Friday, August 17, 2012

Palace of Stone review

Picking up pretty much right where Princess Academy left off, readers get to return to Mt. Eskell and jump right back in with Miri and her friends. Several of the former academy attendees have been asked to go to Asland to assist Britta in preparing for her nuptials to the Prince and though Miri is sad to once again leave her father and her sister, she's thrilled to begin a new life in the big city. 

Once in Asland, Miri begins to make new friends, some of whom wish to rebel against the palace authority. They don't believe the King is doing what is best for Asland and are plotting a revolution. At first, Miri wholeheartedly defends the King, Britta, and the Prince, but as she begins to learn more about what the palace is and is not doing for the people of Asland, she starts to question who is right and what that means for her friendship with Britta. 

I loved Princess Academy and I was so excited to hear about this sequel. One can never have too much Shannon Hale in my opinion! It was great to be back in the world of Mt. Eskell and Asland and it felt like catching up with old friends when it came to Miri, Britta, and the other girls. 

The plot moves a bit slower in this one and the subject is darker and heavier, but it makes sense. I could see the author writing this for the girls that read and loved Princess Academy several years ago and are now a little older and ready for more mature subjects. The amazing world-building talent that Hale has in all her books is definitely present and I was still charmed by the people, the setting, and the plot, even if it wasn't as magical as the first book. 

I would definitely recommend starting with Princess Academy, but if you liked that one, you should definitely pick this up and spend more time with sweet Miri. 

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone
Shannon Hale
336 pages
Middle Grade 
Bloomsbury USA
August 2012
Review copy

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