Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Palace of Stone

Title: Palace of Stone
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: Princess Academy #2
Published: 2012 by Bloomsbury
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Christmas gift :)

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding. There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen's Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Picking up where "Princess Academy" left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

First Sentence:
Miri woke to the insistent bleat of a goat.”

WARNING: If you have NOT read the amazing, wonderful book that is Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy, you might not want to read the review of this book (since this is the sequel). So how about this: go find Princess Academy, read it, and then come back here. :)

So when I heard that Shannon Hale was writing a sequel to Princess Academy, my first thought was OH MY GOSH YESSSSS!!!! But then, I thought more about it and became very worried. What if something happened to these characters I love? What if it is a terrible book and takes the first one down with it?

I can hereby assure you that Shannon Hale is flawless and everything she writes is worth it.

In this sequel (by the way, do not worry if you forget a lot of Princess Academy. There is not that much that carries to this one from it, plot-wise), Miri and several of her friends have received the chance to travel down to the capital for Britta’s wedding. Miri is going to have the chance to study at the famous Queen’s Castle! It is what she has wanted forever, to learn all there is to learn. But soon she learns that there is political upheaval and her year will be spent trying to decide what is right and whether to save her best friend or her family (or both, hopefully).

I gotta say, I was not expecting this plotline for the sequel, but it was EXCELLENT. There were many things thrown into the story. A rebellion, a boy with hot-headed charm, a discovery about the royal family, another retelling of the bandit tale, and, obviously, more quarryspeak.

Peder and Miri’s romance is sweet and progresses at a perfect pace. I love their conversations and their awkwardness and everything. I pretty much just LOVE Miri though. She is strong even when she feels scared. She has big ideas yet feels insignificant. She convinces people to be strong and independent. She is incredibly loyal to her friends and family.

Now while I wish that Shannon Hale would write more books featuring Miri, I know it probably will not happen, seeing as this was an unexpected gift. But I am excited for anything else Shannon Hale writes, seeing as everything so far has been perfect.

Content Warnings: Nothing

5 Pigs

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