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She was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue, a word she could not taste.

Her name was Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. And when she was older, she watched as a colt was born, and she heard the first word on his tongue, his name, Falada.

From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original, and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can lead the people she has made her own.

383 pages, Paperback

First published August 4, 2003

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About the author

Shannon Hale

137 books13.1k followers
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 Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack with husband Dean Hale. They live near Salt Lake City, Utah with their four small children, and their pet, a small, plastic pig.

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5 stars
63,907 (44%)
4 stars
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3 stars
21,742 (15%)
2 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,838 reviews
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
August 23, 2019
A cute, sweet, and simple fairy tale story, but unfortunately made me realize that early 2000s fantasy books are not my style. I appreciate the earnest and unproblematic elements of the story (a main character who becomes stronger, female friendships, a cute friendship group, a sweet romance, etc.) but I found myself feeling bored from the slow pacing and linear storyline. Though the last few pages got exciting and fast-paced, ultimately not much stood out to me.
Profile Image for Chanelle.
52 reviews8 followers
February 16, 2018
What a sweet story, it's one you can transport yourself into another world where things like communicating with animals and controlling the wind seem entirely feasible. The characters are really likeable (esp. Geric- I don't think there was enough of him. Every word he said would make a girl smile) I'm classifying this book as strong female because I loved the fact that when Geric wrote Ani off, she was upset and angry, but her world did not collapse (contrast that to Bella in New Moon who did not want to live after Edward left her because that was her sole purpose for being on this earth, please!) I loved that Ani was upset, but had more important things to do than sulk over a guy that didn't work out (like save the Bayern kingdom from a dishonest queen and the Kilendrean kingdom from an impending war!) I think she was more upset about losing her horse than losing Geric. This book has a little bit of everything- suspense, adventure,self discovery,romance, friendship, loyalty, magic, and a happy ending. Ani discovers how powerful she really is, and that she has been all along. My favorite line in the book is a statement about true friendship. When Ani confides to her friend Enna about her true identity, Enna says "When you get tired of worrying and mourning your horse and trying not to be afraid, tell me and I'll do it for you a while so you can shut your eyes and sleep peaceful."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews42 followers
August 19, 2020
The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern #1), Shannon Hale

A sweet story, Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt's incredible stories, and learning the language of the birds.

Little knowing how valuable her aunt's strange knowledge would prove to be when she grew older. From the Grimm's fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm.

The Goose Girl by Shannon hale, London,...: Bloomsbury، 2009, 383,p.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آوریل سال 2015میلادی

عنوان: دختر غازچران؛ نویسنده: شنون هیل؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
July 11, 2018
I've always loved fairy tale novelizations, and The Goose Girl is right up at the top for me. It absolutely pushes all of the right buttons for me - one of those books that I love beyond reason. It's a lovely adaptation of the old Goose Girl fairy tale.

Anidori (insert several additional royal names here) Isilee is a shy, quiet crown princess of her kingdom, Kildenree. The Queen, her capable and no-nonsense mother, doesn't understand or appreciate Ani, but Ani finds solace in her relationship with her aunt, who teaches her how to understand the language of birds and some other animals, including her horse Falada. As Ani grows older, the Queen decides to make Ani's brother the crown prince instead, sending Ani off to the neighboring country of Bayern to marry their crown prince instead of inheriting her own kingdom.

Deeply disappointed but obedient, Ani leaves on the weeks-long journey with an entire entourage, including a large group of soldiers and her enigmatic lady-in-waiting Selia. But there are forces at play here that Ani doesn't initially recognize, ambitions and passions of others that will upend all plans and send Ani down a path she'd never anticipated.

The Goose Girl is a delightful and well thought-out take on the old fairy tale, and is one of my favorite fairy tale novels. Shannon Hale has created a detailed world in which some of the odd details of the original fairy tale are reworked (dead talking horse heads, anyone?) and make much more sense. Hale has made the story into a strong coming-of-age tale with heart and humor and a subtle romance that hit me right in the heartstrings.

This book shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes novelizations of fairy tales.
Profile Image for Sara ♥.
1,367 reviews138 followers
February 28, 2019
December 21-22, 2015

This book is sooooo fantastic! I love it!

June 17-19, 2014

I freaking love this book!!!

