From the Publisher
“Palace of Stone . . . proves once again that with quick wit and brave words, one person really can change the world.” School Library Journal
“Powerful and deeply engaging. . . . Readers who have been waiting since 2005 will find their patience well rewarded.” Kirkus Reviews
“Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience . . . nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy.” Horn Book
“Hale is a master of fantasy. . . . A gorgeously-written sequel.” Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss
“Shannon Hale's books reignite my love of reading--that joy of having the time of my life with a great story.” Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight
“Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical wonderful fantasy.” Holly Black
“Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience…nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy.” The Horn Book on Palace of Stone
“Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical wonderful fantasy” Holly Black
Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience . . . nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy.
author of Twilight Stephenie Meyer
Shannon Hale's books reignite my love of reading--that joy of having the time of my life with a great story.
Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical wonderful fantasy.
Readers of Hale's Newbery Honor–winning Princess Academy (2005) will welcome this reunion with Miri and her schoolmates, as they descend Mount Eskel to help Britta prepare for her wedding to Prince Steffan. But while the palace in the capital city of Asland is as luxurious as their imaginations conjured, the working classes are hungry and tired of footing the royal family's bill. Revolution is in the air, and it sweeps Miri, now enrolled at the university, into its wake. Miri is torn in several ways: between two boys, between the educational advantages Asland offers and her home in the mountains, and between empathy for the "shoeless" and loyalty to Britta, who has become the focus of the revolutionaries' wrath. Hale handles these threads ably, although a scene in which the Eskelites stop a villain by using their ability to communicate through stone—a homegrown talent called "quarry-speech"—has a whiff of comic-book superhero that feels out of place. Still, this is a fine follow-up to a novel that already felt complete. Ages 10–up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Sept.)
VOYA - Elaine Gass Hirsch
This sequel to the bestselling Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2005/VOYA August 2005) picks up where the 2006 Newbery Honor book left off, with Miri and her friends coming down from their isolated quarry village on Mount Eskel to a new life in the capital city, Asland. There, the resilient heroine, Miri, assists the future princess, Britta (who won the hand of the prince in the first book), prepare for the royal wedding while having the opportunity to continue her education at the queen's Castle. Miri enjoys making new friends and experiencing life in an exciting, unfamiliar environment, although she soon realizes political intrigue permeates the lowland city, and the personal strengths she discovered at the Princess Academy will again be put to careful use. Hale has written a worthy and complex continuation of Miri's story, and her strong and vibrant character will be familiar and welcome to readers of the first book, despite the length between publications. A literary and engaging coming-of-age story, the elements of class tension, home, family, friendship, and self discovery ring true. Likely to be included on many notable books lists for 2012, this is an essential purchase for school and public libraries. Reviewer: Elaine Gass Hirsch
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Miri and the other young princesses have left the comfort and familiarity of their home on Mount Eskel to journey to the bustling capital of Danland in order to help Britta prepare for her upcoming marriage to Steffan. Miri, alone of all the princesses, has been invited to attend the Queen's Castle, a university that will open many doors for her future. From the beginning Miri is dazzled by all the city has to offer and is greatly impressed by the academics at the school. Miri finds herself torn between her desire to continue her studies and returning home to the quiet life on the mountain. Her friendship with young Timon, a second year student, introduces Miri to radicals who unbeknown to her are preparing to prevent the royal wedding by murdering young Britta and overthrowing the king and his court. Miri finds herself in a difficult position. She is clearly sympathetic to the plight of the poor or the shoeless as they are referred to but fiercely loyal to Britta and Steffen. Miri must put all her skills and newly found political power into play to avert a powerful coup. Keeping her steady throughout the ordeal is the support of the other princess and the true love of Peder. This sequel to The Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2007) finds a more mature Miri facing more difficult and not always black and white decisions. It is clear that the path to social justice is not smooth and that true change evolves over time. The sights, sounds, and smells of the city, the royal court, and faraway Mount Eskel are vividly created. This is a worthy sequel that will be eagerly greeted by loyal fans.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—In this follow-up to The Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2005), Miri and her fellow graduates are headed to Danland's capital city to attend the wedding of their friend Britta and Prince Steffan. Miri is also given a place at the university and wonders if she might stay in the city rather than return to her tiny village of Mt. Eskel.This indecision is complicated by her mixed feelings about Peder, her maybe-fiancé from home, and Timon, the friendly scholar she meets in her classes. When delegates from the other provinces stage an insulting protest to the king, Miri learns that the Eskelites are not the only ones who have been abused by the monarchy, and that the "shoeless" poor are close to rebellion. She is enlisted to befriend the rebels and quickly becomes sympathetic to their side. When it turns out her new friends have an agenda of their own, she realizes that she has put Britta's life in danger. The rebellion plotline acts as a primer on why change and social improvement are so difficult, and how resorting to violence can backfire. Miri may be just a young woman from Mt. Eskel, but in Palace of Stone she proves once again that with quick wits and brave words, one person really can change the world.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Miri leaves her mountain of linder stone for another year of study and finds ethics and rhetoric to be powerful tools in the making of a revolution. This sequel to Princess Academy (2005) returns Miri and several of the girls from Mount Eskel to Asland to prepare for the wedding of Miri's best friend Britta to Prince Steffan. Times are dire: The people are destitute or starving, and the king, Steffan's father, seems indifferent and distant. Miri meets Timon, a classmate, and Lady Sisela, who speak strongly of the oppression of "the shoeless." The first half of the tale is a little slow and full of set-up, but the second half, when Miri takes action to prevent bloodshed, is powerful and deeply engaging. She uses not only rhetoric and ethics but the emotions of her people, which are held in the linder stone that comprises the palace, to hold the violence of the revolution in check. The politics echo the French Revolution (Hale notes this in the acknowledgments), but Miri's clear voice keeps the story hers and her people's. There's lovely texture to clothing and architectural descriptions and vivid warmth to Miri's friendships, her longing for home and her thirst to learn more and more. Not one but two boys help her find all the feelings kisses can engender. Miri's story comes to a satisfying end; readers who have been waiting since 2005 will find their patience well rewarded. (Fantasy. 10-14)