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FOREST BORN by Shannon Hale

FOREST BORN

From the Books of Bayern series, volume 4

By Shannon Hale

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59990-167-1
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Hale, like her readers, has clearly been enchanted with the characters she brought forth in her Books of Bayern (The Goose Girl, 2003, etc.). This fourth volume centers on Razo’s little sister Rinna, who adores her Ma and her siblings’ babies and finds peace among the trees but cannot get her words and feelings right. When Rin is 15, Razo brings her to the castle where he is guard. Rin finds a place caring for the two-year-old princeling and learns from Isi, the queen who can control the wind. Isi, Enna, who wields fire, and Razo’s own Dasha, who hears water, are immediately called upon to save a fragile peace. Rin’s inner demons—connected to powers she does not yet grasp—are fascinatingly explored. An evil nemesis rises again from an earlier tale, and while she is not as fully drawn as the other characters she will be recognized. One doesn’t need to have read the earlier books to become enraptured by this one, but doing so adds to the richness of these very satisfying tales. (Fantasy. 12 & up)