December 24, 2010 - January 2, 2011

Not sure what else to say about this book beyond, "Wow! It's awesome!". I mean, I've read it SEVERAL times now and just bought it for my sister-in-law for Christmas... I love it!

March 9-10, 2010

Errr... ditto to what I said before. And now I'm REALLY excited to read Enna Burning just as soon as it gets here through ILL!!

April 3, 2009

In an Austin Powers voice: "One million stars..."

It's been a really long time since I added a book to my favorites bookshelf. (It takes quite a special book to earn a spot there, after all... thought it may not LOOK like it to the casual observer...) But I didn't hesitate before adding this one.

This is what I think about the book:

If someone had told me before I read this book, "Hey, Sara! You should read this book! It's about a girl who can talk to birds!" I would have (1) tried really hard not to roll my eyes, (2) smiled and nodded, and (3) never ever picked up the book. Things like that are just.... CHEESY, you know? "Oooh... Animal whisperer..."

But this book SUCKED me in. Like a really powerful vortex that even the Starship Enterprise could never get out of... (And Captain Janeway got them out of a really bad-ass vortexy-type thing one time.) Usually there's kind of a "boring" part of a book—at the beginning.... somewhere in the middle, when it starts dragging... But this book had nonstop suction. (Wow. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner!)

ANYWAY, the book sucked me in. It was just so interesting, with its mythology-type stories/legends at the beginning, and then really quickly, she starts her journey toward Bayern... And all along the way CRAP keeps happening to her. Usually books that make you tear-up do so near the end, you know? But this one... it was like 50 pages into the book, and I'm on the verge of tears. The mere fact that I cared enough about the characters only 50 pages in to cry over stuff that's happening to them REALLY speaks highly of the writing, I'd say.

So ALL THIS CRAP keeps happening to her, and I'm like, "Uhhh... Shannon.... I read your Austenland book, and it had a happy ending... If this book doesn't start turning around, I might go jump off a bridge!" (Nevermind that there aren't any bridges in Bryan other than overpasses...) Parts were just so sad. But it all turned out pretty all right in the end, I'd say. (I can't stop grinning, so that's an understatement...)

I was going to say something else... what.... character development. Ani/Isi shows REMARKABLE character development through the course of the book, which is fabulous! From shy, timid, and with an I'll-never-be-as-good-as-my-mother attitude to what she ends up as.... It's great. Just wonderful.

Anyway, go read the book. The audiobook was AMAZING!! Produced by Full Cast Audio. It had a different reader for every character! It was fabulous! Like listening to a movie with a narrator!

The library's copy of Enna Burning is checked in... I'll have to go pick it up tomorrow morning! :) Then on to River Secrets and Forest Born!

EDIT: The library copy of Enna was lost, so I STILL haven't been able to get it... grrr...
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,508 followers
September 17, 2020
Come with me to a magical world of Bayern. Where the elements have speech and animals form spoken bonds with a single person.

If I EVER lived in one of the worlds I have read about, I would live in this world that Shannon Hale has created.

I always say that if I had a super power, I would have power over the elements (water, air, fire, earth). The world that Hale has created has that, and more.

Imagine a world where you could learn the speech of different animals. You can communicate with them and practically have animal friends. No, it isn’t like talking animals on TV; it’s like, for example, you would understand what a certain bark means, or a honk of a goose. You would understand their body language. And in return, you can talk to them back in their language.

Again, imagine that you can hear what the wind is saying. The wind talks about what it has seen and where it is going. You talk back by telling it where to go. IS THAT NOT AMAZING?

There is a downside, you see.


This is where a person’s words are persuasive to the point that you just agree with them because you “know: it is right.

That is what Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree has to deal with.

Her most trusted friend and hand-maiden has this tricky speech, and wants to take Ani’s crown..

And she will do anything to get it.

I mean it shouldn’t be hard since Ani is a little quirky and talks to horses and swans, right? What can this little person do compared to someone who’s words are like silk to the ears?

I absolutely love this series. This is my sixth time to read them and it is as great as the first time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,245 followers
June 8, 2017
4 stars!

Ani is a young princess with a unique gift, she can speak animal languages. From a very young age she learned to speak to the swan’s in the pond and forged a beautiful connection with a horse foul, Falada. When her father, the king, dies, Ani learns from her mother that she is to be sent off to a neighboring kingdom to be wed to their prince.

