Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
“I’m sorry, Enna. I swear I’ll never burn you again,” he said.
Enna whistled long and low. “A brother should never get to a point where he has to make that kind of promise. ‘I’ll never burn you again.’ That’s just sad, Leifer.”
Leifer laughed ruefully.
“And where’ve you been?” she asked. “What you do with the fire–can you just get rid of it?”
“I can’t.” His voice was raspy from crying or thirst. “You don’t understand if you ask me that question. I have to use it.”
Read an excerpt
Enna’s brother comes home with a mysterious piece of vellum that reveals secrets about how to make fire without a flint or spark. The power is dangerous, yet intriguing, and Enna can’t decide if she should use it or get rid of it. But when war threatens her country, she gives in to the fire, not realizing that in her attempts to use it for good, she could destroy herself and everything she loves.
Enna Burning is a companion book to Goose Girl. Personally, I don’t think you need to read Goose Girl before this one (though I have friends that argue otherwise), because though the characters overlap, it’s not crucial to know the Goose Girl story. It is, however, kind of fun if you do read them in order.
And I actually enjoyed this book better than Goose Girl. I thought the conflict was much more interesting. Enna’s troubles are much more inner struggles–learning how to control her power to use fire. I think that’s something teens can relate with because they are often trying to figure out who they are, and what they are willing to do or not do. Enna goes through this same thing. Only difference is that her decision could mean death.
I also love the love triangle. It’s not as pronounced as, say, Hunger Games, but it is there. I won’t give too many details, because I don’t want to give anything away. But Hale does a fantastic job.
Something I’ve liked about Hale’s novels, and this one is no exception, is that she creates very strong female characters. And while there’s romance, it’s not the main focus. And by “strong,” I don’t mean Xena warrior princess either. Just strong. They do hard things, and they do it with class. And they work through their problems. And they don’t rely on a guy to find their worth. Enna is a girl worth looking up to, and I like that.
*news about ENNA BURNING*
Shannon Hale’s blog is one of my absolute favorite author blogs. She has opinions about things and she shares them…but she’s funny about it. Anyway, read it here (I had to include the written out link because it’s funny): http://oinks.squeetus.com/
You can find out the story behind Enna Burning, how Shannon chose the title, and read deleted scenes here.