Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.I have always enjoyed fairy tale retellings and I keep hearing good things about this author, so I was glad to finally get around to reading this book. I have had it for a while sitting on my tbr pile, and it is thanks to the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge that I finally got around to reading it.
This is the typical fairy tale with additions added in to make it a novel. I read the Grimms Fairy Tale he other day, so it was interesting to see how it was transferred into a novel. The Princess in this story has always known that she would one day go on to be queen, and was raised to take that role. Her mother changes her mind, though, and she is expected to marry a prince from another kingdom, but her chances of that happening are not so good when her lady in waiting gets the idea for power and will do anything to sweep her off the throne.
Then, she ends up as the goose girl and not a princess afterall. Scared for her life, she is hiding until she thinks it is save to reclaim her throne. No one knows her true identity because it is too risky that they might reveal it to the men that are searching for her. During the course of being the goose girl, though, she gains the confidence that had been missing for the majority of her life. Overall, it is a very good retelling of a classic fairy tale.