Along the journey, Ani’s handmaid Selia leads a coup and gets half of Ani’s soldiers to turn against her. Ani flees for her life, and when she finally reaches the kingdom she finds that Selia has assumed her identity, and has all of the guards on her side. Ani becomes the palace goose girl, and she hides in the castle hoping to earn enough money to return home…

This book started out very slowly, I had to work hard to get to the point where the plot was moving quickly. It took about 100 pages in until the plot became clear as to where it was going. Once Ani reaches her new kingdom is where the story gets really interesting. She is placed in a new land without any allies and must figure out how to survive. Through the kindness of others, Ani manages to get healthy again, and find a job where she makes new friends. This is a heroine who perseveres when bad things kept happening to her instead of falling apart.

Ani is a great role model for young girls because she learned from her experiences and did not give up, she was kind to other people even when they weren’t that nice to her. When finding herself destitute she got a job and earned money instead of turning to others to do it for her or by other less honorable means. This story is a classic case of the good girl wins and the spoiled misbehaving girl loses, a message meant to teach children to be kind and tell the truth and good things will come to you.

The romance was sweet and very clean, but not the central point of the story. The most important factor was Ani’s journey of self-discovery and how she became her own person once her princess title was stripped from her. A great fantasy book, and perfect for tween girls.

Thanks again to Feifei for all of the great tween recs! :)
Profile Image for Jordan Harvey.
19 reviews1,543 followers
August 22, 2019
If you'd like to see my full thoughts, you can check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcr2X...
This book is pure magic. The writing is poetic and romantic and beautiful. The plot is faithful to the fairytale that it's retelling, but it brings new and exciting things to the table. The fantasy elements are understated but really enhance the story, and the characters, oh the characters, are spectacular.
Profile Image for Irene Sim.
743 reviews83 followers
February 19, 2018
This isn't a romance book and it isn't a "singing-in-the-rain" or "the-sound-of-music" fairytale.
It is about a young girl who've been told all her life that she was a failure, that she couldn't claim her rightfull place, that she was found lacking basic endowments and was kept apart from her siblings in order not to infect them with her "witchcraft".

But Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree knew her place in the world and even though her family let her down, she accepted her given destiny standing tall, even though it killed her to be sent away from her beloved country.

And even though her path took an unexpected turn and she met misery and deception and loss and the hurt of traitorous friends, she was rewarded with new friendships, kindness among people who saw her for who she really was and found her inner self and claimed her rightfull position for the love of the ones who loved her.

She met amazing people who stood by her side and offered comfort.

"And when you get tired of worrying and mournigh for your horse and trying not to be afraid, tell me and I'll do it for you a while so you can shut your eyes and sleep peaceful."

She found a loving new country who needed a strong Queen even more than her birth country and she found herself loving her new fellow citizens even more and for their shake she fought hard to be the Queen they deserved and went against her emotions and feelings and renounced her right to love in order to be their Queen.

"But in a country where you hang your dead up on walls and pride whether or not a man bears a javelin more than his character, how am I to persuade you out of war? It would be suicide for Kildenree to war on Bayern and butchery for Bayern to attack Kilenree. If you don’t believe me, then send me back. Or if you don’t trust me to leave, I’ll return to my little room on the west wall and tend your geese, and you can be sure that on my watch no thieves will touch my flock………
If you want evidence, explain why a mother would send her first daughter into her enemy’s camp. I’ll be your evidence.”

So after all her struggles and near death experiences
Profile Image for ✧˖° lydia °˖✧ {semi-hiatus}.
195 reviews170 followers
April 5, 2023
"If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it."

I love this so, so much.

It's everything I love most in a fantasy. Beautiful characters (and character arcs), adorable friendship dynamics, sweet romance, lyrical writing, and an ethereal magic woven into the fairytale-esque story. The story is gruesome at parts but there's a beautiful innocence in it that makes everything so perfect.


⋆------ beautiful characters and character arcs ------⋆
She thought now it was time to be tested, to make decisions and find her own roads, to stop falling where she was told to fall and to stand only when allowed to stand.

I loved each and every one of these people. (the good people, that is. Not the terrible villains). Ani was sweet and kind and had such a lovely soul. She may have started out a little weak, but by the end she slayed so hard.

I also loved Geric, Enna, Finn, and the entire Forest crew. Every single one of them was unique and lovable in their own way. <3

⋆------ adorable friendship dynamics ------⋆
"And when you get tired of worrying and mourning .... and trying not to be afraid, tell me and I'll do it for you a while so you can shut your eyes and sleep peaceful.

