Enna Burning, Shannon Hale's second novel, was published in 2004. Second book of The Books of Bayern, it focuses on the subsequent adventures of Princess Anidori-Kiladra's friend, Enna, who she met as the royal goose girl.
For a chapter-by-chapter summary, see the Books of Bayern wiki's article.
Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?
Initially, Shannon Hale had no intentions to write another Bayern book, citing the reason, "obviously The Goose Girl was a standalone book. It was based on a fairy tale, and fairy tales don’t have sequels, right?" But in the process of writing The Goose Girl, she discovered something about the character Enna that she felt she had to expand on. This moment of discovery was in The Goose Girl, when Ani was talking to Enna.
"'Why aren't you playing?' said Ani, gesturing to the many games of cards and sticks around the room. ↵'Oh, the fire,' said Enna. Its orange fingers waved specters on the blacks of Enna's eyes. 'I get to looking and can't look away. Don't you ever feel like fire is a friendly thing? That it's signaling to you with its flames, offering something?' ↵ Ani watched not the fire but the play of its light on Enna's face and felt comfort that there were others who listened for language in what was supposed to be mute and seek out meaning in what was only beautiful."
Hale asked herself questions about this moment, and Enna Burning was born. She wrote the prologue in fall 2001, did research for the outline, and began to write the novel full time in spring 2002. Nine months later, she sent it to her editor and it was finished at the of 2003. The novel was published in 2004.
Hale says of Enna Burning, "Enna. She was such a vital, interesting, talk-to-me-non-stop character that I just had to give her a book of her own. Enna Burning challenged me and changed me."
- A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
- An Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Middle Grade Book of the Year
- An Association of Booksellers For Children "Best Book" in the science fiction & fantasy category
- Ranked the best fantasy sequel by the News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
- AML 2004 Young Adult Fiction Award
- A Sonderbooks Standout 2004