Review of ‘Enna Burning’ by Shannon Hale (Through the Shelf Thursday #2)

Title: Enna Burning
Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: YA/MG Fantasy
Description from Goodreads:

Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna’s simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good–to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders–and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?

Date I Finished Reading: September 10, 2012

My Rating: 3.5 of 5

My Review: (also on Goodreads, Amazon):

I love Shannon Hale’s writing style.  You can tell that she takes it serious and wants every single sentence to mean something and to help us understand the characters better.  But…

While I enjoyed Enna Burning, it was a disappointment after reading The Goose Girl – the first title in the Books of Bayern series.  In all honesty, it almost didn’t feel like the same Enna from the first book.  And I understand that, in a way, that’s the point.  She has a new conflict in her life that is taking her places she has never been and she is trying to figure out how to handle them…I get that.  But the problem was, as a reader…I just didn’t care as much.

The parts I was interested in (i.e. using the fire during battle or the mysterious group called the tata-rook) seemed to move faster than I would like, or with not as much depth.  The parts that I thought were not as important or could have been glossed over seemed to draaaag on (i.e. Enna being held captive by Sileph).

I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with Enna and Isi again, and for me that’s what kept me involved in the story.  The parallel between wind and fire was beautifully told and helped to bring a solid conclusion to the book (hence the reason I gave it a 3.5).

I guess I just wanted it to be more than it was – but what it is is still very, very good.  Oh, the dilemma of high expections…truly unfare to the reader (and the writer).   SIDENOTE: I still love you Shannon Hale! 🙂

Dear reader: What did you think of the book?



  1. I liked Enna Burning but it is not my favorites of Shannon Hale's books. Goose Girl and Princess Academy are her best books, in my opinion. I just finished reading Palace of Stone, which is the sequel to Princess Academy, and it's good, but again, not as good as Princess Academy. She is a fabulous writer, though, and in person she is really funny!

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