If you know me, you know that one of my absolute favorite things to read about are big friend groups/teams/fellowships etc. with different dynamics and clashing personalities among the characters because that's just so hilarious and adorable. And this book had that! It was so cute seeing the Forest kids slowly come to accept and love Ani as one of their own, after a life of never being loved, even after she shed her disguise. It made me cry happy tears and made my heart full to bursting 🥹🥰🤍

⋆------ sweet romance ------⋆
"You're beautiful and you're perfect, and I'll slay any man who tries to take you from my side."

YA is great. I love it. And YA romance is a total vibe. But sometimes it gets tiring and uncomfortable to read about steaming hot interactions and burning lust and yeah I'll stop. My point is, this romance wasn't like that. It was so sweet and respectful and wholesome and touched me in a place typical YA romance never does. I appreciate that so much. HE LITERALLY ASKS HER BEFORE HE CAN KISS HER WHERE ARE MY FICTIONAL BOYS WHO DO THAT HGGGJFWPEGJ


I've read this kind of sweet, subtle, and wholesome romance, and one that's actually a romance and not just "friendship", so few times I could count them on one hand. I need moreee. Step up your game, YA!

⋆------ lyrical writing ------⋆
There were others who listened for language in what was supposed to be mute and who sought out meaning in what was only beautiful.

The quotes I'm putting in this review don't even begin to scratch the surface of the depth and beauty of the writing in The Goose Girl. Every sentence is written with such painstaking and aching loveliness that yes, it made me cry (and yes, I know you are noooot surprised. I am a crybaby and I proudly admit it). Seriously, though, it was so amazing. I want just a tiny fraction of that talent. It truly is otherworldly.

⋆------ ethereal magic ------⋆
The sun still moves up and down, and the stars still shift in the sky, and as long as there are movement and harmony, there are words.

I prefer a subtle and natural magic in fantasies. The Kiss of Deception is one of the only other books I've read with that kind of magic, but this book has it. A magic of voices in the wind and rhyme in the chaos and beauty in the silence, the kind of magic that you can almost believe and even hope is real.

It's ✨exquisite✨

⋆------ fairytale-esque ------⋆

I realize this entire review is just me saying my favorite things and being like "Guess what? This book has it!" (I won't apologize.) But I have to do it one more time.


Sure, I didn't even know this particular fairytale existed, but just the fact that it was inspired by one makes it all the more beautiful. I'm so happy right now.


*sighs* book, why do you have to be so perfect?

It ACTUALLY has everything I look for in my dream book.

Gosh darn, I'm not saying this book was written solely for me, but there's no proof it wasn't <3
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
876 reviews3,754 followers
December 23, 2016
I found this confusing to get into because there are many different characters that come and go quickly. Some elements to the story that it lingered on never really seemed to serve much purpose. The audiobook production was amazing though - a full cast and sound effects - and that kept me going.

I really enjoyed how Ani was able to sit with the hand she'd been dealt. She found joys in where she was and bade her time. She wasn't consumed with revenge or sorrow, but in the end she knew how to step up to try to make things right. The ending was very fulfilling and gripping to me.
Profile Image for Amelia.
173 reviews49 followers
April 14, 2018
I really enjoyed the second half of this book. I can't say the same thing for the first half.

While reading the first half I felt very bored. I wasn't engaged with the story and honestly thought about dnfing it... but I am glad I did not to that.

I do have another problem. I had so much trouble believing that the characters just somehow believed that Ani was who she said she was. Like when she told Enna who she really was Enna didn't doubt her, she instantly believed her, and the same can be said about the other characters except the scene in the end of the book. The kinda annoyed me how everyone just believe she said who she was when she first lied about her name!! And it wasn't until the end of the book where someone first doubted her... I would have thought more characters wouldn't have believed her until she somehow proved she was Ani.

