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Enna Burning (Books of Bayern series)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Enna Burning (Books of Bayern series).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Shannon Hale(Author),Cynthia Bishop(Narrator)

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Book by Hale, Shannon

Book by Hale, Shannon

4.5 (12581)
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Review Text

  • By Jillian on February 25, 2015

    **mild spoilers**This book is so absurd, I don't even know where to begin. Until reading this book, I had no idea a book could be so bizarre and so tedious at the same time.Overall, this book felt forced and disingenuous. Near the middle, I began to disbelieve that Hale herself even wrote it because it is so messy and completely lacked the depth of her other novels.By 3/4 of the way through, I gave up and read a summary online to spare myself. The last straw was Enna mooning over how she must be "falling in love with" Sileph while she has a knife to his neck while simultaneously thinking that she finally has what she wants in making a difference in the war (which didn't even make sense to me, given the circumstances under which she felt she was contributing). Then, all that is quickly followed up by the fact that she didn't think to maybe ask someone to check if there were any people in the house that Sileph told her to destroy. My first thought when he told her to do that was, "I'd ask first to make sure there are no people inside." And, yep. There you go. She kills someone.What "plot" is there is trite, overdone, and completely overshadowed by the incessant, nauseating references to how intoxicating, drug-like, uncontrollable, bad (but seemingly in a good way!), and irresistible fire is. Eventually, the descriptions veer into sexual innuendo territory, which I was able to not guffaw at until she met Sileph, and then I just began to laugh out loud whenever he talked about it. For example: "I brought you here, Enna, so you could burn. I saw in your face the release and pleasure it gives you. Why don't you just surrender?" Are you kidding me? Eventually, "fire" became a metaphor for "sex" and the "painful-yet-pleasurable release of her fire" became a metaphor for "orgasm." Enna is basically reduced to a sex-starved, drug-addicted teenager on the verge of womanhood being seduced, manipulated, and used by a patronizing older man (because, of course, there has to be a conflict with her love interest in Fin, and what better and more convenient way to do it than Stockholm syndrome?).At one point, I actually agreed with Sileph that Enna should just give in to being "bad" and join Tira because her constant failings due to the intoxication of the fire became so--yep, you guessed it--tedious. The whole book would've been more believable that way, and I think she would make a much better antagonist than a failed protagonist. Her empty promises to herself and others, the number of times she betrays (and even hurts) her friends, her desire to actually kill people outright, her strained attempts at trying to convince herself that she what she wants is to help, it all fails and does not make me feel empathy for her, but annoyance at her changeable, fickle nature--I know that is supposed to be the fire's doing and we're supposed to blame that, but mostly it just makes you think Enna is not very smart, has no integrity, and can't be counted on. She knew better than to get mixed up in the fire to begin with and did it, anyway, even after watching her own brother burn himself to death.Even Isi's inability to control the wind in this book became tiresome. What I'd really like is a book that shows these children trying to find masters who can help them control what they're doing, like the people that Enna mentions a few times in the beginning (I can't remember the name of the people, unfortunately), instead of destroying everything around them. That's what I thought this book was going to be about--she and Isi seeking help from the masters.It doesn't matter to me if, at the end, Enna supposedly redeems herself because her journey to get to that point was so painful and disingenuous. I don't even know what the point of this book was, aside from someone told Hale (or a ghost-writer for Hale) that there has to be a four-part series so that every element is covered, and she couldn't figure out what to do with the fire bit so it resulted in this travesty of a book.A real disappointment after the first book in this series, which I thought was pretty good and gave promise to the others in the series. I don't even know when I'll recover enough to try the third book, if at all.

  • By vorpalblade on January 3, 2018

    While "The Books of Bayern" are interlocking books, at least the first two are not a series in the traditional sense, and you can quite easily pick up this book without reading the prior entry, The Goose Girl.Enna has always been attracted to fire, and when her brother learns the secret of drawing energy to himself and converting it to fire, Enna is sure that if she learned as well, she would do a better job of it. As her country prepares for war with the kingdom of Tira, she wants to help the cause, but finds that her powers may be more than she bargained for.Even more than Isi in The Goose Girl, Enna is an independent woman who knows how to take care of herself. So, this series seems to be a great read for younger girls looking for a great girl lead. I'd say it's appropriate for age ten and up, whereas the previous novel, being less dark, would probably be good for younger readers.Hale does a wonderful job of world-building, with the forest Kingdom of Bayern at the center, as they learn to treat those who live in their forests as part of their country and deserving of respect. Because of the war and subsequent events, Enna sees quite a bit of the world and Hale describes it all in beautiful detail. She also does a great job of showing Enna's inner struggle with her powers. We are so caught up in Enna's world, that it is not until Enna realizes that she has been blind to others sufferings that we realize the same. The power of friendship is again a main theme, both Enna's friendship with Isi and with Finn and Razzo.A star off because it is emphasized early on how dangerous the power of the fire can be, and Hale keeps hitting that note again and again, until it's a little too much.

