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Extended Audio Sample River Secrets, by Shannon Hale Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (16,727 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shannon Hale Narrator: A Full Cast, Mark Allen Holt Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Books of Bayern Series Release Date:
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Bayern has triumphed in its war with Tira. But though the war is over, simmering anger remains among the Tirans, and new hostilities could erupt at any moment. In a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, King Geric sends an ambassador to the Tiran capitol. Of course, an ambassador needs a military guard. Razo—short, impish, and not at all skilled at combat—longs to be among those selected to go but thinks he has no chance. So he is astounded when Captain Talone taps him to join the group. He is even more astounded when he discovers the secret reason for Talone’s decision. All too soon Razo is up to his eyeballs in a simmering mix of danger and intrigue—not to mention an unexpected romance. But as the gruesome deaths mount, everyone is a suspect, even the girl who has stolen Razo’s heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This full-cast production makes Hale’s story sparkle with snappy, humorous exchanges between characters like Razo, Enna, and Dasha, an ambassador’s daughter. The cast’s varied voices and spontaneous-sounding interactions add depth and drama to the production. Those unfamiliar with The Goose Good and Enna Burning can enjoy River Secrets on its own but are likely to want to search out those companion books.”


  • “Razo, this winning novel’s endearing protagonist, first brought to life as a minor character in Hale’s The Goose Girl, here gets his own story…This mystery unfolds along with charming friendships among Razo and his comrades…This novel will be a special treat for readers of Hale’s other two companion books, but it also stands on its own as a unique and tender coming-of-age story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[In] this companion book to The Goose Girl and Enna Burning…the characters have depth, and women and men are equally talented and support one another with their skills. The settings, customs, and festivals of both Bayern and Tiran are easy to imagine. Fans of Hale’s previous books will enjoy this one and will hope that there is more to come.”


  • “This mystery is wonderfully written and boasts excellent character development and vivid descriptions that bring the scenery and characters of this magical land in full view…Not only is this book a reading treasure but this is a great book for affirming to teens that everyone has value and possesses many talents and qualities that can prove useful. Razo could be any undersized teen who needs reassurance and encouragement. It is a must for every school library.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “A character from Goose Girl and Enna Burning takes center stage in this marvelous continuation…Hale makes profound statements about war and peace, friends and strangers, men and women, and all the different kinds of battle. Her language glimmers like firelight, like sunshine on water as she propels readers along a river of wonderful writing to the tumultuous and heart-tugging climax.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “As in the companion books, this high fantasy is rich in detail and lyrical in writing. While it helps to have read the two previous books, River Secrets stands on its own. But fans of the genre will no doubt rejoice in immersing themselves in this magical world by reading all three.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “[A] stirring, stand-alone adventure…The story’s pace is leisurely, but Hale’s accomplished writing will easily pull readers into her vividly realized world. The expertly chosen, often poetic details set and pace the story, and the fully drawn characters, whose dialogue crackles with wit, will point readers to the underlying themes of cultural prejudice and the corruption of power that touch on contemporary political debates. Suspenseful, magical, and heartfelt, this is a story that will wholly envelop its readers.”

    Booklist (starred  review)

  • “All elements join together to form an adept Tamora Pierce-like fantasy adventure—although when it comes to Hale’s subtlety of description and limber turns of phrase, there really is no comparison.”

    Horn Book

  • An ALA Top Book for Teens

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Amy | 2/17/2014

    " I like this one more than Enna burning. It was fun.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sally | 2/12/2014

    " Definitely my favourite of the three! Razo is the best main character with such a delightful voice. So much love :D Makes me wonder though, are we going to have an 'earth' speaker next? ;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Laurie Dewberry | 2/4/2014

    " I didn't get into this one as quickly as the first two in the series. But, about halfway through it got much more interesting. One of the reasons why I like Hale's writing style so much is that her endings always leave me completely satisfied. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shayla | 2/1/2014

    " This book was adorable. I love Shannon Hale's word choice and description. Her characters are amazing. "

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