RIVER SECRETS by Shannon Hale
Kirkus Star


From the "Books of Bayern" series, volume 3
Age Range: 11 - 15
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A character from Goose Girl (2003) and Enna Burning (2004) takes center stage in this marvelous continuation. Razo becomes part of the Bayern guard that accompanies its ambassador Lady Megina to Tira. The Lady is nearly a hostage, as the mistrust and bitterness of Tirans to Bayern after their war makes for a fragile peace. Razo, 17, quick with a slingshot and with making friends, is surprised to be chosen, but warms to his role as spy. He’s glad to be near his friend Enna, who has harnessed her fire-speaking abilities and whose role in the war is hidden from the Tirans. A subversive Tiran movement to rekindle the war catches Bayern’s Own in attacks subtle and outright. Through it all, there is Razo’s devotion to food and to his friends and his steadfast refusal to recognize his own gifts. Hale makes profound statements about war and peace, friends and strangers, men and women and all the different kinds of battle. Her language glimmers like firelight, like sunshine on water as she propels readers along a river of wonderful writing to the tumultuous and heart-tugging climax. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 2006
ISBN: 1-58234-901-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2006

Kirkus Interview
Dean Hale and Shannon Hale
November 25, 2014

In Shannon and Dean Hale’s new book The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Our reviewer writes that The Princess in Black has “action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?” The Princess in Black made it onto our Best Middle-Grade Books of 2014 list, which is one reason we’re delighted to talk to the Hales this week on Kirkus TV. View video >


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