Palace of Stone- Shannon Hale

Written By: Kellie - Aug• 20•12

Synopsis: Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she “should “help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. Picking up where “Princess Academy “left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom. -Goodreads

Review: This summer will always be remembered as the one where I fell in love with Princess Academy (okay, not actually… but it is my new favorite middle grade read). Book one was such a great book, and felt some complete that I really didn’t think a sequel was unnecessary, but after picking up Palace of Stone at BEA, I couldn’t help but try it out and I’m so glad I did.

In book two, Palace of Stone, author Shannon Hale takes all of the themes that were touched on in Princess Academy and amps them up a notch. There are lots of changes coming to the kingdom and of course Miri and her friends are right in the middle of the action. Throughout the book Miri is forced to make a lot of tough choices and really use her brain. So, not only is this a great story for storytelling’s sake but it also has a great message for those readers lucky enough to find this series while they are still in the intended demographic.

Now, I could talk forever about Miri and why I love her so much, but I will save that for tomorrow’s release day post. Needless to say, she is a fantastic character and one that I think a lot of girls could benefit from meeting(/reading about). The rest of the characters play their roles very well and all add something valuable to the overall plot. The girls of Mount Eskel really show how we all have our own strengths and passions, and that they need to be nurtured. Peder gets to play his part in this story as well, which is great but I’m still not sure how I feel about his and Miri’s relationship.

What is the overall plot? Revolution. It turns out that the citizens of Mount Eskel are not the only ones who are getting less than they deserve and there is no question that some big changes need to happen, Miri can see this right away. Where things get tricky is finding out how Britta and the royal family fit into this as they are the ones seen as the source of all of the kingdom’s problems. There is also a strong emphasis on having a love of learning which is something I would love to see more of.

If you haven’t read the first book, Princess Academy, then I highly recommend you start there. It is a fantastic read and will likely go down in history as one of the must read titles for middle grade girls. If you have read it, then you NEED to pick up Palace of Stone and find out what happens to these great characters. Things get a little darker but still match up beautifully with the style of writing we all fell in love with. This book will make you think and fall in love, all in one sitting and is well worth a read.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)

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Second Opinions:
@A Patchwork of Books
@It’s All About Books
@Emily’s Reading Room

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