By: Shannon HaleEnna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
I absolutely loved The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, but I was sort of hesitant to read Enna Burning because it's been such a long time since I read The Goose Girl. It was actually a long time after reading it that I even learned it was a series with companion novels. I thought I wouldn't remember much and I wouldn't appreciate entering the world again, but I was so very wrong. I loved this book. I absolutely loved it.
Enna: I liked her. I think she was a really awesome character and pretty dang sassy and stuff. I lost the love for her a bit in the middle. I know her losing her will was supposed to take a long time, but the pacing didn't make it seem like that. But apart from that, I really did like her character. I really loved her friendship with Isi and how that was a bigger focus in the book than her relationship with Finn. It was so beautiful the way Shannon Hale described the burning from the inside out, the use of language was spot on to describe what was happening inside of Enna.
and she had some really fierce lines. So I'm going to quote a couple here,
"Did you love me most when I was drugged and helpless, Sileph? Did you love me when I was so baffled by the king's-tongue that I actually thought you were a man? You loved a shell, then."
"You're a pickled plum, aren't you, Captain? I'll bet your nursemaid fell in love with you as soon as you could talk. I'll bet your da beat you out of jealousy over your ma. I'll bet this little persuasion gift of yours hasn't all been a festival, has it? But it worked on me, I'll admit. I'd've followed you to Ingridan and borne your children and bade my heart beat only in time with yours. But now I just feel sorry for you, Sileph, and I don't want to burn you, so please go away. Now."
Isi: I was so happy to see her again! At first I thought she wasn't going to be one of the main characters in the book, but then she was. I was also really glad to see Isi and Geric together and where they've come since the end of The Goose Girl.
Finn: What a cutie! He was so shy around Enna, then when he was kind of angry but still protective. He's so freakin' adorable. And him and Enna had some pretty hilarious moments. I laughed out loud at this one,
"You would," said Enna. "You're amazing. Here's the extent of my gift of languages: Over there!"
"Over there," Finn shouted without looking up..."
and they had some freakin' adorable moments, like,
"Finn always called it Enna's Stream. He tended to refer to most anything as belonging to her-Enna's Meadow, Enna's Mountain. When he referred to Yasid as Enna's Kingdom, she said, "Isn't that your heart?"
Finn smiled and kissed her hand. Isi rolled her eyes."
and this one,
"Hello there, Finn. Well done."
"Hello, Razo. Enna loves me, did you hear?"
Razo: Speaking of adorable, I'm more than a little excited that the next book is about Razo's story. I'm prepared for a couple practical jokes and plenty of sarcasm.
Sileph: I hate him so much! Which is just a testament to how great of a writer Hale is. It takes a lot to create a genuinely misleading character. I always knew that he was a horrible person, but I still had a hard time knowing what exactly wasn't real to him and what wasn't. I may or may not have laughed out loud at how his whole story line ended.
I really liked the plot of this book. It moved along rather quickly and it never went exactly where I expected it to. Most books with a war in it begin and end with the war, but I liked that this book showed the after as well as the before. It felt like an organic story rather than a contrived attempt for action.
I mentioned earlier that I had a bit of a problem with the pacing. Some of the time it felt jerky and weird. I wouldn't know that we had jumped a couple weeks until partway through a paragraph and then I'd have to re-read that section to lessen the confusion. Then sometimes pages would cover just a couple moments.
"I'm a terrible prince. I should put my kingdom first and everything else second, but you're first. I want you by my side every second, but I know I would crumble if I lost you."
"Her thoughts hunted after the words she had read, sought to catch them, cut them open, and understand."
"It was strange and beautiful how destruction and life were bound together in fire, and she marveled that she had never thought of it before...She remembered that people cry for beauty and pain, and seeing both together was almost unbearable."
"They laughed much harder than the memory was funny because it felt good to laugh."
"He stood before her looking as he ever had, but what she had seen when she loved him had faded, and in its place she glimpsed a desperate, proud, ruthless man."