Anyway... I do plan on continuing the series.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,347 reviews
May 28, 2009
I really feel like I am missing something--or, at least, whatever the agents, editors, and legions of Shannon Hale fans found so fabulous about this debut novel that launched her successful career, including two sequels to this book. Given all the fanfare about Hale, I was sorely disappointed in this novel. The premise is interesting, and the opening chapters are breathtaking. No doubt about it, Hale can write some gorgeous prose, and the story sparkled with possibilities. However, the characters and plot just didn't really develop, in my opinion. It's hard to say much without creating spoilers, so I will say only that I think that, in Hale's mind, Ani (the Goose Girl) developed and grew and changed and came into her own a lot more than was apparent to me. The secondary characters, for the most part, seemed one-dimensional. I was also disappointed in the seeming lack of use of Ani's ability to talk with geese, etc. I guess it just promised a lot, and every time I'd start a chapter I would think, oh, yes, here we go, NOW we are going to flesh out so-and-so character or NOW we are going to see the fruition of Plot Point A...but, no--instead we'd get some repetition of other points. Like a flower bud, there was all the potential but then it never really blossomed. Perhaps since this was Hale's debut novel, she has honed her skills--indeed, I would suspect so since she has since won the Newbery Honor Award. This just reminded me of a first draft of a talented author's novel--it's all clear in the author's head and she thinks she is developing the points well enough, or perhaps really wants to make one point clear and then focuses on that to the point of exhausting it to the detriment of other points. It's not a bad story--I enjoyed it well enough, but I found myself bored and frustrated more times than I was pleased and engrossed. Even so, I think Hale does have a way with words and I will look forward to reading one of her more recent works to enjoy what I imagine will be a more maturely developed story.

NOTE OF CAUTION: Although this story is very old-fashioned and seemingly innocent, parents and sensitive readers should be advised that there are a few passages that quite surprised me with their violence--one involving an animal killing and another a story that touches upon rape of village women. It's still a very PG-13 sort, but even so it seemed grossly out of place in this tale.
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
309 reviews1,454 followers
March 28, 2018

I really enjoyed this book! I'm not sure what it was, but there was something missing that just held me back from five stars. It read more like a fairytale than a retelling, which I am not mad about. The ending felt kind of like a Disney movie, in that it wrapped up almost a little too perfectly. I'm looking forward to reading Enna Burning!
Profile Image for Beth Given.
1,269 reviews37 followers
February 20, 2008
The Goose Girl is an adaptation of the Grimm fairy tale by the same name — which I had never heard of before reading this book. I guess if Disney hasn’t already adapted it, I’m more or less clueless when it comes to fairy tales. ;-)

That comes in handy, though, when reading a new story — I figured that Princess Anidori-Kiladra (a.k.a. Ani; a.k.a. Isi, the Goose Girl; a.k.a. the Yellow Lady … there’s a lot about disguise and identity in this story, if you can’t tell) would live happily ever after — the heroines always do in fairy tales. Still, I flew through the pages to see what would happen in the meantime. (In a non-spoiler summary, she’s not spared from sorrow, but things still work out for the best.)

Hale’s prose is terrific — poetic and lyrical, easily creating a world where it’s entirely believable that strange and almost-magical things could happen. I loved one of the major themes of the book: that Ani’s unique talents (or even Ani’s so-called “weaknesses,” for she didn’t have the talents which seemed natural to a princess) could be a boon once they were developed. It sounded a lot like a Young Women’s lesson (which probably isn’t too far off, really, as some research revealed that the author is LDS).

Great read.
Profile Image for Sanaa.
413 reviews2,552 followers
September 16, 2019
[5.0 Stars] Original Rating

[4.5 Stars] Re-Read 2016
I still absolutely adore this book, but I confess Ani/Isi really annoyed me the first 50 pages or so. For those reasons this re-read gets knocked down half a star. My original rating still stands though. This book is a favorite of mine because of how simple, magical, and heartwarming it is. Can't wait to re-read Enna Burning!
April 5, 2023
Guys this book was so GOOD 🫢 I can’t even believe it! I loved it sm. Tysm Malia, for the rec!!!

My fav thing about The Goose Girl has to be the writing tho. It was so beautiful and quirky at the same time. Perfection 😌

Plus, Ani is such a QUEEN without even trying lol. She was an awesome main character 💅🏻 I can’t wait to read the rest of the books, especially since they’re about some of the side characters whom I also loved 😍

So yeah 😆 I can’t really think of much else to say except that this books is AMAZING and you should read it!!!

Happy reading!!!

