Forest Born

Forest Born

4.4 179
by Shannon Hale

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Return to Shannon Hale's magical Bayern world with a new character to love and an old enemy . . . back from the deadSee more details below


Return to Shannon Hale's magical Bayern world with a new character to love and an old enemy . . . back from the dead

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
In this fourth installment of Hale's well-loved Books of Bayern series, Razo's younger sister, Rin, has a special affinity with the trees of her beloved forest, able to "listen" for their "calming green." But the growing self-doubt of adolescence causes Rin to become estranged from her beloved trees as well as to feel homeless even within her loving home. Rin leaves the forest to follow Razo to the city, where she joins with Isi, Enna, and Dasha (heroines of the previous three books) to defend Isi's kingdom from a subversive menace — and along the way discovers her own magical gifts, which come with their own curse and blessing. Hale's reputation as a master storyteller is well deserved. Readers will ache for Rin, the overly good girl haunted by fears of her own inescapable inner badness; they will chuckle along with Razo's lighthearted banter, savor the growing friendship among the band of four brave and spirited girls, flinch at the evil adversary's truly horrific punishments of those who displease her, and cheer both for Isi's ultimate triumph and for Rin's long-overdue realization of her own wonderful self-worth. This is an empowering book for girls—and for everybody. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 7–11—In her fourth fantasy about the land of Bayern, Hale has created a strong stand-alone companion to The Goose Girl (2003), Enna Burning (2004), and River Secrets (2006, all Bloomsbury). Forest Born centers on Razo's sister, Rin, and her special abilities. The struggle that she goes through as she begins to recognize her talent of persuasion and her elemental connection to the forest brings the typical fantasy themes of good vs. evil to a place that makes them very personal. Rin discovered as a child that her words could be powerful. But that power left her feeling confused and wrong. Since that time, the wrongness has curled up like a snake inside her, making her doubt whether she can ever find peace. Rin encounters Isi, Enna, and Dasha from the previous Bayern stories and through them she finds hope; perhaps what makes her different could be a blessing, if she is able to find balance in her gifts. Lurking throughout the story is the tumultuous backdrop of diplomatic negotiations and threats of war. Everything finally comes to a head when Isi's nemesis from Goose Girl returns and kidnaps her son. All four women need to work together to defeat Selia, who has been completely corrupted and consumed by her people-speaking power of persuasion. Fans of the earlier titles as well as admirers of the genre will find Rin's journey a compelling read.—Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
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)
From the Publisher
“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.”—Kirkus Reviews

“ Fans of the earlier titles as well as admirers of the genre will find Rin’s journey a compelling read.”–School Library Journal

“All is told in Hale’s assured voice, drawing the details of her invented countries with precision and depth. Strong characters define the series: commanding Isi, passionate Enna, wily Razo, and now shadowed Rin. Newcomers will find this book an easy entry point, and fans will need no excuse to dive back into Hale’s fantasy world.”—The Horn Book

“Hale has once again exceeded my expectations. Forest Born blew me away from page one, drawing me back into the world of Bayern.” – Chick Lit Teens (Online)

“One of the best things about this book is that all of Hale's heroines have a chance to shine... They're feminine, caring, supportive, and yet, when the need arises, fierce and powerful. Yet, put them all together and they are truly forces to be reckoned with. The best parts of the book are when Isi, Enna, and Dasha work together, and then when they realize what Rin has to offer them, they include Rin in their ring of power, where Rin is least comfortable, yet most needed.” – Book Nut (Online)

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Books of Bayern Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
17 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Shannon's mother says she was a storyteller from birth, jabbering endlessly in her carriage as the two strolled through the neighborhood; once she could form complete sentences, she made up stories, bribing her younger siblings to perform them in mini plays. When she was ten, she began writing books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine, and she continued writing secretly for years while pursuing acting in stage and improv comedy. After detours studying in Mexico, the U. K., and Paraguay, Shannon earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. In the interim, she submitted short stories and novels to magazines and publishers, saving all her rejection letters which she has since laminated into one continuous 60-foot roll which she proudly unfurls to audiences as a testament to her dedication and determination.

Since the publication of her first book, The Goose Girl, in 2003, Shannon has become a beloved author to young readers as well as booksellers and educators. Her third novel, Princess Academy, earned her a Newbery Honor and is a The New York Times, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Shannon has also written two books for adults, Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, Dean, their children, and their pet, a small plastic pig.

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