Shannon Hale,
Enna Burning
(Bloomsbury, 2004)

Enna's elder brother Leifer has never been the secretive sort -- until the day he finds the strange vellum in the Forest, the vellum that he will not allow her to see, the vellum that conveys the ability to control Fire. But when it appears that Leifer is losing control of both himself and the Fire, Enna can think of only one place to go for advice: to her friend Isi, who can speak to the wind.

When she reaches the city, Enna learns even worse news. Tira, Bayern's neighbor, has invaded and both Isi's and Leifer's powers will be needed for the war. It is the tradition in Bayern for women to accompany their menfolk to the battlefield, so Enna is there to see her brother lose himself completely in the Fire that he calls down upon the invading army.

With the vellum now hers, Enna begins to understand that Fire is not the comfortable thing she once thought it, but at times a ravenous beast, eager to consume anything in Enna's path -- including her best friend and homeland.

Enna Burning deals with responsibility and the consequences of power. When Enna uses her new powers to interfere with an augury meant to foretell the outcome of the war, she realizes that despite whatever promises she may have made to herself when she read the vellum, she will have to use that newfound power to help Bayern win the war. But will Enna be able to control the power, or will it control her?

This is a novel for young adults, the companion to Hale's The Goose Girl. The characters are likeable, the plot is well thought-out and original. It is every bit as entertaining as its predecessor.

- Rambles
written by Laurie Thayer
published 12 March 2005

Buy it from