Bought this book for my 9 year old daughter,and wound up reading it for myself. I really enjoyed it, and think it would be great for a teenager.
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.