Enna Burning

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Enna Burning
Enna Burning.jpg
First edition cover of Enna Burning
Author Shannon Hale
Illustrator Alison Jay (first edition), Juliana Kolesova (photograph cover)
Country United States
Language English
Series The Books of Bayern
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Bloomsbury
Publication date
August 26, 2004
Media type Print
Pages 317 pp.
ISBN 1-58234-889-8
OCLC 54081653
LC Class PZ8.H134 En 2004
Preceded by The Goose Girl
Followed by River Secrets

Enna Burning is a fantasy novel by Shannon Hale, and the second book in the Books of Bayern series. It follows the character Enna, who was introduced as a secondary character in the first novel in the series, The Goose Girl.

Plot summary[edit]

The story takes place in Bayern, a kingdom divided into forests and towns. Bayern's technology and culture are reminiscent of the Medieval era. It is on the other side of the mountains from Kildenree, where the first book in the "Books of Bayern" series began. At the conclusion of "The Goose Girl," Enna returned to the forest to live with her elder brother, Leifer. After finding a vellum scroll in the forest, Leifer learns the secret of 'Fire Speaking', the ability to control the element of fire. However, he is unable to control the power when he is enraged, frightening Enna. Enna then goes to the city, hoping to talk to her friend Isi (introduced as Princess Ani in "The Goose Girl") about Leifer's new power with fire, but Isi has been unable to manage her own ability to communicate with the wind since the end of the first book.

The neighboring country of Tira invades Bayern, and Enna and her friends, Razo and Finn, travel to the battlefront. Once there, they encounter Leifer, who is anxious to use his new power to fight. However, Leifer later dies in battle; while using his power to set fire to enemy troops, he becomes consumed by the energy of the fire and incinerates himself from the inside. When Enna finds Leifer's body, she finds the vellum and learns its secrets. She then makes a series of rules for herself which she hopes will allow her to fight in the war without meeting the same fate as her brother.

Bayern decides to put on a mock battle between a Tiran prisoner and one of their soldiers to determine the outcome of the war. Finn steps up when the captain asks for a volunteer, but during the fight, Finn comes close to death until he is saved when Enna burns the hilt of the prisoner's sword. This gives Finn the opportunity to kill the other fighter. Enna takes this as a sign that all will be lost unless she uses her power to end the war.

Enna tells Razo and Finn about her power and asks them to come with her on a series of raids to help keep her in check. She quickly finds she is unable to keep the promises she made to herself and cannot control her use of fire. When her friends try to dissuade her from further sabotage raids, she runs away and is captured by Tira. Tiran Captain Sileph uses herbs to drug Enna so that she can't use her power of fire to escape. He tries to brainwash her into teaching him the secret of fire and fighting for Tira. Razo and Finn try to rescue her, but are captured during their attempt.

Enna gradually gives in to Sileph's persuasive speaking skills. She believes that he loves her, and she falls in love with him herself. But after overhearing a conversation, Enna learns that Sileph has been manipulating her. While Sileph is away at a battle, an opportunity for escape presents itself. She fights her way out of the camp with Finn and Razo and escapes to fight for Bayern and end the war, even if it means her death. She comes to the battle and starts burning, realizing she is being burned herself from the inside like her brother. Razo and Finn stand by her and protect her from the enemy as she burns. Enna is found and saved by her friends before her wounds from using too much fire kill her. Enna stayed at a place to find out how to erase the fire or to learn water to balance her power. The people there did not know what to do. They have never taught someone water, and they were trying to erase the fire. She does not succeed, but she found out another way to balance her power. Isi (Ani from The Goose Girl) taught Enna the wind speaking power and Enna taught Isi the fire speaking power. Isi herself had become overwhelmed by the wind as it constantly brought pictures into her mind and alerting her to everything around her. Their plan worked and they started back home again, knowing peace.

The trip takes months and along the way Enna has to face Sileph and a band of Tiran soldiers. His charisma has worn thin for her and his troops, and they fight, with Finn showing up to help and Sileph's soldiers killing him in the end.

Enna and Isi finally return home at peace to their friends and families, with Isi finally pregnant with the long-awaited heir of Bayern.


Enna - A headstrong forest girl who worked in the city for several years and befriended Isi. She comes to realize how much Isi's, Razo's, and Finn's friendship has matured and changed.

Isi - The Queen of Bayern. She knows wind-speaking and animal-speaking. She is friends with Enna from her time as a goose girl in the first book. She was the Princess of Kildenree, known as Ani, in The Goose Girl. Her full name is Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee.

Sileph - A Tiran captain of fifty who captures Enna. He tries to brainwash her into falling in love with him, and fighting for Tira. He has the gift of people-speaking and uses it to manipulate Enna and others.

Finn - A Forest boy who secretly loves Enna. He is quiet and gentle but is forced by war to fight to protect his friends and home with grim determination.

Geric - The King of Bayern and Isi's husband.

Razo - A short, funny forest boy who has no great fighting skills but is very friendly and a good scout.

Leifer - Enna's older brother who learns fire-speaking, and is later killed in battle using this skill.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • New York Public Library Book for Teen Age readers
  • Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Middle Grade Book of the Year
  • AML 2004 Young Adult Fiction Award
  • Sonderbooks Standout 2004


Dennis Lythgoe of the Deseret News said, "As she did so well in The Goose Girl, Hale has created natural, interesting dialogue that leads to keen understanding and culminates in a strong moral. With her first book, Hale proved she could re-mold and re-interpret a known fairy tale; in her second, she proves she can create the fairy tale itself, one that has enough interest to become, over time, a classic."[1]

Publication history[edit]

  • 2004, USA, Bloomsbury USA Children's Books ISBN 1-58234-889-8, Pub date 26 August 2004, Hardback
  • 2005, UK, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC ISBN 0-7475-7573-8, Pub date 7 November 2005, Hardback


  1. ^ "Book review: 'Enna Burning' an original fairy tale". deseretnews.com. September 5, 2004. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]