The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale // An Audiobook Review

Books of Bayern #1.Blackstone Audio(Feb. 2013) Library
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. 
Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

So this was my very first experience with an audiobook that I enjoyed. This is a really long book to listen to. I'm so smart that I can't do anything, but listen to a book. I can't multitask because I will instantly tune out what I'm doing. It's a great struggle in my life - not being able to multitask efficiently. So I laid down on my bed and listened to this array of narrators for The Goose Girl. The description in this book was amazing. I loved that every character had their own voice because it was easier to get into Ani's world. Even though this audiobook was super long - if you are a normal person you would be able to listen to it and get things done as well - it was fantastically described. I could have never asked for a better book to get me to start enjoying audiobooks.

Fan Art
I read the original story of The Goose Girl before I listened to this retelling. I enjoyed how Hale was able to incorporate almost all the elements of the original story and make it her own. This was one of the most beautifully told books that I have ever had the privilege of listening to. I'm still impressed and it's been months since I finished listening to The Goose Girl.

First of all, I DESPISE Ani's lady in waiting Selia. There is so much hatred in this girl's heart. She believes she deserves to be a princess, not like Ani who knows nothing about behaving properly as a princess. Ani is next in line to become queen in her kingdom, but her mother decides that she will be married off and her brother will be king. The reason she will be married off is so that there won't be war with the kingdom that she now has to live in. BUT, it's not as simple as it seems. I really dislike Ani's mother as well. You can't really tell where she stands at the end of it all. I just think she's too shady.

Oh yeah, where was I? Selia, that's right. After all that Ani goes through I literally wanted to fight this girl. She feels so entitled that she does unbelievably horrible things to secure her seat at the throne including trying to kill Ani. What is this girl's problem!!?? Ani is a sweetheart. I mean she's very naive, but honestly I liked that about her. I feel like I would be so much like her in her situation so I understood her thoughts, actions, and emotions completely.

Ani is also kind of amazing. She has two gifts. She has this gift where she can understand some swans at her kingdom's lake. Kind of strange, but useful trust me. She talks to them and they understand her. Her mother, the queen, obviously doesn't like that quirk about her so she makes sure she can;t go near them - poor Ani. Then, when Ani tries to find a way to tell the King that the princess that he believes to be her is a fraud she becomes a goose girl. I'm not going to tell you how, but I think you can guess based on her personality and manipulative Selia. Guess who she's able to communicate with now?

Ani (now Isi to hide her identity) also has another gift that I won't reveal. It's actually quite interesting. I will give you a hint. If you read the original story you should be able to figure it out. I love the description and imagery in this book because it really makes this gift come to life.

Ani/Isi makes friends with some of the workers that tend to the animals. Conner though, thinks she is as odd as her mother and tries to do anything to get the others to see that. Enna on the other hand becomes Ani's protector of sorts. She is her best friend. Enna is the best friend you want on your side. Strong willed, caring, and a born leader, you would want Enna on your side when the odds are against you.

Then there is Geric. Isi meets Geric one day while he's trying to get a hold of his horse. Isi has great experience with horses because she has a unique connection (very magical) with her horse named Falada; that's a whole other situation that I can write endlessly about. Anyway with Geric, Isi acts differently; more confident and bold with her actions. She's also very sweet to Geric and I'm happy to say he's the same way with her. It gets complicated and stuff happens which I won't give away. I just loved Geric. He's a nice guy who cared about Isi and saw her like no one else ever did.

I know this review is all over the place... What's new? But, when I began typing I just let every thought out while also trying to rein myself in so I wouldn't give anything away. What I hope you get out of this is that The Goose Girl is a beautifully crafted story that you do not want to miss out on. There's so much magic, wonderful relationships, and growth that exudes from this book. I'm serious readers! The Goose Girl is AMAZING. READ IT!


  1. I love how you added so many cover editions into this!! SO COOL. x) I love all those covers...ohhh, I want to read this book because I love fairy tale retellings. Good on you for going audio! I love audio. I listen to them all the time, but I have to be doing something...I can't just sit and listen or my mind turns off. hehe.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. This was a really long audio book so it did frustrate me how much I had to patiently listen. I am not patient at all regularly, but it was so good so I tried for the story's sake.

  2. I want to give Shannon Hale a try and I think I will start with this!! I love that fan art! Also, I can't listen to audiobooks either while doing other things. My mind really does wander. If I do listen to them they have to be easy to follow like a comedy book, Tina Fey's Bossypants for instance.

    1. I always think when I first decide to listen to an audiobook that it will be hard to follow along with, but if you have a good book in front of you, it's usually pretty easy to follow. As long as there are no extra distractions that is.


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