There are so many books about princesses, but this one is unique. I love the subtle magic of Princess Academy. It is a truly wonderful book.
"The story is much like the mountains, with plenty of suspenseful moments that peak and fall, building into the next intense event. Each girl's story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, but this is not a fluffy, predictable fairy tale, even though it has wonderful moments of humor. Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home."
School Library Journal, starred review
I really enjoyed this book. The pace took me a little bit to get used to. Maybe because I'm a fast reader and this book really makes you slow down - It is completely worth it, and I think, the pace may be part of the story itself.
This book is often on 6th and 7th grade book lists. I would suggest reading it with your kids. Even as single 30s woman this story had me thinking about it days after I finished it. It would make for interesting conversation with your kids.
I loved this book. It was very entertaining, with a sweet, strong heroine that is impossible to dislike. Shannon Hale is a skilled artist. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good story. Wonderful!
I have read some of Shannon Hale's graphic novels (Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack) and enjoyed them. I also really want to read a Posse of Princesses. When I ran across Princess Academy used I was excited to get it to read. It was a very good book.
Miri lives on Mount Eskel and is too small to work in the mines there. She is smart and feels extremely left out because of not being able to do mine work. Then one day a messenger arrives; it has been divined that the Prince will marry a girl from Mount Eskel. In preparation all of the girls are sent to a specially built Princess Academy where they learn reading, writing, history, proper poise, diplomacy and etiquette. Miri excels at the lessons but wonders if she would really want to leave her mountain home to marry a lowlander.
This book was a fun read. Miri is a spirited character that thinks with her head first but always tries to follow her heart. There is light humor throughout the story which livens up the story. This book is a wonderful read on girls finding their own place in life. It is also nice that after an initial spat of catty behavior, the girls learn to work together and work for what is best for them as a group. They find that winning the Prince is the least of what they will gain from attending the Academy.
I enjoyed the camaraderie between the girls and loved the lessons they learned. Miri is an especially endearing character who, despite her small stature, packs quite a powerful personality. The story is very complete and the end throws a couple fun twists at the reader that are unexpected.
This novel wasn't as magical as I was hoping and some of the scenes in the Princess Academy run a bit long. Overall though it was a very good book. It is appropriate for all ages. It is probably best suited to younger girls or young adult girls. Nothing ever gets all that dangerous or dire, and even the evil characters aren't really all that evil. So, if you are hoping for an adventurous read look elsewhere. This book is more about girls finding their place in life and learning to work together.
Overall I enjoyed it and it was a fun and heartfelt read. I will definitely read more of Hale's books. Definitely not an edgy book, but sweet and fun all the same.
3.5 stars (round up to 4). I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, as I picked it up for my daughter. She's a little young for it, but I'm keeping it for her. The king's diviners have predicted that the next princess of the land will come from the remote mountain village of Eskel. As tradition decrees, the eligible young girls will attend a Princess Academy to prepare them for the royal lowlander life, and be presented at a ball to the prince for him to choose from. Young Miri is not sure whether she wants to be a princess of not, but she wants to give her family a better life. However, competition is fierce among the girls - but when danger threatens, it is Miri who must find a way to save them all. Not your traditional fairy tale, this story has interesting and unexpected twists that make it unique and fascinating, with characters of depth that develop very satisfyingly, and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Love this book! Shannon must have a terrible time keep all the characters straight with their traits. I love the character Miri and the events of the story. Great for young adults as well as adult reading. The plot and the twists are great.
I had read this book previously. I am always on the lookout for good books to share with grandhildren and thought this was excellent. I will share with oldest granddaughter this summer as she comes to visit. I would rate it a 4star book.
Jean R. reviewed Princess Academy (Princess Academy, Bk 1) on
High in the Slopes of Mount Eskel, Miri's family has lived forever, ponding a meager living from the stone of the mountin itself. Miri dreams of working alongside the others in the quarry, but she has never been allowed to work there - perhaps, she thinks, because she is so small.
Then word comes from the lowlands: the king's preist's have divined that the prince's bride-to-be---the next princess---will come from Mount Eskel. The prince himself will travel to the village to choose his bride, but first all eligable girls must attened a makeshift acadamy to prepare for the royal lowlander life.
At the school, Miri finds herself confronting both bitter competion among the girls and her own conflicted disires to be chosen. Yet, when danger comes tp the acadmy, it is Miri, named for tiny mountin flower, who must find a way to save her classmates---and the chance for the future that each of them is eager to secure as her own.