05 May 2011

forest born by shannon hale

i was delighted to find another installment of the bayern books at the library. this book is the fourth in the series, although i believe each book can stand on its own. each book has examined a different kind of magical speaking and the focus in this book is tree speaking. hale's characters experience the typical faery tale journey of self-discovery, and in the discovery and acceptance of their talents, must learn to use them to reach out to others. the broad trope is the only similarity, as each main character has their own particular problems to solve and faults to overcome.

rin, the main character in forest born, has perhaps the most clearly human problems to resolve, despite her magical abilities. she must learn how to be herself, rather than reflecting others, and discover the truest way to speak with others. as in the previous books, political problems and their resolution form the backdrop for rin's journey through the land and to self-discovery. none of the solutions come easily and rin's difficulties are easy to sympathize with as characteristic of struggles we all go through.

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