Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{Utah Book Month} Book Review: Forest Born by Shannon Hale




Rin is sure that something is wrong with her…something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she’s lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies—magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters—as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin’s own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure.

Once again, Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale brings readers to a world where great friendships, unexpected plot twists, and a little dose of magic make for incredible storytelling.

I have a little secret. The first time I read this book, I hated Rin! She was so selfish and insecure, and just so irritating! But this second time around, I realized that I have so much in common with Rin. It’s almost like Shannon Hale was in my head. So this time around I could really relate to her.

All the other characters were as wonderful as ever. It was refreshing to see these old, familiar characters through a set of new eyes. And Tusken! He’s hands down my favorite character! He is exactly like my 2 year old brother, only he’s relate to Isi, which makes him even better!

One thing I really enjoy is that there isn’t a romance going on. Rin still has to figure herself out without a cute teenage boy (or Conrad) being thrown into the mix. But all the other romances going on in the background were so sweet.

The writing was just as beautiful as ever. Rin is very quiet, but also very observant. She’ll notice the smallest details, and that definitely added a new layer of depth. There would sometimes be page after page of nothing but Rin’s thoughts, and it was such a pleasure to read. I would reread passages (something I never do) and reflect on them.

This book is a wonderful close to the Books of Bayern (for now), but hopefully it isn’t the end—what will I do without my Razo?


  1. I kinda felt the same way about Rin. Maybe I should read it again.

  2. Hi Debz! Loved reading this review and I completely understand how you feel about Rin. I didn't like Forest Born very much my first time reading it either, partially because I didn't love Rin right away and also because I was hoping it would have more romance like the others. The second time I read it I absolutely loved it! I think I needed to get my preconceived notions of what the book should have been out of my head before I could pay attention to how gorgeous and wonderful the story is.


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