Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pub Date: 2004, Bloomsbury
Source: Received as a gift
Synopsis (from the back cover)
Each time she contemplated fire, she felt surer that she could learn it and felt a place inside her, a place in her chest, yawn eagerly.
Enna's brother, Leifer, has found the secret to an extraordinary power -- to make fire without a spark. It's an ability that could be used for good... if he can control it. But Enna can't decide if it's a power she wants for herself, or one that should be extinguished forever. And when their home country of Bayern goes to war, the choice becomes unbearable. Enna never imagined the warm, life-giving energy of a fire could destroy everything she loves, but now she must try to save Bayern and herself before fire consumes her entirely.
I'll admit that for quite awhile, I wasn't sure I liked where this story, the second in The Books of Bayern, was headed. Then Hale blew me away with some great twists and turns and I found myself enjoying this book just as much as I did The Goose Girl. We don't see a lot of Ani/Isi (she goes by Isi now) initially, which makes sense given that this book really focuses on Enna, but she becomes an integral character once again in the last quarter of the book and we continue to see her story unfold. I have enjoyed having two strong female leads in these first two books.
One of the things that I really liked about both of the books (so far) in this series is that they are very well-paced. The story really keeps moving and is at many times action-packed. Enna's often-consuming struggle with the fire and maintaining control is a constant theme once she discovers the language of fire. Because she feels she can trust so few people with the knowledge of what she is capable of, we see a great deal of Razo and Finn in her story, as well. Naturally there is also a bit of romance -- this time that line takes a few twists and turns, as well, and I, for one, thought Hale worked out that piece brilliantly.
There is so much more I would like to say, but it tends towards spoilers so I suppose I will have to refrain. I will say that I liked the ending, though some might think everything worked out too easily -- I am all about a happy ending so it suited me just fine. Ultimately, I think it's safe to say that if enjoyed The Goose Girl, you will like Enna Burning, as well. More great YA Fantasy with plenty of adventure and enough romance to leave you satisfied by the time you close the book.