The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale review

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale reviewThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Series: The Books Of Bayern #1
Also by this author: You Were Here, Kind of a Big Deal
Published by A&C Black on May 3rd 2010
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

'Hale's writing is beautiful, with a vivid eye for detail' Daily Telegraph Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kilindree, 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. Shannon Hale has drawn on her incredible gift for storytelling to create a powerful and magical grown-up fairytale.

While reading The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, I felt I was in the middle of a fairy tale. I should admit right now, I am a very big fan of re-told fairy tales, doesn’t matter if it’s the 100th re-telling of Cinderella or an off-beat tale, like the twelve dancing princesses. If it’s a re-told fairy tale, chances are pretty huge that I am going to read it.

Shannon Hale’s writing style leant perfectly to the retelling of a fairy tale. It was simple, but not to the point of being condescending. I liked that she didn’t try to put in a bunch of awkward bells and whistles, but just let the story come naturally. Honestly, I think the simplicity sucked me in. After reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, I needed something with less nuance (wouldn’t want my brain to explode), this was the perfect book for that.

In case you can’t tell, I really loved The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. I have to say, I cared so much about the main character, Ani, that I wound up becoming very enraged at certain parts. Let’s just say I don’t like when certain characters don’t get their just desserts. I’m not about to give away spoilers, but I couldn’t stop turning the pages because I wanted justice to be done. I mean, I guess I knew what was going to happen, since I had read the spoil-tastic amazon review, but I sort of forgot all of that and let myself be transported to Bayern. Personally, I find that to be a great standard to judge a book by. If I can get so into a book that I forget it’s a hot day in hell, NY, then to me, that is a fantastic book.

I would recommend Grey Goose if this was an adult book, but it’s not. I think a glass of apple juice would be perfect for reading this book, since apple-juice makes me think of story hour at the library and in elementary school, where the teacher or librarian would read a book to you and then afterward there was apple juice and cookies. I think part of the reason I will treasure The Goose Girl is that it hearkens back to story hour days, it brings me to a simpler time when I didn’t have bills or anything to worry about and could just lose myself in a story.

Other reviews of The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale:

Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog – “This book? The Goose Girl? Is magnificent.”

Reading For Sanity – “Ani’s tale is captivating”

Liberating Libris – “It’s not often that I find myself squeeing over the love interest in a YA novel, but this was an exception.“

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. You felt like you were in the middle of a fairy tale because you were. The Goose Girl (the orig version) was always one of my favorites. It was fairly crazy. And sad. I don't want to give spoilers to anyone who reads this, but I was wondering how she was going to deal with the horse thing, and the whole time I was kind of in dread…

  2. I can't wait to read this. Just finished Forest Born the fourth of the Books of Bayern because I got it due to a contest and I loved it though now I know how things end up and some of the details of the story which I would have preferred not to but oh well I'm still going to read this as soon as I can. I'm really excited to read Enna Burning. Great review!

  3. I am seeing Shannon Hale everywhere on the blogosphere…gotta read!

  4. Jessica (BookLover) says

    I have this on my wishlist!

    I'm a new follower and I must say that I love how you offer drink recommendations with your book reviews. 🙂

    By the way, I put you on my blog list.

  5. Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write says

    I agree that this was a lovely book!

  6. upsidedownduck says

    I am a huge fan of re-told fairy tales, so I'm definitely putting this one on my list! Thanks!


  7. This is one of my VERY favorite book OF ALL TIME!!! LOVE SHANNON HALE! She did a great job with re-telling this tale. Huge fan of the books of bayern!!

  8. Laura Hartness says

    I know it's been a while since you've had a comment on this review, but I just had to stop by and read it. I really enjoyed Shannon Hale's Austenland, and I too am a sucker for all things fairy tale. This review has piqued my interest in Hale's work one again. I'll have to go check this one out!

    Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog today, too!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

  9. I was going through your archives today, and saw The Goose Girl. I really love this book, too. But I wanted to recommend the audiobook version of this book, from Full Cast Audio. It is amazing! And I can see that you listen to audiobooks. If you ever feel the need to re-read The Goose Girl, look into the audiobook version.

  10. So glad you loved this one, April! It’s one of my favorite fairy tale retellings and it was my first Shannon Hale novel. I quickly devoured the rest of her books after this. I think she’s an awesome author – I discovered MWT’s books as well as Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith through her blog.

    PS: Grey Goose is my favorite vodka. I don’t get to drink it that often though .


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