I just finished the Sequel to Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – Enna Burning. It was a delightful spin off of the first story, with the perfect ending. I don’t think it’s based on any fairy tale, but it deals with the same type of magic as in the Goose Girl.
In Enna Burning, the story (obviously) follows Enna (who was one of the Princess Isi’s friend’s from the first book). Enna has returned to her forest home to care for a sick mother. After her mother passes away, Enna remains in the forest, keeping house for her brother, Leifer. One day, Leifer unearths an ancient velum scroll in the forest, which he jealously guards from Enna. Suddenly, Leifer is able to wield fire. He becomes rash and impulsive and unlike himself. Enna wants him to share the knowledge … and eventually she ends up with the scroll and is then able to burn.
This ability proves a constant struggle, as Enna must balance promises she makes with her desire to burn. There is also the threat of the Tiran invasion, and Enna wishes to help her kingdom. She begins to take risks and is kidnapped by the enemy. Enna must find a way out – and a way to remain herself.
I also like Enna as a strong character. I was surprised to like her actually, in a sense, since I was uncomfortable with her sort of addiction to burning/fire. I could understand her compulsion and her inner battle. I admired her for holding strong for so long.
One aspect of the book I wasn’t sure about was her relationship with a certain Tiran Captain. I got a strong sense of stockholm syndrome about that, and I was pretty uncomfortable with it, especially as I was rooting for another character. If I had read the book synopsis I might have suspected how things were going to turn out, but I just plunged headlong into this book without reading up on it first.
I appreciated that Enna didn’t take the easy way out, and that in the end, Isi fought for their friendship and Finn remained Finn.
It was a well-written tale about a girl finding herself in the midst of war – and a reminder that sometimes you need to trust your friends and stay true to yourself.
My rating = 4 / 5.