This was a nice read! It definitely wasn’t my favorite of Melanie Cellier’s books so far, but I enjoyed the return to the original four kingdoms, as well as seeing some of the characters from previous books more grown up.
There is one part of this this that confused me though, and while it isn’t exactly part of the story, I think it needs to be addressed. In the beginning of the book, there was a list of all the characters in the series and their children. For some reason all of the main characters from the previous books have exactly two children, which frankly, I find hard to believe. Many of the parents of these children came from big families, or were only children, and it doesn’t make sense to me that every single one of the would have exactly two children. I know this isn’t really a plot point but it bothered me nonetheless.
In regards to the actual story I thought it was handled quite well. The goose girl is one of my favorite less talked-about fairy tales, and I was happy to see it retold here. This book actually seemed to stay much closer to the original source material than most of the author’s previous works which was interesting. I did guess most of what the characters’ “secrets” were, particularly Phillip, but again, that may be because I was familiar with the original story.
I was glad to see more of Giselle’s personality in this book after seeing a little of it in A Crown of Snow and Ice. I liked the fact that she while had flaws, such as wanting to prove herself so much that she put others in danger, she also realized that she could learn from her unexpected situation and use it to become a better leader and person.
Also, I loved Arvin the horse. Simply the best.
Overall, I think this was an interesting retelling of a fairy tale that deserves more recognition, and I can’t wait until next year so I can see what happens to the younger girls who are on their “own adventures.”