Currently Reading: River Secrets
"Sounds like sticky business--"
"Tira or the food fights?"
"And if my luck holds up, I won't be getting out of this without another scar. You either, Finn."
"If you think you've never seen me angry," said Isi, "just watch what happens if any of you goes and gets yourself hurt. If things turn ugly, just get out of there and come home."
Razo sniffed. "What exactly do you think might happen?"
"Death, war, possibly some maiming," said Enna.
Author: Shannon Hale
Synopsis: Razo can't figure out why he has been chosen as part of a diplomatic mission to Tira, erstwhile enemy country of his homeland, Bayern. Before the tour of duty is over, however, he will have to discover not only the secrets of those who still want war against Bayern, but himself.
Notes: I've never read the original Bayern book, The Goose Girl (based on the old fairy tale), but the second, Enna Burning, was interesting and enjoyable. River Secrets, the third book in the Bayern series, was a delight to read--quirky and hilarious, with a likeable hero who can't stay out of trouble even as he tries to help solve it.
Among my favorite aspects of the tale were Razo's personal development, the ways he relates with Enna, Dasha, and his captain, and the continuing mythology of the elemental languages. The languages are superpowers with strengths, limitations and consequences, and I find them fascinating.
Shannon Hale first roped me in with Princess Academy, one of those flipped-through-it-in-a-department-store-and-couldn't-stop-thinking-about-it finds, and I'm now trying to read everything she's written. There's usually some depth to her stories, combined with a humor and light that can be hard to find elsewhere.