The Goose Girl, the first book in the series The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale is a modern retelling of the Grimms Fairy tale of the same name. It is centered around Princess Anidori of Kildenree, and chronicles her journey to Bayern and the discovery of her gift of wind-speaking.
For information on the conception see the Shannon Hale wiki's article.
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue. She spent the early years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the birds. Then, a colt was born with a word of his tongue -his name, Falada- and when Ani spoke it, she found the key to his language, too. But as Ani's gift grew, so did others' mistrust of it, and soon her mother felt she had no choice but to sent her away to be queen of a foreign land...
- Anidori: Born the Crown Princess of Kildenree, she is sent to Bayern to marry their prince, but is forced to go into hiding as a goose girl known as Isi when her lady-in-waiting, Selia, instigates a murderous mutiny against her.
- Selia: Ani's lady-in-waiting and best (and only, before Enna) friend. She's a skilled people-speaker and uses her talents to spark a mutiny against Ani.
- Ungolad: A disreputable member of Ani's guard and a man deeply devoted to Selia. He is her right-hand man when they mutiny against the princess.
- Talone: The loyal captain of the guards who accompany Ani to Bayern. One of the first to be downed by Selia and her allies during the Forest massacre.
- Geric: Though he is Crown Prince of Bayern, Geric initially hides his identity and pretends to be merely a prince's guard when he first meets Ani, who is herself hiding as a simple goose girl named Isi.
- Gilsa: Finn's caring but brusque mother. She makes wool pullovers to sell during marketweek and takes care of Ani when she is lost and injured.
- Finn: A kind, quiet Forest boy, he sells his mother's wool pullovers on marketday and helps Ani on her quest.
- Enna: A Forest girl who tends the king's chickens, she soon becomes one of Ani's best friends and the only one Ani trusts enough to reveal her true identity to.
- Razo: A Forest boy who eventually becomes one of Ani's best friends. He tends sheep.
- Conrad: The goose boy, initially jealous of Ani and her natural talent with the geese.
Awards and Honors
- An ALA Teens' Top Ten
- 2003 Josette Frank Award for fiction
- One of the New York City Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
- A Texas Lone Star Book
- 2003 Utah Children’s Book Award
- 2003 Utah Speculative Fiction Award
- Selected for the 2005-2006 Tennessee Book Award Master Reading List
- Finalist for the Mythopoeic Award
- A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003: My Favorite Book of the Year
- Shortlisted for Ottakars Love of Reading Campaign
- 2004 Humpty Dumpty Chapter Book Award given by the Mid-South Independent Booksellers Association
- A 2005 Beehive Award finalist
- A 2006 Great Lakes Great Books finalist
- An ALA 2009 Popular Paperback
- A 2010-2011 Oregon Battle of the Books selection
Read The Goose Girl online here: