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Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she should help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to ...
Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she should help them. Soon Miri finds herself 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.
Picking up where Princess Academy left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.
Posted September 4, 2012
Ah..... Princess Academy came out in 2007. And won the Newberry. It's been too long since I first met Miri and her beloved mountain. I rave about it every chance I get. The content is appropriate for middle grade, but the writing style is delicious at every age. Which is rare. And amazing.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Palace of Stone. The writing is like snuggling down into a huge pile of feathers and getting lost in the softness until you don't know which way's up.
I highlighted all over my Nook copy...
She felt night-blind and afraid, as if walking a path that might lead to sheer cliff and empty air. Pg 13
The lowlander traders always went on as if the ocean were the most wondrous thing in the world and the Eskalites were fools for living so far from its glory. But it was just a flat, lifeless sky. Pg. 18
Miri did not want the moment to end. She felt tall and strong, as if she and this mob would move together like a giant, striking down any obstacles, remaking the whole world. Pg. 97
They both stared. Neither ran.... And Miri understood the impulse to kiss the lips that laughed. Pg. 116
His promises felt as real as paper in her hands, just awaiting the ink strokes of action. Pg. 141
Letter writing was a lot like quarry-speaking - a soundless call from far away. Would Marda have similar enough memories to understand what Miri was trying to say? Pg. 146
She smiled to show he was correct, but it slid off her lips too quickly. Pg 174
She touched the wood. It was not as polished and well oiled as the Mount Eskel chapel doors. And perhaps not as well loved. With so many things to look at in Asland, who cared enough to love these doors? Pg. 203
History was as hard to hold as a wet fish. Pg. 279
Miri shook her head. "An idea is like a fire under ice. You can try to put out the fire, but the melting has already begun."
"Who made up that saying?" Frid asked. "Doter?"
"Um, no," said Miri. "Just me."
"It's pretty good," Frid said, squinting. "But I don't understand why there would be fire under ice. And Doter's sayings are shorter." Pg. 281
Throughout the story, Miri thinks about a painting of a girl pouring milk while looking out a window at a moon. As Miri changes, she sees changes in this girl, and I love this insight into Miri's heart when she doesn't know how she feels. I haven't shared any quotes about this painting, although I love every reference. They would give some of the story away, which I'm not gonna do!
The story is told from Miri's point of view, but there are many characters with depth and they are all so different, so fun. Peder is in town and Miri is shy around him because he hesitates to speak up for her, although she thinks he likes her. Timon is so full of ideas and secrets. He represents possibilities she never knew existed before. Britta has to prove herself all over again and she needs to come out purer than pure, but she's so shy! I love Frid. Like all the Mount Eskal girls, she has mountain dust in her blood. She speaks her mind so refreshingly! Sisela has heart and passion, but what really motivates her revolutionary support? The king and queen seem like awkward decorations at first, but even they reveal reasons behind their blank expressions and harsh responses so that I'm cheering them on by the end. And always, Mount Eskel and its Linder stone permeate everything with such a strong pull I seriously LONG to go see that mountain!!!!
My Rating: 4.5 - Great book!
The romance is hesitant and hopeful. The revolution feels historically close to what a revolution would be like. The details are just quick enough to draw me into the drama, but not bog down in history. The dangers are real and the responses all realistic. The writing is outstanding. Miri is wonderful - and so unique. If I heard her talking in any story anywhere, I would recognize her. I could swear Mount Eskel exists. It's not enough to visit, either... I want to live another life so I can grow up there, please!
21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2012
Princess Academy was always my favorite Shannon Hale novel (The Goose Girl was a close second). So when I discovered that Hale was going to publish a sequel, I. Squealed.
Now that Miri’s friend Britta has become the new princess, she has invited Miri and the other academy girls to the capital of Danland to see her wedding. Miri is not only excited to see the lowlands but also scared to leave behind Mount Eskel for those few months. And when she reaches her destination, she enters the Queen’s Castle, a prestigious academy for scholars where she meets another boy (who may become Peder’s rival for Miri’s heart) and she can learn even more. And learn she does—because she discovers that there is revolution brewing in the streets of Asland. People have been inspired by Miri’s own little revolution in Mount Eskel, and they are silently planning to overthrow the king himself.
Throughout the novel there is a recurring theme of old vs. new. Miri has the toughest decisions in attempting to decide between Mount Eskel and the capital, between Peder and a new crush, and between her loyalty to Britta and the allure of the revolution. I thought this was ingenious of Shannon Hale, especially since indecision is relevant to all of us. Both sides tug at her heart, and she has no idea what she should choose.
I’ll admit that I had an idea of what she would choose in the end (I was rooting for that side, after all), but the novel was not predictable. At all. (Well, minus the fact that I figured out who was the “new crush” when I first met him.)
I’m sad to say that there’s less of a focus on linder magic in Palace of Stone, but there is a little magic mystery that would make any fantasy lovers happy.
The romance in this novel was TOO adorable. I don’t want to give anything away, but I completely kyaaa-ed when [insert name] [insert action] Miri. I’m a long diehard fan of that couple, so I was a bit annoyed when Shannon Hale thrust them apart for a while (bleh, why must they both be too busy for each other at times?) but I was satisfied in the end. (Awwww.)
I love how in Princess Academy, Miri learned to become book-smart, but in this book, Miri learned how to become street-smart. The concept of revolution has really changed her perspective on what she thought was the norm, but her loyalty to Britta keeps her anchored. I’ve always thought of Miri as a strong girl, and seeing her crumble like this at times made me a little sad—but I was proud of her in the end because she finally figured out her own way to solve her problems.
Shannon Hale’s writing is exceptional. Though the description and diction isn’t particularly incredible, Hale’s style of writing seems almost magical. It evokes the idea of a fairytale—which certainly came in handy when she wrote her Books of Bayern series. Her writing is fluid and distinctive, and it wraps the story up in a pretty red bow.
Overall, Palace of Stone is one of Shannon Hale’s best works. The beautiful writing wraps the intriguing plot and the likable characters into a superb, thought-provoking work of art. Simply phenomenal.
Source: Galley received from publisher for review
12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2012
Posted March 21, 2013
Please write another book Shannon Hale. I love all your books, but my all time favorites are Princess Acadamy and the 2nd Princess Acadamy. I am really hoping you make another book!!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2012
Princess Academy, for me, is one of those timeless reads, a go-to when I'm in a reading rut, regardless of how old I'd gotten. I was perfectly happy with the way Princess Academy ended--I thought it was quite perfect and didn't need a sequel. To be honest, I was pretty scared about reading Palace of Stone because when you have that one amazing book, you don't want its memory to be tarnished by a sequel of a lesser caliber.
When I first saw Miri becoming enchanted with the innovation of the capitol and joining the revolution, I wanted to jump up and shout, "No, Miri! Back to Mount Eskel with you! Stay away from all this political turmoil!" and then I would have thrown her over my shoulder and taken her back to the mountain myself...
I did not want one of my favorite characters was changing into someone I didn't recognize, and I feared that the revolution fervor would change preexisting relationship dynamics...Don't tell me you didn't make a horrified gasp at the phrase "Miri finds herself torn...between an old love and a new crush."
For a good chunk of this book, I worried that I would not like it as much as I had hoped....
...And now we come to the part of the review where I reassure you that yes, Shannon Hale has once again worked magic with her words and created a sequel just as wonderful as the first book. (Hehe, I had you worried there for a second, didn't I?)
It wasn't until about midway through that I fully realized Hale had me utterly captivated with her story. Her diction is still just as beautiful, almost lyrical in a way, and I was taken back to a world of fresh mountain air and endless blue skies. Yet despite Hale's effortlessly gorgeous writing, she captures the spirit of revolution perfectly. There is life and energy and excitement flowing from the pages!
And I cannot gush enough about her characters! Despite my initial apprehension, I enjoyed watching each character grow while still retaining the very essence of themselves that made me love them in the first place. Miri has and always will be one of my favorite characters and despite my qualms, she is still the smart but stubborn girl, albeit even more awesome in this book!
Rating: 4.5 stars*
All in all: Very rarely do readers get a sequel that is just as good, if not better, than the debut, but Shannon Hale has broken free of that mold as only the truly excellent authors to do. She broke through all of my walls of caution and wariness and has touched me with her story in a way that I feared she wouldn't be able to.
*I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2013
I am in love with this book. My friend lent me the book for spring break. Only one word to summarize it AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2013
I vote team Peder! I always like the best friend types in books, but the main characters never end up with them. Exp: In Matched, Cassia chose Ky. In the Hunger Games, Katniss chose Peeta. In Twilight, Bella chose Edward. The new crushes always win the hearts of the main characters while the old crush's hearts break in half.
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Posted March 1, 2013
Posted July 7, 2013
This is an amazing book! I love the way Miri's feelings were torn between old and new. I love how she finds a way to remain loyal to Britta while still helping the people who don't know her and don't like her. This is a must read!
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Posted May 1, 2014
Tall caramel hair turquoise eyes
Ice and flying and invisibility and fire and water and athletic like super speed and strength powers
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2013
It was a good rread for an older aged childrens book. If I wasn`t reading tean romance I would rate it five stars. But compared to other books I have been reading it barlly deserved its four stars. It had just enough romance and mystery for children of the age group it waz ment for.
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Posted February 15, 2013
Posted January 13, 2013
I Also Recommend:
"What!? Another one!"
These were the words that I uttered after finding out that there was going to be a sequel to Princess Academy. I was shocked because I didn't think that there needed to be a second book - the fist one was good enough for me! I really enjoyed Princess Academy and so I was worried that by adding on a sequel to something that was already good, it would ruin the whole story and everything the author had already developed within the first book. I got The Princess Academy: Palace of Stone book for Christmas, and after eying it nervously for a few days, I opened it up and began reading. After I began reading it, I could not stop. I was not in the least disappointed in the sequel! In fact, I thought that it was better than the first story.
The plot of the second story picks up where the first book left off. Britta is preparing to marry her prince, and invites the Princess Academy girls to Asland to be present at her wedding. While Mari is there, she learns of an uprising against the crown (which includes the soon-to-be-bride : Britta), and she becomes rather attached to one of the leaders of the uprising named Timon...
At first I hated the thought of there being a love triangle between Timon, Mari, and Peder because I was already quite attached to Peder and not at all welcoming to the idea of Mari loving anyone besides Peder. But after a while, it made the story more exciting and interesting. Actually, all of the new elements added in this second story added to the level of excitement. The uprising element in the story filled it from the front cover to the end page with thrills, new twists, and excitement where as the fist book really didn't have any exciting elements until the very end. The only complaint I have with this second book is that it focuses so much on Mari that we hear little of the other characters such as the Mount Eskel Girls (who played major roles in the first book).
Shannon Hale writes beautifully, creating a world that feels real enough to step into. All of her books are fully original tales, with lovely descriptions, fun and interesting characters, romance, and excitement. Fans of the first book are sure not to be disappointed in this second installment!
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Posted January 6, 2013
Posted November 24, 2012
Posted March 3, 2013
Posted November 3, 2012
Posted March 15, 2015
Posted February 23, 2015
Name: Elsa AKA: Queen Elsa of Arandelle, The Snow Queen Hair: Long, white, braided Eyes: Icy blue Dress: Sparkly blue Skin: Pale white Age: 21 Family: One sister named Anna, age 18 Powers: Has the power to create ice and snow
Personality: Quiet and shy, to conceal ice powers
Posted February 16, 2015
I love the Princess Acedemy books.
BUT THE STORY OF THE FREE IPAD IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!
I HAVE TRIED THAT AND IT DOESN'T WORK!!!! Please put everyone out of the misery of embarassment.