This is the story of a group of girls from a remote mountain village sent to an academy to learn to behave like princesses. Some of them hope to be chosen to be the prince's choice and future queen, but they have been brought up to value hard work far more than genteel manners or sumptuous clothes. This book will appeal to any reader who knows what it's like to feel left out, as well as to readers who admire courage in ordinary people.
This title isn't the best fit for this text, in my view. This isn't a stereotypical pretty clothes princess kind of a story - it's more cerebral, and the distinct language patterns and supernatural element are a bit odd for some readers. This is a text worth the effort; it's not a shallow excursion. It is a great story about a girl who discovers her own power.
"Miri felt torn in half, like a shirt made into rags. How could she bear to leave her family and walk into some lowlander unknown?" p. 33
Palace of Stone Book Summary:
In this sequel to Princess Academy, Miri and her friends are leaving Mount Eskel again. This time, they will spend a year in the capital city of Asland. Miri plans to study at the university while she visits her friend, Britta at the palace. As exciting as the city is, there is poverty, too. Miri worries about the political unrest--for the citizens who seek the changes they need to survive, for her friend in the palace, and for her family back home.
Palace of Stone Book Review:
Fans of Princess Academy will not be disappointed, and they may even prefer this sequel. This book is exactly what you would expect from Shannon Hale--a strong female character ready to make a difference in a tumultuous situation, with a little unusual magical element mixed into the plot. Although this author often includes romantic triangles in her books (this one is no exception), her heroines are concerned with larger issues of justice, friendships, ethics, and family relationships that go beyond the success or failure of romance.
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