By Shannon Hale
In the land West of the Rosewood sea, many people are born with the first word of a language on their tongue. Some can speak the language of the birds of the air. Others can call to the wind, fire, and water, taming and using the forces of nature. Others have the power of controlling and convincing the people around them.
Ani’s Aunt had taught her the language of the swans when she was very small. Since then, Ani has loved to speak with the birds. However, her mother did her best to keep her royal daughter away from them. Ani was the Crown Princess of Kildenree destined to be a ruler. But her strange love for animals and odd mannerisms made people suspicious of her. Ani’s mother did not believe that her daughter could handle the weight of the crown. So she arranged for her daughter to marry a prince in the neighboring country of Bayern. Ani was crushed, but go she would, to Bayern.
However, Ani’s troubles were not over. A wicked plan of betrayal, contrived by her closest friend, is discovered, too late. Ani finds herself alone, abandon in the land of Bayern. Can she take her future back? Can she win the hearts of the workers in the palace? Can she find the courage to do something for herself?
The Bayern Series is a charming, magical adventure. Though the story is intertwined with the magic of the languages, the magic is not portrayed in an evil way. Rather, it is shown as a gift that can be developed and used for good or evil. The Goose Girl is filled with emotion, the courage to stand up for yourself, and the finding of true friendship.