Shannon's worst work I've read. The storyline was boring and dragged a lot. The entire first half of the book was devoted to Razo's feeling bad for himself and whining a lot. "I'm so short. I suck at everything. Nobody likes me. My girlfriend married someone else. I am no good at swordplay. Woe is me. etc etc." This was repeated page after page after page. Finally, about 3/4 way into the book, the story started going somewhere. There was a pleasant fight scene at the en ...more
Tamora Pierce
Apr 02, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex and edge-of-your-seat tense as the Bayern folk try to work out a peace with enemies still traumatized by the secret fire weapon that worked such havoc on their soldiers. Enna, the source of that burning, is with the delegation, working for peace, even when she knows it will mean her life if she is identified. Razo the forest boy is the main character, a friend of the queen's brought to observe the success of the peace mission. He is the one to discover someone in Tira is trying to hatch ...more
Anne Osterlund
Aug 12, 2011 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Razo isn’t much good at anything. He’s as short as the girls. He isn’t handy with a sword. And he always ends up in the thick of trouble. It’s beyond him why the captain the guard would choose to appoint him for the delicate—and dangerous—mission into Tira. To secure peace only a year after recent war.

Naturally Razo is the first to discover a burned body.
And then there’s the assassination attempts.
And the girl who calls him a tree rat.
All in all it’s just possible he should have stayed home.

I lo
Aug 03, 2011 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh I've waited to get a copy of this book for so long that I could scarcely believe it when the librarian said we'd got a copy in. Oh oh oh oh I can scarcely believe my own good fortune.

Besides very decidedly being my favorite YA author, Shannon Hale is a mastermind of the uncliche, well-written fantasy. You won't find wizards or elves in her book, but very believable characters that any young person can relate to, and strong, unhidden themes of love, loyalty, sacrifice, and honor.

River Secrets
Apr 05, 2012 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this third book of Bayern, Razo, one of our earlier characters, comes into center stage as he stars in his own book. This book is placed in between the other 3 girl-starred books but I think boys will enjoy it all the same. I really enjoyed Razo’s intriguing point of view and this story shows that even if you don’t have special powers like Princess Anidora-Kiladra-Tilianna-Isilee(Ani or Isi and was the star of the first book), Enna(who was the star of the second book), or Dasha(Razo’s girl an ...more
Nov 19, 2012 hpboy13 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the time I picked this book up, it was clear to me that Shannon Hale was a master of her craft. That said, I was unprepared for how much better this book is than her other (also fantastic) books. This book is a whodunnit wrapped in layers of fantasy and comedy, and it is just such an enjoyable read. Razo makes for a fantastic narrator.

This is the best kind of whodunnit, because there are four main questions instead of just the who? there is also the how?, the why?, and the what? did they actu
Kat  Hooper
Jun 15, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Shannon Hale writes excellent children’s fantasy. River Secrets is the third book in her BAYERN series. It follows The Goose Girl and Enna Burning and focuses on one of readers’ (and the author’s) favorite characters from these books, Razo of the forest.

In the previous books, Razo’s friend Isi, who has wind magic, became queen of Bayern and his friend Enna, who has fire magic, helped Bayern win a battle with Tira. Now Bayern and Tira are swapping ambassadors and opening diplomatic relations. The
Apr 21, 2009 Tanja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series. My only complaint is I wish there was more description. I love the way shannon hale writes and I look forward to the next one. I like that the strong characters are mainly girls. Wahoo!!
Carla *Jen7waters*
Fiiiiiinn and Ennaaaaaa!!
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Aug 17, 2012 Elevetha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fairytales retold, reimagined, or twisted on it's side
Recommended to Elevetha by: Miss Clark
I liked it quite a bit. Must re read and give proper review.
Feb 17, 2009 Noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-2009
Not as good as all her other books but it was good.
Jen Kayna (Habitat for Happiness)
Another great tale by Shannon Hale and amazing narration by the Full Cast Audio team! This is the third book in The Books of Bayern series, and follows Razo (one of the side characters) on his own journey of self discovery and love. Shannon Hale has an amazing way of writing fantastic characters. Razo is super funny, smart, quirky and so loveable! I also loved that some of the important characters from the previous books played a role in this story but that this book was a whole unique story all ...more
Dec 19, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I shouldn't have been surprised that I loved this book - I've loved all of Shannon Hale's books, and the Bayern series (Goose Girl/Enna Burning/River Secrets) certainly doesn't disappoint. If I were to rate the Bayern books in order of my favorites, I'd go with #1: Goose Girl, #2: River Secrets, and #3: Enna Burning.

