Forest Born by Shannon Hale
Publication Date/Version: September 2009/Hardcover
Age Group: Young Adult
Growing up in the Forest, Rin always turned to the trees when she needed peace or reassurance, even direction, until the day they seem to reject her. Rin is sure something is wrong with her, something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest, keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all.
When her brother Razo returns to the city after a visit home, Rin accompanies him to the palace in hopes of finding a new sense of herself. But a mysterious threat haunts Bayern, and Rin joins the magical girls she thinks of as the Fire Sisters - Isi, Enna, and Dasha - as they venture into the woods towards the kingdom of Kel...where someone wants them all dead.
In this fourth tale in the Books of Bayern series, Newberry Honor-winning author Shannon Hale once again proves herself an irresistible storyteller, bringing readers back to a world rich with friendships, unexpected plot twists, and a little dose of magic.
I received this book from a contest at BookDivas. On the 24th, I'm supposed to participate in a discussion with Shannon herself. Sounds fun.
When I first started this book, I thought I wasn't going to be able to make it through. The writing style seemed choppy, but it grew on me. This book wasn't a slow read at all, but it seemed to take me forever. It was probably because school's starting up and all that. Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. Although it's part of a series, each book can be read as a stand alone, which I really enjoy. Based on Forest Born, I plan on reading the other Books of Bayern.
Forest Born was magical. The inside jacket says "a little dose of magic" but seriously, the entire book pretty much revolves around magic and its consequences. The form of magic in this book was so unique and creative that I was yearning to know more. The magic described was so interesting and it seemed to be incredibly useful. I wish I had some of the powers described, and I know most readers will fall in love with the new style as well. The story progressed quickly; the pace was just right. There was a ton of action, a hint of romance, and lots of family values.
The characters in Forest Born were amazing. You could connect with each and every one of them. The majority seemed like such good, honest people that you would love to know in real life. Connecting with them was easy, and there was such a wide variety of personalities that I believe most people will be able to see a bit of themselves in at least one character. I personally connected with Enna.
Overall: Forest Born featured captivating magic, a bit of adorable romance, and plenty of good messages about family.
My Advice: Pick up a copy at the library. The writing style may not be for everyone, and hardcovers aren't exactly cheap.
Cover: I love the cover! The script is great and the image as a whole is gorgeous. I don't know if the girl on the cover is an actual photo or a drawing, but either way, she's beautiful. If it really is a drawing I commend the artist, because she looks incredibly life like. The cover represents the story very well, and the trees and the castle tie in nicely.