Emily Michelle's Reviews > River Secrets

River Secrets by Shannon Hale
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's review
Jul 07, 2010

it was amazing

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 heroes struggling with some flaw or failing, and Razo's is that he's small and doesn't feel like he's particularly intelligent or a good fighter, so he's not really sure what he's good for. Throughout the book he comes to realize that he has his own set of useful skills, and he figures out how to use them to help his friends and his country. More importantly, even though he does feel like he was failings and inadequacies, it doesn't stop him from joining a fight or helping someone in need or stopping a war. And he's really funny. It reminds me of how in Harry Potter, my favorite characters have always been Fred and George, because even though they're not the strongest or smartest they use their strengths to help the cause, and also while Harry is often mopey and ill-tempered, they keep everyone laughing and happy. And that's Razo: funny, kind, extremely good, and willing to work past his flaws to get things done.
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