(Content warnings:
Sexual content: almost none-a few kisses and comments about ‘sharing a bed.’
Language: None that I can remember
Violence: Light/Medium-it wasn’t descriptive but there were many deaths among Ani’s friends and enemies.)
Profile Image for Amy.
2,636 reviews417 followers
March 27, 2019
2019 Review
I mean, it wasn't bad.
It was just really, really slow. Clearly, as my earlier review shows, I loved this book and I will preserve the original rating for the sake of my high school self. I still found the romance sweet and lovely (if somewhat less developed than I remembered) and the villain thoroughly evil.
For the most part, though, I just kept waiting for more to happen.
Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for this re-read, but also maybe I need to start shuffling books off my favorites shelf and onto a "former favorites" shelf. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this retelling, but perhaps not re-read it quite as often. (I won't say ever because I already know I will ignore this review in a few years and try again.)

Original Review
Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee of Kildenree tries. She tries to be a dutiful daughter to her royal politically-shrewd Mother and well meaning Father. She tries to be a good older sister to her younger siblings. And most of all, she tries to become the Crown-Princess and future Queen her country needs.
But the truth is she doesn’t love it. There is nothing to love in the backstabbing, wide-smiling courtiers. And the endless lessons send her head spinning! “Ani” only finds consolation in riding her horse, Falada, with whom she shares a special bond. As a baby, she was watched over by her aunt…a woman of a forest, who told tales of animals who talked and special gifts given to each person. She teaches the little princess to understand the birds’ language, and talk back.
But that was years ago. Ani no longer talks to the birds and her horse is the only creature she can communicate with…
Until one day her Mother announces that she is no longer to be the Crown-Princess. Alliances have been made…and Princess Anidori-Kiladra has been betrothed to the mysterious Crown-Prince of Bayern.
A horrible betrayal on the journey…and suddenly Ani is fleeing for her life, left to fend for herself in a strange country. For once she needs to stop trying and discover who she really is…
Plus of course, save her country from war, take on the rulers of her adopted country, and guard her flock of geese.
And of course, there is the sweet and cute Geric who keeps showing up…

I love this book. I really do. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many times I’ve read it. The Goose Girl is actually a fairy-tale originally written by the Brothers Grimm, and in one sense, this story doesn’t “stray far from the plot”. It just fleshes it out more. And it does a wonderful job doing it!!
Ani is an exciting, round heroine who you just love. Twists, betrayals, humor, kidnapping! It kind of has it all. But everything is wrapped up in an adorable fairy tale!!
And in the long run, I think that is why it gets only four stars, actually. Because it has a hint of a lot of interesting stuff…but is generally just sweet. And…that is about it.
Because for a fairy tale, it is amazing and perfect. But not much else. Though there are kidnappings and fight scenes and general awesomeness.
Geric is super cute <3 One of the other reviewers on here said something to the extent of “every word he utters is made in such a way to make girls swoon.” It is probably true xD He is adorable.
The writing is lyrical. If you look that up, it is defined as "having the form and musical quality of a song, and especially the character of a songlike outpouring of the poet's own thoughts and feelings, as distinguished from epic and dramatic poetry. " Which is pretty much true for this book. It is beautiful, easy reading that gently takes you into the tale and gives you a smile! because ohhhhh...it is precious.
So there you have it. Goose Girl is an awesome book. Simply adorable. It is completely worth it if you want a cute read.
Profile Image for Lucy.
475 reviews605 followers
October 30, 2007
Poor Shannon Hale. I think the most frequent comment I've heard about her as an author is, "She's LDS and like Stephenie Meyer, doesn't write LDS fiction."

I'm not sure it was a good enough reason to check out her book, Goose Girl, but I did it anyway. My sister, Jen, liked this book and that was one more reason, but a good enough one for me.

It was a nice break from some of the meatier stuff I've been reading. It's not meatless, exactly, but written as a fairy tale in the voice of a young princess so it's about as meaty as Chicken Noodle Soup.

There are some worthwhile themes throughout the book. Ambition, gifts, honesty, work. The princess, whose name was blessedly shortened to Ani for most of the book, lacks the power of persuasion that her mother, the Queen, possesses. The author calls this gift "People Speaking" and while Ani doesn't possess that particular gift, she does possess the rarer, and less esteemed "Animal Speaking" and later "Nature Speaking" gifts. She can talk to swans, as a girl, and later, while in hiding when her lady-in-waiting pulls a coup during their journey to meet her betrothed, learns to speak to the geese she keeps. Ultimately, she uses these gifts, especially her ability to talk with wind, to restore her place as Crown Princess, leaving us with the lesson that we can rely on the gifts we possess to accomplish what is necessary. I think. At least, that's what I'm taking away from it. A la....To Thine Own Self Be True without all the fancy talk.

