"Rin is sure that something is wrong with her...something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she's lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies--magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters--as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin's own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure.
Once again, Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale brings readers to a world where great friendships, unexpected plot twists, and a little dose of magic make for incredible storytelling."
For once, there is no romance. Now, for some authors, that is a good relief. But for Shannon Hale, that is all but a good relief. I'm actually worried that Rin is going to end up as an old spinster for life. Ooo! That is scary. That gurl, like what the Fire Sisters say (Fire Sisters meaning Isi, Dasha, and Enna), needs to find a man.
Okay, I'll stop now.
Rin is one unique girl. She is unlike Isi, Enna, or Dasha. She is much different, with different opinions and full of confusion and self-loathing. With all those different sides of her, you can think that she is bipolar. The truth is that part of her is missing, part of her is feared, part of her is gone and taken by the trees she once loved. Her ability doesn't exist in fire, water, wind, or earth (if that exist). It is the trees that she knows. I would also mention her second ability, but that would be a big spoiler. Big spoiler.
Forest Born is a bit different than the two (three, if you look at The Goose Girl in a very unique way) prequels before this book. The enemy in the beginning of the series is the same enemy at end. For some of you, you probably haven't read this series yet, so you don't know who the enemy truly is. But for those of you who read this series, well, sorry guys. Big spoiler alert. Very sorry to you all.
It is fast-paced like all books written by the awesome author, Shannon Hale. Her usual pattern of adventure, self-discovery, and understanding identity plus a hint of romance is gone. As I said before, there is no romance in this book. Maybe flirting, but that is the most. Sorry readers (who really want romance), but this book is all about Elsa the Snow Queen. Just kidding, it is like Elsa the Snow Queen. In fact, no character other than Elsa is the most similar to Rin. Eventually, Rin has to let it go. (Pun intended).
The ending is great. Sure, there are some awesome twists and turns at the end (a bit late, I thought), but they are wonderful. I think the last paragraph of the entire book is the most inspirational quote of Shannon Hale. Of course, there are a few runner-ups. I like Rin telling Isi that she is queen and nothing will change that.
Best moment: Isi taking out all the guards with the force of her power with wind. She is one amazing girl, with character that grows with each book. She turns from an innocent young girl with insecurities to a queen who does not allow anyone to push her around.
Rating: Four out of Five