I had a few options for this one—I could have easily gone with Dark Lord of Derkholm or The Goose Girl—but as I hadn't read Goose Chase in years, this series was a great excuse to revisit it. The geese in this book are much like the geese in Dark Lord: intelligent, independent, bossy, hissy, prone to biting, and just plain wonderful.
For the past six months, fourteen-year-old goose girl Alexandria Aurora Fortunato has been kept prisoner in a tower by her two suitors: King Claudio the Cruel of Gilboa and Prince Edmund of Dorloo. Since she combs gold dust from her hair every morning and produces diamonds on the rare occasions that she cries—not to mention being more beautiful than the dawn—they're both magnanimously willing to look past her humble parentage.
The problem is, she doesn't want to marry either of them. King Claudio, for obvious reasons—he didn't just earn his nickname, he revels in it—and Prince Edmund because he's a moron. She's put them off for as long as possible, though, and she's run out of ways to stall.
Clearly it's time to escape.
Oh, Goose Chase. Such a great book. Alexandria is hugely crabby, sometimes snotty and often imperious and bossy—in a good way, though she also handles every situation she's in with aplomb, and it's always clear that she's got a good heart—and her narration is, from the very first sentence, entertaining and funny and enjoyable in every way. Example?
I am a no-nonsense, practical sort of person and I don't expect that I shall care for adventures — certainly I don't think much of the one I'm in at the moment — but I suppose that from now on adventures will be coming my way whether I like it or not.
The story itself weaves in bits from Rapunzel and Cinderella and Diamonds and Toads and The Wild Swans and, of course, The Goose Girl. It's got moments of adventure and romance and everything that you'd expect, but it's also got some moments of pure farce—the time Alexandria spends with the Ogresses is especially fabulous—and it's smart and hilarious. If you're a fan of Howl's Moving Castle and the Dealing with Dragons series and you HAVEN'T read this one, you're in for a huge treat.
Book source: ILLed through my library.