Those elements create the fairy tale, as well as all the prince and princess stuff, but this felt surprisingly modern to me. There were times the dialogue seemed appropriate to the time of the story, but most of the time, I heard the voices of young, spoiled American teens in my head, especially when the ruthless Selia spoke.

In any light, Goose Girl is an easy read, with some sound moral backbone - as fairy tales usually have, but isn't incredible literature - as fairy tales usually aren't. But sometimes, it's nice to simply read a good story. Goose Girl is that.
Profile Image for Sesika.
60 reviews
March 4, 2008
Super fun read. Incredible imagination that was clear and easy to read. Very likeable characters that made the books that followed interesting and appealing.
Profile Image for C.B. Cook.
Author 6 books203 followers
February 2, 2016
I got this book at Half-Price Books the other day, only because I remembered to bring the list I made of authors and books I needed to look for. *applauds self* Only happens once in a blue moon. Next time I go, I will be picking up any of the Books of Bayern that I see, even if it's number four. Normally when I read series, I'll buy book one, read, book two, read, book three, read, etc. But I can't risk letting these slip away, and possibly buying book two and NOT HAVING BOOK THREE!!! Which is also why I have Cinder and Cress but not Scarlet. Terrible, terrible me. But let's move on...

I was super excited and nervous to start reading this, mostly because it sounded sooo good, and I wanted it to live up to that. I'm quite sure it did.

As usual, major potential spoilers within spoiler tags.

The Good

-The characters. Gravy, I loved Ani. And Talone. Conrad was pretty rad too. (See what I did there? :P) Pretty much everybody was appropriately loved/hated. I love how much Conrad came around in the end.

-Talking to animals. Talk about awesomeness! I loved the bird speaking stuff, but as a horse person, I really loved everything with Falada. And yes, horses care very little for the world of humans. Very, very little.

-The worldbuilding. Such. A. Gorgeous. World. I am so jealous, and I now want to move to Bayern, thank you very much. Kildenree sounds awesome too, but Bayern's even better. Also, the fact that I remember the names is also really good. ;)

-The plot. Oh, how I loved it. Heartbreak, heartache, and such a perfect ending.

-Enna. Duh, I know the title of the next book. I loved how Hale worked in Enna. Makes me even more excited for Enna Burning.

The Bad
-...not enough??? I wish there would have been more of everything. However, sequels. *wiggles eyebrows*

The Ugly
There was a ton of blood in this one. Didn't bother me too much, but... death and goriness. Also there's mention of a punishment that I can't exactly quote (and I'm too lazy to find it) that is quite, um, not fun. To say the least. Involves being dragged by horses and being in a barrel of nails. And a little more. I think that's all...

I ADORED this book. I have put it on my mental re-read-as-many-times-as-possible list, along with my BUY-SEQUELS-NOW list. And many others. If you haven't read this, go read it. And for the person/people who recommended this, THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE AMAZING. *wink*Chloe*wink*
Profile Image for Flannery.
311 reviews
April 8, 2010
At first, I was only mildly interested in what was going on in this retelling of a classic fairy tale. However, once the action got started, I really enjoyed listening. The cast was perfect--voices, ages, gender; every voice seemed correct. I think this was/is especially true in terms of the emotional aspects of the characters--I could totally hear it in their voices, which was refreshing.

In terms of the story, I really enjoyed the character of Geric. His relationship with Ani, especially when she was the goose girl, was very realistic and I liked the humorous note that Hale wrote into their conversations. Another of my favorite characters was Enna. I am excited to read more and see what happens to her after these events. Though I haven't read the blurb on the back of the second book (I think I'll probably listen to that one too, if it is available), I hope she and Finn get together.

