Enna Burning

Enna Burning - Shannon Hale

After the death of her mother, Enna returned to her home in the forest to help her older brother take care of the place. But when her brother discovers how to control fire, Enna begins to fear the changes she sees in her brother. At the same time, a war with Tira begins and her brother's new ability becomes a valuable weapon. When Enna learns to control fire as well, she uses her power to help the war effort. But while her power over fire is strong, Enna finds it difficult to resist the urge to burn everything and let the fire consume her.


Although this is the sequel to The Goose GirlEnna Burning switches its focus from Isi to Enna. However, as the princess

(now queen)

(show spoiler)

of Bayern and Enna's best friend, Isi still plays a role in the story. Many of the characters of the first book play roles here, and it was nice to see them all again. But this is ultimately, of course, Enna's story.


Much of the struggle in this book surrounded Enna's desire to protect everyone important to her without giving in completely to the urge to burn everything and everyone to the ground. This struggle becomes even more difficult after her capture by a Tiran captain who keeps her drugged and works to manipulate her into joining him. I love Stockholm syndrome stories, but often find them romanticized to the point where all the creepy aspects of it get hand-waved away so that we can focus on how difficult their love is. That's not what we got here, which I was very grateful for. The creepy nature of Enna's capture doesn't get easily brushed off. There are consequences that don't magically disappear after a time.


In fact, the whole story deals fairly well with there being consequences for everything. Enna may have gained great power, but the struggle to control it takes its toll. Similarly, Isi deals with the consequences of the power she gained in the first book. Now, the solution to both of their problems may come across as ultimately simple, but after the struggles both girls went through in their lives to get to that solution, I was more than willing to give it to them. Their journeys were difficult enough that I was fine with a quick and easy fix.


The start of the book was a bit slow, and the end was a bit fast, but Enna's journey between those points was fun to read. I love books that put an emphasis on character development, and that's exactly what Enna Burning does.