Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl is an original fairy tale. It shares some elements with the stories The Wild Swans, by Hans Christian Anderson and perhaps also The Goose Girl by the Grimm Brothers, but on the whole is a new story. Alexandria Aurora Fortunato is an orphaned goose girl, whose only true companions are her twelve geese. She has been taken from her cottage and locked in a tower until she chooses to wed either King Claudio the Cruel or Prince Edmund of Dorloo. She faces this dilemma because she had been kind to an old lady, who gave her three gifts: that she would be as lovely as the dawn, that when she brushed her hair, gold dust would fall out of it, and that when she cried her tears would be diamonds. She does not wish to marry either of the men, King Claudio because he's cruel or the Prince because she believes him to be rather unintelligent, and because she suspects that King Claudio will kill the Prince if she chooses Edmund. Her geese help her escape the tower, and take her to a cottage inhabited by three ogresses. The prince comes after her and when they escape they take the ruby necklace promised by the ogresses for her services to them. Later they obtain a ruby ring, which along with the necklace, matches the crown which the old woman had created from the circle of roses she had been wearing when her gifts were bestowed. These jewels eventually allow her to reveal the true identity of her geese, and reclaim her own destiny.
I chose this book to review because I really like reading fairy tales and fairy tale remakes, and this one turned out to be really good. The author does a good job of putting together typical fairy tale elements such as romance, magic and concealed identities, and sends her heroine and hero on a quest that is only revealed after it s well under way. Many of the characters in this book were quite funny, such as the three ogresses, Lucinda, Nellie, and two-headed Tessa. Alexandria sometimes finds her gifts to be an annoyance, because they make it harder for her to go unnoticed, and when she wakes up, she has twenty-four carat dandruff. Alexandria's hair is fun to imagine, because not only does it give off gold dust, it has other magical powers that Alexandria can use as long as she speaks to it very nicely. I would recommend this book to fairy tale readers and fans of writers such as Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA