Ruth-Anne's Reviews > Forest Born

Forest Born by Shannon Hale
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's review
Jan 09, 2010

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bookshelves: lds-author, fantasy

Rinna was born in the forest and can understand the trees. She can read a feeling or a lie by looking someone in the face, but she keeps something inside, afraid that if she lets out her secret she will become a monster. Rinna has people-speaking and after an incident with talking a boy into kissing her in a tree, Rinna feels wrong. She goes with her older brother Razo to the palace of Bayern to serve the queen as a nursery maid. Rinna is suspicious of one maid, and it turns out the maid was trying to kidnap the prince, Tusken. The maid was working for Selia, a powerful people-speaker, who becomes betrothed to the neighboring King of Kel. Selia, an old enemy of Queen Isi, is determined to take Isi’s crown, child, and life. Rinna allows herself to use her gifts and overthrow Selia.

The theme of confidence in yourself is woven through the story. Rinna is afraid of what she will become through people-speaking, and so she emulates those around her. She shuts up her true self deep inside. Rinna forgives herself for past mistakes and strives to use her talents for good. Rinna realizes her power, but chooses self-control. Rinna seeks out the boy she hurt and makes things right. Rinna uses her gift of reading people and persuasion to build up the confidence and strength of others in need. Readers will be inspired to be their best self.

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