"Razo has no idea why he was chosen to be a soldier. He can barely swing a sword, and his brothers are forever wrestling him to the ground. Razo is sure it's out of pity that his captain asks him to join an elite mission--escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern's great enemy.
But when the Bayern arrive in the strange southern country, Razo discovers the first dead body. He befriends both the high and low born, people who can perhaps provide them with vital information. And Razo is the one who must embrace his own talents in order to get the Bayern soldiers home again, alive.
Newbery-Honor winner Shannon Hale returns the reader to the intrigue and magic of Bayern, first introduced in her critically acclaimed novel, The Goose Girl. Enter a world where even those with no special magical skills find in themselves something they never imagined."
River Secrets is narrated by a guy this time. Not a girl. A guy. And yes, it still ends in Happily Ever After. But who doesn't like Happily Ever After (probably Edgar Allen Poe; all his stuff is depressing as the death of Romeo and Juliet).
But I think it is as good as the previous two books. River Secrets is awesome, told from guy or girl. It doesn't matter. After all, we have a trustworthy writer, who is practically guarantee to write good books. (And yes, this book has been published a while ago, yet I'm reading it anyway. What? I'm the one to read old books. Screw the new books. Old books are awesome).
River Secrets is still on fire. Enna is a secondary character this time, but it is still sweet to see Finn and Enna still active in this book. Geric and Isi takes a backseat. They both rarely appear, but their babies are adorable. Plus, there is a someone for Razo and his good friend, the Prince with no name. Anyway, River Secrets is a good story. It is still about Bayern, but this time, it is about the possibility of war between two kingdoms.
Razo is sent to enemy territory to spy on them in case of war. He is clever and smart, although he has a lot of insecurities. He doesn't win fights. He is always the omega of the pack. He never seems to be good enough. So why is he there? That is the question he always ask himself and others around him. Well, do you want to know why? (Spoiler: It is because he has a gift for memorizing things other people wouldn't notice. See, spy).
The entire plot moves fast. River Secrets is shorter than Enna Burning, but I don't know the comparison between River Secrets and The Goose Girl. All I know is that they are both wonderful stories for both children, teens, and adults. Happily Ever After never outgrows anyone. Everyone has Peter Pan inside.
The conflict is somewhat overused but bearable. The Bayern plot is a little old and used, but it is still working. First, we had the possiblity of war. Then we had the actual war between two kingdoms. Now, we have spying and espionage. Did I mention mystery, romance, and intrigue? Oh, I should add magic in too.
Rating: Four out of Five