I wasn't sure what I would think of River Secrets, as it's from the perspective of a male character. Shannon Hale definitely impressed me, greatly, with her capture of a female voic
Thus far in my Bayern reread, this is definitely the strongest book by far. It benefits both from Hale being a more experienced writer and from building on the groundwork established in the previous two books in the series: the premise is a great deal more politically complicated than either The Goose Girl or Enna Burning, and it benefits the story greatly.

The characters also have a lot more nuance, I suspect in part because this is the first book Hale wrote with the idea of nature-speech overwh
Feb 17, 2009 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Audrey Hammer
I think this is my favorite of the Bayern books (so far). I really enjoyed Razo as a character and the situations he gets in. The mystery that is at the heart of the story is really good and well done. Hale is a careful writer with poetic descriptions. She uses a lot of similes (that are not cliches!), so I recommend her writing to any student learning about those.
Oct 06, 2009 Camzcam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Shannon Hale's Bayern series, and so I was a little disappointed in River Secrets. It doesn't capture the fairy-tale quality of the Goose Girl or the epic feeling of Enna Burning. It's just a little ho-hum.

The story follows the character Razo from the earlier books as he and a company of soldiers accompany an ambassador from Bayern to the land of their recent enemy of war, Tira. Only a few weeks remain before the Tiran assembly will vote whether or not to return to war against Baye
May 12, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I just finished listening to this one in audio, and my feelings are pretty much the same, except I found that I rather quite disliked Enna... She really frustrated me and she had way more angsty woe than Razo :p
Still a delightful set of books and I'm looking forward to my listen of the final book :)

I love Razo! He's been a favorite since I met him covered in oatmeal in The Goose Girl. I think he's such a fun character. I am glad that this story was told for him. It was good to hear his story. H
Jul 01, 2016 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are not many series where I can honestly say that the sequels just keep getting better and better. Sometimes installments in series fluctuate up and down for me, but the Books of Bayern just kept getting better and better—and I really did like the first one to begin with! I love the way the stories build on each other but focus on different characters, especially since the characters are so unique and compelling. Razo was such a fun character! He's the perfect balance of goofy and impish y ...more
Emily Michelle
Jul 07, 2010 Emily Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't decide if this or Goose Girl is my favorite book in the Books of Bayern series. They are both fantastic, but in different ways. While Goose Girl is beautiful in a sort of old-fashioned way, River Secrets is more straightforward and fun. It's the first book in the series to feature a male protagonist, which could explain the shift in tone, and which I'm really glad about because I think Razo is one of my favorite book heroes.

As I've noted in previous reviews, the Books of Bayern have hero
Sara ♥
Ah, Razo. I do adore that boy! I was really really excited to read a whole book about him, as I can still hear his voice from the audiobook of The Goose Girl... plus, we got to know him a lot better in Enna Burning, and he's just great! And for him to get to have his very own adventure and meet the cute girl on the cover and fall in love... :) It made me very happy.

Plus, there was this great message in the book about how just because you might feel really average doesn't mean you don't have tal
Feb 21, 2014 Laney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laney by: Leah Spann
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, almost equal to my enjoyment of the Goose Girl. Reading it, after finishing Enna Burning, I just think Enna makes a better third person character, which was the real flaw of why I did not like the second book as well.

Razo is a fun perspective to read: observant, fun, charming. Light. Not particularly special in anyway which makes him very relatable. I also like that Shannon Hale steps away from the trope of each new character finding a new power and let's the sto
Amanda Caswell
The story picks up after the war with Tira, as Enna and friends journey to Tira as ambassadors of peace between the countries. This tale centers around Razo, the oft-ignored runt of the King's Own, who cannot fathom why he was invited to take part in the entourage. Upon entering the kingdom, the party begins to find burned bodies, specifically placed within their proximity to rouse rebellion in the beaten country and throw suspicions on Enna, the fire-witch. Razo must use all of his latent, undi ...more
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more
More about Shannon Hale...

Other Books in the Series

The Books of Bayern (4 books)
  • The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)
  • Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2)
  • Forest Born (The Books of Bayern, #4)

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“Razo hopped back up and adopted a posture that said he was completely unruffled, never had been, and in fact was ready to do something manly like lift boulders or swallow live worms.” 121 likes
“I'm Razo, a member of Bayern's Own," he said, stopping himself from adding "Loafing is just a hobby of mine."
"Bayern's Own? But you're a child."
Razo looked up to the sky. "I'm not a child, I'm just short.”
More quotes…