Sunday, March 7, 2010

River Secrets

Razo--short, funny and not a great soldier--is sure it's out of pity that his captain asks him to join an elite mission--escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern's great enemy.

But when the Bayern arrive in the strange southern country, it’s Razo who discovers the first dead body. He’s the only Bayern able to befriend both the high and low born, people who can provide information about the ever-increasing murders. And he’s the one who must embrace his own talents in order to get the Bayern soldiers home again, alive.

Beth says 5 Stars...

As everyone knows, often series don't work. The first book is great, but then there's a serious letdown. By the time the third or fourth book rolls around it isn't even worth picking up. The Books of Bayern do not suffer from this fate. I think one of the main reasons is that Hale tells the stories of different characters. This plot was very different from that of the first two books, yet there were some distinct similarities (which I won't say so I can avoid spoilers). One of the major differences was that the main character did not posses any type of magical talent. His internal conflict therefore had to come from a completely different place than Enna's or Isi's. It belongs entirely to Razo, a character that had flitted around the edges of the first two novels. He made himself known, but his character wasn't really developed.

Razo goes through major growth, and the remarkable thing is that it's all believable. Nothing about his changes felt forced or false. I adored the new characters that were brought in; they added so much fun and a new flavor to the mix. It was also nice to be in a different country where Hale could enrich the world she'd created by showing us a new and different culture, and its relationships with the other countries we'd already been acquainted with. Other characters, those already known and loved, were also given their fair share of growth. Enna, for one, did not stay stagnant, and neither did her relationship with Finn. Even though all of this was carried out on the periphery of the story, it was still there and noticeable.

This is a fantastic book. You don't have to have read the other books to understand it, however, I'd recommend picking them up first. There's a whole level of richness that comes with having read them before. The characters are deeper, and everything just makes a little more sense. Overall, this series is fantastic. If you haven't read it go get Goose Girl right now and start. You won't be disappointed.

Book from Library


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