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River Secrets

(The Books of Bayern #3)

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  32,978 ratings  ·  2,454 reviews
Razo has no idea why he was chosen to be a soldier. He can barely swing a sword, and his brothers are forever wrestling him to the ground. Razo is sure it's out of pity that his captain asks him to join an elite mission--escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern's great enemy.

But when the Bayern arrive in the strange southern country, Razo discovers the first dead body. H
...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  32,978 ratings  ·  2,454 reviews


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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
4.5*
I really love this series, but this was my least favourite. I found it to be more predictable and a bit slower, especially following the amazingness that was "Enna Burning." But, I love Razo and he was a pleasure to follow!
Erin
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.)
Katie Tatton
May 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Cara
Jan 14, 2009 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
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Tamora Pierce
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Ella Grace
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazing-worlds
I really love this series. It's not too terribly heavy so it's a great fantasy to jump into after a long day with just the right amount of politics, romance, and adventure.

Surprisingly, I like that it switches to a completely different narrator each book (tbh it reminds me of the Lunar Chronicles) and I love seeing how the different plot lines and characters mesh together to create this rich world and awesome cast of characters. I really liked Razo because of how friendly, smart, and innocent h
...more
Drewthereader20
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a happy ending! I loved this book series!
Kirsti
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I enjoyed this one much more than the previous book, which wasn't bad either. This one felt more wholesome I suppose, and I really enjoyed reading about Razo and watching him grow up and mature. He gets a really good, interesting story and a cute romance too. Enna and Finn are there as background characters, although we see little of Geric and Isi. I wonder who's story we get to see next?

A really awesome YA series. Released recently with new covers, so easy enough to find to buy. Five stars!
Grace Morris
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Grace by: Angela (Coffee&Chapters)
4.5 Stars. =D

If The Goose Girl took on a fairytale vibe and Enna Burning a dark tone, then River Secrets takes a happy, light, mysterious tone.

So I'll quickly get into why I took a 0.5 stars from my rating.

Basically, the previous two books had the characters learn how to speak the languages of different elements. Both of them had moments of adventure, and well, Enna Burning had a lot going on.

I didn't expect things to pick up right away in this book, BUT, when I got around page 100+ and the ma
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Ash
Jan 10, 2009 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
...more
LeiAnn
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Sheri
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Anne Osterlund
Aug 12, 2011 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
...more
Annie
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I do recall this being the weakest of the Bayern books, and I agree with my younger self. Mostly because Dasha is the least impressive of the nature-speakers, and Razo is pretty annoying.

Plus, this was set up almost like a detective story (Razo, Enna, etc. go to Tira, Bayern's neighboring country, on some diplomacy mission, and while they're there, some people are burned alive and Razo has to figure out who it is, or a Tira-Bayern war will break out for the second time in two books), which didn
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Cindee
1 really loved this book in my opinion it was better than the 2nd book I really enjoyed reading it so very much. I really liked the characters especially Razo he was different from many other male leads in a book that I have read I really liked that for a change the mc was the underdog and not the best at everything. I really liked his romance with Dasha it was well paced and I really liked all of their interactions that made a really cute couple. I really liked the plot of this book it started ...more
Gyuri
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Well, I think this was lovely.

I read Enna Burning twice but never really enjoyed it much. It felt too bleak after the wonderful Goose Girl. Shannon Hale admits that Enna was a really difficult book for her to write and that, I believe, shows in the novel. River Secrets, however (Razo being Hale's favorite character), was a fun experience for her, and yet again, it shows! Super enjoyable from beginning to end, this book is a sweet fairy-tale mystery with a nice balance of adventure, politics and
...more
Josie
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Addy S.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED Razo. He’s crazy, and his being short and untalented with the sword won him a title as a spy.

I loved the book. The romance wasn’t bad, and I only caught one minor part that Shannon Hale didn’t have to include to make the story enjoyable.

Great job!! Sadly, I only have one more to go.😊
Sabrina
Feb 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very slow and plodding unlike the first two in the series and I almost didn't make it through the characters were so annoying this time around. The plot was a good idea and the setting great but the execution of the story was slow and flimsy with little character growth and cringe-worthy dialogue. It's like the author had a deadline and waited till the last minute to write this story, and despite her saying it was about her favorite character it seemed like she didn't really care th ...more
Shannon
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was just fun. It was truly enjoyable in almost every way.

The main character, Razo, is likable and fun, but realistically flawed. I loved how his alertness to his surroundings was paired with a realistic (and often hilarious) teenage boy obtuseness. I howled at one line where he congratulates himself on his quick understanding of what a girl wants when that girl has been obviously hinting that way for at least three lines of dialogue. I loved how Hale acknowledged his teenage-boy-ness (with
...more
Jessica
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book! I did enjoy The Goose Girl and Enna Burning a little more because the plots were more intriguing, but there are plenty of reasons to love River Secrets, too.

First of all: Razo. If you don't find him incredibly endearing then we need to have a talk. This whole book revolves around him gaining more confidence in himself. I love his brotherly relationship with Enna, and how Talon kind of mentors and believes in him. You can't help but see Razo as your own little brother, and feel so pro
...more
Mary
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Razo is the best! He is definitely my favorite character so far! His narrative is super funny and and yet he can still be serious and work as a spy.

There was quite a bit of suggestive dialogue and content but I still really loved this book!
Courtney
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite of the Books of Bayern so far because I LOVE RAZO. It doesn't get better than him. He's my absolute favorite character in this series.
Kim Ivins
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my 2nd favorite of the series after goose girl.
Coralie
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this is the third book in Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern series. Personally, although I did very much enjoy the book--and even more so the second time around--it just isn't as good as The Goose Girl or Enna Burning. But that could just be because I adore the first two books. Either way, it's still an excellent read and a lovely addition to the series.

This book focuses on Razo, a comical and humble character. He's forest born, but adapts pretty well no matter where you stick him. He's loy
...more
Kogiopsis
Apr 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Joy
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Camzcam
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Caroline
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
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Which characcter???? 6 34 Mar 18, 2015 05:47PM  

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11,530 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 Reveng ...more

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.” 123 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.”
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