Forest Born by Shannon Hale

"I'm the sheen on water, Rin thought. I'm a looking glass. I'm not real."

Forest Born is the fourth book in the Bayern series. I read all of Shannon's past books last year and I fell in love with her writing from the very start. Each book in the series has a different main character. Rin, the voice of this book, has become my favorite so far.

Rin is the youngest and only girl in her family. She helps her mother take care of her large family, and then one day, decides to leave to help figure things out that she feels she can't share with anyone. She goes to the palace with her brother Razo where we find past characters that we have come to know and love. At the palace, she learns of their special powers and she starts to learn more about her own gifts as they go off to learn more about mysterious fire that targets the royal family.

One of the reasons why I see Rin as my favorite is that I identified with her. I also am the youngest and only daughter. I left home after some hard choices and had to figure things out away from my family. I also grew up in what you would think as a forest and had to learn to live somewhere without as many trees. Something as simple as that can leave you out of sorts, searching for new comfort.

I think this book can give girls confidence in themselves and the things they themselves are going through in life. Rin may stand back as a shy character, but she takes things in internally. She keeps moving forward to look for a solution that she can work things out, even though it isn't the quick fix that we would like for anyone. Learning from your surroundings can sometimes be scary, but it also can add to that inner strength that we posesss.

I have loved Shannon Hale's writing style from the very beginning. Her first book, The Goose Girl, is based on a fairy tale. She keeps that tone throughout these stories and it never drowns out the true voice telling the story. Also, I really love the look of this fantasy cover, even though it doesn't match the original covers of the other books. It is truly as beautiful as the language found inside.

5 Stars-- Loved it!

Natasha

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