  • By Angela Thompson on September 14, 2012

    I read and loved Hale's Books of Bayern each as they came out. They are so good. I remember passing by the original hardcover of The Goose Girl in the bookstore and doing a double take, halting in my tracks over that cover. That unbelievably gorgeous Alison Jay cover. It was the perfect face for that story and I took it home with me that day, cradled gently in my hands. I was unfamiliar with the Goose Girl fairy tale, and it was a delight to discover it as well as Hale's unique writing. I could not wait to see what she would write next. Little did I know her sophomore novel would turn out to surpass its predecessor (at least for me) and give me a heroine who would take up residence in my mind and heart for many long years to come.Enna has gone back home. After the escapades of the year before and the marriage of her best friend Isi to the prince, Enna is ready for a measure of normalcy. And she intends to find it among the familiar trees and hollows of home. But fate seems to have a different story in mind for the chicken girl. Just as neighboring Tira flexes its muscles, intent on war with her homeland of Bayern, Enna stumbles upon a frightening ability. Fire laps at her fingertips. With the flick of her wrist she can set whole cottages ablaze. With every good intention in her heart, Enna sets out to do her part in the war effort, spying on Tiran enemy camps and using her new-found power to burn to help her people. She is joined by her old friends Finn and Razo as all three take on new (sometimes uncomfortable) roles in the name of defending their homes. But fire is insatiable. And soon Enna can no longer keep it contained within her own fragile frame. The battle turns inward as the once carefree girl becomes a conduit of flames. And when she is captured by a charismatic captain in the Tiran army, the line between right and wrong blurs amid the swirling smoke and haze.Everyone loved The Goose Girl. And so did I. How can you not love Isi--the princess who becomes a goose girl and learns how to fight and save her own life? That said, much like Finn, I was even more captivated by Isi's best friend Enna. So naturally ENNA BURNING became my favorite of the two books. I mean, the title alone . . . Upon subsequent rereadings, I have to say The Goose Girl improved the second time around (and I truly did love it the first time, truly). But ENNA BURNING, on the other hand, was just as I remembered it. Strong and painful, fiery and deep. Like Enna herself. Razo describes her best,"She hated it when her hair touched her neck. She also hated having dry fingertips, music without drums, and potatoes without salt."For some reason, I just love that description. It tells me everything I need to know, from the voice of a friend who goes way back. I can see, taste, and feel Enna through Razo's words. And she is truly a heroine made for me. She burns. Literally. Enna can set whole armies on fire. And does. Several times. Not perfect and not a princess, she's just a girl. A girl who loves to laugh and fights for her country. And this girl, this girl I would be friends with, goes through a lot of pain before coming to terms with the consequences of burning. But when she does, she comes to terms with a vengeance. And, when she is literally on the brink of losing control and burning herself up, Enna proves her mettle by forcing herself to harness the fire in order to help Isi. It is her friend that reaches her and the two of them risk their lives for each other. This friendship between these two young women is so much of what seals ENNA BURNING's place in my heart. It's there in the first book, but it comes to fruition here. I remember listening to Ms. Hale speak about these two books and the reactions she got to them. She spoke of how many people who loved The Goose Girl (including her mother!) were disappointed with ENNA BURNING because Enna makes some big mistakes. She is not always firmly on the side of right. She struggles, is attracted to the fire and the darkness, in short she has layers. As for me, give me protagonists like Enna every day of the week. Because she's like me. Her days are hard. She wants so much. She's reckless and afraid and well-meaning and full of messy, glorious life. It is these wonderful gray areas that explain why the book resides on my Beloved Bookshelf. I love her relationship with Finn. I love how it dances back and forth, how Finn forces Enna to see him, and how she must make the choice in the end. In that way, their friendship echoes Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe to me. I love Sileph and the twisted, painful thing that grows between them and how much Hale made me ache for a character I could just as easily have hated. And she does it in such exquisite words. Hale manages to imbue the tiniest inanimate object with a wealth of emotion and movement, with the result that her worlds feel so tangible and real, you forget they're not. That you don't live there. That you haven't all your life. Every time I return to it, Enna and Finn are there. Razo's hair is spiky as ever. And it is so good to be back.


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