A few things that annoyed me about the book:
1. Imagine you need to tell someone something. Something that could mean you live or die--how would you go about it when you were facing them and surrounded by people? Would you shout and scream "Please! Let me say something! Please!"? Or, perhaps, would you JUST SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY AND STOP YELLING STUPID CRAP? Yeah, I thought so too.
2. Imagine you're in the process of discovering that you can hear voices, whether they are from animals or nature. Regardless, if you heard a voice that told you you dropped something in a stream, would you just walk away? Neither would I.
3. I felt like Ani was an idiot for not running to her horse as soon as she thought something was up.
4. I didn't want the horse to die.
Profile Image for Cassie.
47 reviews23 followers
August 8, 2008
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee was born the Crown Princess of Kildenree, but her mother didn’t feel she was fit to rule and instead arranged a marriage with a neighboring kingdom, passing the title on to Ani’s brother. Ani was always a strange child, she didn’t open her eyes for the first three days after her birth, and her aunt taught her to speak with birds. It’s no wonder her mother didn’t feel that someone who could be considered a witch should sit on the throne. So off Ani goes with her Lady-in-Waiting Selia to be married to the prince of Bayern, in order to bring peace to the two neighboring kingdoms.

On her journey, Ani is betrayed by Selia and soon finds herself alone in a foreign land, with Selia’s guards hunting for her and her former Lady-in-Waiting stealing her name. Taking a job as a goose girl (a girl who cares for the king’s geese) puts a roof over her head and allows her to save up money to return home and tell her mother of the betrayal. That is, until she finds out war’s coming and she no longer has time to return home, but must instead take back her name and her heritage to protect her kingdom.

This is the first Shannon Hale book that I’ve read, and I now understand why everyone’s been singing her praises. The story was well-crafted and captivating, and I immediately wanted to go out and buy the next two books that take place in this world. Happily, she’s the not the kind of author who feels the need to rehash a finished story, and the other two books are about secondary characters from The Goose Girl, and I look forward to reading them.

Here’s another fine book with a strong heroine who didn’t exactly ask for her position, but rose to it none the less. Ani as the Crown Princess never really felt like she could fulfill that role—she simply thought she would have to. When she loses her role as the next ruler of Kildenree, she finds herself unsure of who or what she will become next. Even though she’s betrothed to a prince, she knows she’ll never be the ruler, just the wife of one. Still, she doesn’t really think about all of this until she finds herself alone in the woods without her name or royal identity. She redefines herself, becoming a goose girl and finally stepping up and becoming a princess in action, not just in title.

The magic in this book is well worth mentioning. Instead of traditional “wave a magic wand” or have a fairy godmother appear magic, Hale crafts a world of people-speaking, animal-speaking, and nature-speaking. These rare magics allow Queens to command attention and for Ani to learn to talk to the wind. It’s great to see such unique magic woven into an already excellent story. The animal talking was also well crafted; Hale stayed true to the way animals would talk, not letting Ani have long conversations with them, but more getting ideas and things like “danger” or “good grazing land” across. The geese were especially well-written, as anyone who’s been around geese knows that they’re both truly evil and incredibly loyal animals. A goose would make a good attack animal for an evil overlord, now that I think about it.

Read the rest of my review at Bookwyrm Chrysalis :: YA Fantasy Book Reviews
Profile Image for Autumn Johnston.
77 reviews3 followers
April 23, 2017
This was........THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!Great plot kept me on the edge of my seat 💺 No swearing,sex,and a little violence but no gore just mentioned. Love it 😍 READ IT NOW IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Ava (✿◕‿◕✿).
66 reviews36 followers
March 28, 2023
ahhhhhhhh this was so good!!!
It was all my fav things. Fantasy, romance, super-duper clean content, quirky writing, and characters to die for 🤧💞
also, I thought it was a The Ugly Duckling retelling. whoopsies lol. Now I have to read the og Goose Girl!
I need the next oneeee <3

and yes this is my full review bahahaha 👋🥰

age recc: 11+
content: 2/5 (some violence)
Profile Image for Susan.
2,222 reviews408 followers
March 8, 2018
I really liked this fairytale retelling. We have a princess in dire need, we have a handsome prince, an evil lady-in-waiting who wants to be princess, and we have some magic.

This had such a magical feel to it, which is why I love fairytales. It was also pretty grueling at times (like in real fairytales, where I’m shocked when reading to my 4 year old that so many people are maimed, beaten, hanged, etc.). But despite all the awful things happening to Ani, she remained quite upbeat and was still willing to fight.

I also really loved the ending. It seems nothing can beat a true hard-won HEA fairytale style with a nice dramatic showdown.

Profile Image for Alexandra Bracken.
Author 36 books24.7k followers
August 6, 2009
This book is impossibly sweet and wonderful. I'm only sorry it took me so long to read it!
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