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Forest Born

Forest Born

4.4 161
by Shannon Hale

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Rin, Razo's little sister, is haunted by the Forest she has always loved. When Razo invites her back to the city to be one of Queen Ani's waiting women, she happily accepts...only to end up on the adventure of her lifetime, following the queen, Enna, and Dasha into the countryside in search of a fire-starting enemy that no one can see. As she learns more about the


Rin, Razo's little sister, is haunted by the Forest she has always loved. When Razo invites her back to the city to be one of Queen Ani's waiting women, she happily accepts...only to end up on the adventure of her lifetime, following the queen, Enna, and Dasha into the countryside in search of a fire-starting enemy that no one can see. As she learns more about the three women's magical talents, she finds her own strength comes from places both expected--trees--and unexpected--the sound of her own voice. A brilliant addition to the Books of Bayern, this book is a treat for fans of this series, and stands alone for readers who might be discovering the joys of Shannon Hale's writing for the first time.

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)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Books of Bayern Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

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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Forest Born 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 161 reviews.
The_Obsessive_Reader More than 1 year ago
Sorry if its a little jumbled but their is just so many things going on in this book. I couldn't put this down while I was reading it. Ever since Rin was little she has had a connection with the forest but after an incident with a neighborhood boy they have drawn away from her. Now when she touches them she can fill this worm of evil inside of her. Razo, her brother comes to visit and he suggests she come to the city with him. At the city she becomes a lady in waiting for the Queen of Bayern. Listening to the other ladies babble and watching over Tusken, the little prince. Cecile another lady in waiting comes back and Rin can tell she means Tusken harm. An attack is made on a village so the king and his guards including Razo go out to help. Once there they are attacked by Fire-speakers. Rin listens while the Queen talks with her friends but something is strange in the way they are talking. Saying that her, Enna, and Dasha are riding out alone. What is so strange about these girls and why does Rin feel so compelled to be with them. I haven't read any of the other Books of Bayern and this is the fourth one but I still loved it. The only time it was confusing is that all the characters from the other books are in it and it would have made the book even better if I had read their stories also. Forest Born is more on the adventurous-finding-yourself theme while I can tell that romance played a major part in the other books. Rin is so self conscious of herself. Always wanting to be a good person that it makes you really admire and relate to her. The book is very descriptive and I felt like I was standing right beside the characters the whole time. If you like books like Graceling then you'll love this series. The only complaint I have is at times days would pass in a sentence and I wish at those times that she would have kept the story going. I probably wouldn't have picked this book up on my own because I don't like the cover very much. Other than that this book is a must read and I'm going to read the rest of Shannon Hale's books as soon as I can. I can just image Enna's tale is going to be great because she is such a descriptive character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats going on with all these cat refrences? Seriously people? Warrior cats and whatever else do not belong on Shannon Hale's RATE AND REVIEW page. Get a life and stop talking about cats on this page. Please. Just create a chat website or something. Some of us here want to read about Forest Born.
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
I <3 the Books of Bayern soo much. BUt I was worried when I picked this up. I said, a new character? Can she do it? SHE DID! Rin was so amazingg, not to mention the full return of Razo, Isi, Enna, Dasha, Finn, and Geric. Plus little Tusken! Got to love him! Read it, my friends, you'll love it. But only if you've read the others first!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only book I ever read that was better was the first book in the series, and it was close. This one has incorporated a brand new character,Rin, and is filled with action,evil,magic,family,comitment,love,and friendship that will leave you begging for more( I sure was).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, who ever wrote the first review just gave away the whole book so know I don't have to read it thanks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well i picked up this book in 5 grade last year and this booked looked good and when i read itvwas like i foud i book that would lead me to interal hope of books. One part i rember was when rin brother said wow when did everbody stared hacing so much kid something like bur it was fuuny. I recimocened to Ny bodu
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is dazzling and amazing! No book I've read in my life has had me so hooked ( except the hunger games pls. Read). I feel like crying every time I can't read it. This is an amazing book that would be stupid to not read. Wish i could give it ten million stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the BEST out of all of Shanon Hale's books, in my opinion! I could NOT put it down!!!!! One thing about it is that if you haven't read the other previous books, it might be a bit confusing; so i would recomend reading them first (If not all of them, even just reading the Goose Girl would be helpful, just to let you get to know the characters). All in all, it is a GREAT book, i would recomend it to anyone! An awesome read from beginning to end :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book, but all the errors make it hard to read, like the random capital letters or the spaces in the middle of the words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the goose girl, enna burning and river secrets. Ihope that this book will be just as good as the others. Knowing shannon hale it will be a fantastic book for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shannon Hale is one of the best young adult fiction writers ever! She carefully crafts her stories and hooks you right from the start.
Edgewood More than 1 year ago
I am beyond excited. I love the books of Bayern and was so sad because I thought she was down writing about them. Goose Girl is my favorite book ever. I reread it every year. I can't wait till this book comes out. I'm jumping with joy on the inside. The books are just incredible. I love the characters, especially Razo and I love the way she rights about the connection between Isi, Enna, and Dasha. It makes it seem so much more real and possible to think of the characters not as having special powers but as being able to hear and speak to the forces of nature. It's absolutely brilliant. I can't wait. I am so pre-ordering this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE the books of Bayern! I had thought River Secrets was the last one, but then I found about Forest Born! I'm sure Forest Born will be as good as the others. I cannot wait until it comes out! My favorite book of all time is Enna Burning (though it's almost a tie with River Secrets) The first time I read Goose Girl I completely fell in love with the series and the characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The vtom pounced on storm biting his her flank
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FanOfSF More than 1 year ago
This is the 4th book in the "Books of Bayern" series and is just as good as the others. Recommend all of the books for strong characters and interesting action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though I enjoyed the previous books in this series, Shannon Hale does it once again! I got lost in the magic many times! The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that Rinna is a bit whiney and I found it hard to relate to her like I did with Isi, Enna, and Razo. But overall- GREAT BOOK!!! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fan club res 1! Be there to shere opinions and chat about her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"After every kill we make, we must bury and come back for it later. We dont want other animald taking them." She said then dug a hole and put the mouse in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"It is possible. Lionblaze did it!" He looked down. "Coalscratch...I was chasing a rabbit. It ran into thunderpath..Coal saved my life..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I ever red. You get lost in all of the adventure,fantacy,an magic. You learn new things each sentence . Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cannot fight you are the cause for this you must flee. Silver Cloud will see to it that you are packed. Winterflash (clan leader)