by Shannon Hale
In this fourth and final (so far anyway) book in the Bayern series, all of our favorite characters are back. However, this story focuses on Razo’s youngest sister, Rin.
This is my favorite of the Bayern books, actually. I love the way that Hale addresses the idea that Dumbledore famously presents to Harry–“It is our choices that show what we really are, not our abilities.” In this book, Rin has abilities that could very easily be used for evil, but she chooses to work for the good.
Forest Born is a 5/5 for me, more details on that opinion below, complete with some spoilers–
Okay, so basically, in the first book, the reason that Isi’s maid is able to take Isi’s place is because the maid, Selia, has the gift of People-Speaking. Throughout the books, we have come across people with other types of speaking (Wind, Fire, Water), but the characters who possess People-Speaking always use that gift to manipulate and control those around them.
Rin possesses the gift of People-Speaking. She doesn’t know what it is, and she doesn’t understand it, but at some point in the book, you realize that that is what is going on with her. I can’t describe it; you have to read it. Hale writes this book brilliantly.
The way that Rin learns to balance and control her People-Speaking is wonderful. It was just incredibly satisfying to see this talent addressed and resolved, and a fantastic reminder that we can choose to use our abilities for good for evil. Rin is very lovable, and so easy to relate to as she struggles to understand her gift and learn to use it wisely. This book is well worth the read!