The Books of Bayern
is a young adult fantasy series written by Shannon Hale
.The Goose Girl
, is the first volume in the series and is based on the Grimm's Tale original
. The book is told through the perspective of the Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee of Kildenree
, or better known as Ani/Isi to her friends. The story starts with Princess Anidori traveling from her home kingdom to the kingdom of Bayern to marry the prince and hopefully bring peace to their two nations. Halfway there, she is betrayed by her company as they attempt to murder her and replace her with her lady in waiting
. Ani escapes, but then must make her way to Bayern alone. Fearful of Selia and her guards who still want her dead, Ani disguises herself as a city worker
who tends to the geese as she plots a way to convince the king of her true identity. Three sequels feature the friends Ani meets among the city workers.
Volumes in the series:
- The Goose Girl (2003)
- Enna Burning (2004)
- River Secrets (2006)
- Forest Born (2009)
- Action Girl: Enna
- Apron Matron: Razo and Rinna's mother, the matriarch of a large and unruly family. Five of her seven children are bigger than she is, but guess who's unquestionably in charge?
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Razo.
- Badass Normal: Finn, and arguably Razo with his slinging skills
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Isi the blonde, Enna the brunette, and Dasha the redhead.
- Blow You Away: Ani/Isi
- Break the Cutie: Ani hasn't been able to catch a break since she was a little kid.
- Bride and Switch: Selia's plan in Goose Girl.
- Charm Person: See below.
- Compelling Voice: all people-speakers, including Selia, Sileph, and Rinna
- Cool Horse and Sapient Steed: Falada
- Dead Guy on Display: Falada in The Goose Girl
- Eats Babies: Subverted in River Secrets coming from both Tira and Bayern.
- Fairy Tale: The Goose Girl is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Falada, and the suggestion of what happens to Selia in the end of The Goose Girl.
- Until we find out in Forest Born that Selia use people-speaking to escape death and a pig was put in her place.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Bayern for Germany.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Isi as Sanguine, Enna as Choleric, Dasha as Phlegmatic, and Rinna as Melancholic.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the first three books, we have heroines who learn to control air,water, and fire, respectively. And then we have Rin, who can talk to trees. Lame, right? Until the climax, when she figures out that trees don't perceive time, and uses it to dodge arrows. She turned herself into freakin' Neo with the power of tree-talking.
- Hijacked by Ganon: In the fourth book, Selia shows up again after having supposedly been executed at the end of the first book...and as if that wasn't enough, the same character claims to have been indirectly responsible for the events of books 2 and 3 as well.
- I Know What You Fear: The series includes several characters, mostly antagonists, who are capable of knowing exactly what one fears (mainly things like public humiliation or loss of control, which are the things behind fears like acrophobia or arachnophobia) and also what a person wants, desires, or intends. Their power also gives them the ability to know precisely what to say in order to get what they want. Yeah. It's really no wonder they're mostly Bad Guys.
- Inter Species Friendship: Falada and Ani.
- Making a Splash: Dasha
- Meaningful Name: Enna, who in later books is a fire speaker — the name "Enya" is gaelic for Little Fire or Flame, while "Ena" is Gaelic for "bright and shining".
- Parental Abandonment: Ani
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Ani and Geric in The Goose Girl
- Playing with Fire: Enna
- Prince and Pauper: Ani and Selia
- Princess Classic: Ani, but in a good way.
- Real Name as an Alias: Ani's full name is Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee. When she goes into hiding, she calls herself Isi. She's called Isi in all subsequent books, since all the other protagonists know her by that name.
- Survivor Guilt: Ani struggles with this after the murders of the men who were loyal to her. Also Talone to some extent, when he thinks Ani is dead.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: In the series, people born with various gifts can gain Elemental Powers by learning the languages of the elements. Those who learn the "languages" of animals, trees, and people can control those things too. Animal-speaking is really only used in the first book, The Goose Girl, with Ani being able to talk to birds and her horse.
- Talking to the Dead: Ani to Falada in The Goose Girl
- The Dragon: Ungolad
- The Power of Friendship: Not really of the magical variety, but friendship and teamwork are always important themes.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Ani and Geric in The Goose Girl
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Ani when arriving in Bayern.