Sunday, September 2, 2012

Princess Academy Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

I received this as an e-galley from Netgalley. I received no other compensation other than the free e-galley.

I love twists on fairy tales or stories that read like fairy tales and Shannon Hale's stories are some of my favorites. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone is as good if not better than the first one. This story takes place after Britta is chosen as princess and some of the other girls are on their way to Asland to visit her and take part in the wedding. Miri will also be going to the Queen's Castle to study to become a teacher for Mount Eskel and Peder will be going to learn more about stone cutting. Miri is still waiting for Peder to ask her to be his betrothed, but so far nothing. When the group arrives in Asland, things are not as great as they believed. Miri's beloved Mount Eskel faces horrible tributes that will take away all that she won from the traders and Steffan is very distant to poor Britta. The royal family does not seem as impressive to Miri and the girls. Also many in the lowlands are upset with their king, because of the high tributes and revolution is on many lips. Miri does enjoy Queen's Castle and meets Timon who introduces her to the salons, where revolution and new ideas are discussed. Events escalate and Miri must decide if she is Mountain or Lowland and if friendship or change is more important. Can she triumph and be both?

Shannon Hale brings back the charming cast of characters from the first book and you can't help cheering for Miri and the Mount Eskel girls.

Favorite Character: Miri is one of my favorite characters of all time. She is loyal, stubborn, opinionated, and forthright. She always speaks her mind for better or for worse. She is small in stature but huge in heart.

Favorite Quote: "We choose who we are... You are your own person...You can be who you will."

"Words were slippery and alive, words wrestled out of her grip and became something new. Words were dangerous."

 "We study, Miss Miri, we read and ponder and examine every side, so when it comes time to make a choice we have hop of a good one."

I loved this book! This is definitely one of my favorites for the year. Miri is a great and strong heroine as are most of the girls in this story. Definitely 5 bars of chocolate!

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