I finally got to Forest Born, Book #4 in the Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale.
Forest Born is about Razo’s sister, Rin. The youngest in a large family, she is Ma’s favourite and Razo’s playmate. Life starts to change when Razo leaves for the city. Rin discovers a secret about herself and flees to the forest for comfort. She develops a special bond with the trees, but something happens age 15 and bond appears to be shattered. Feeling lost and out-of-touch with herself, Rin decides to take up Razo and Dasha’s offer to accompany them to the city. She becomes a lady’s maid for Isi, and is drawn into the fight against the latest and perhaps most dangerous threat to the Kingdom. Rin must find herself and find peace with herself – the good and the bad – in order to help save the Prince, her Queen, and her beloved Brother.
As is a theme in the rest of the series, this book is really a journey of self-discovery. I found Rin’s inner conflict to be much more compelling and understandable than say, Enna’s. Rin is a quiet, unassuming person, afraid of her own power and wrapped in layers of guilt. She has a very black-and-white view to the world (and of herself) and learns to see a little more nuance throughout. I love the balance and self-acceptance that she ultimately grasps. I also love how it’s the kick-ass “Fire Sisters” (or so Rin calls Isi, Enna, and Dasha) that ultimately “get the job done” (i.e. save the kingdom). I also LOVE that this book wraps up several loose ends from the other books (which I admittedly didn’t really see as loose ends until they were all tied up – it just seemed like extraordinary bad luck lol).
I think this series is well-worth reading and Forest Born is a very nice, tidy, and enjoyable conclusion! 4 / 5!