Posted in Book Review

Book #8: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Name: Princess Academy

Author: Shannon Hale

Pages: 314

Genre: YA

Available at and/or More Information:

Amazon / Author Website

My Rating: 

Princess Academy is a nice, relatively short read that’s perfect for passing time while sick in bed or entertaining yourself during an afternoon rain-shower. It’s intended for a younger audience, but was written so well that anyone of any age could enjoy it….simple and straightforward.

The protagonist, Miri, is a fourteen-year-old girl living in a mountain village that only occasionally meets the outside world by way of traders looking to buy linder, or expensive stone that can only be harvested on Mount Eskel. Being born premature, Miri is unnaturally small for her age and unable to work in the quarry alongside everyone else. Instead, she cares for the goats, cooks, cleans, and whatever else needs to be done around the house.

The traders bring with them a representative of the king, who announces that the divine priests have named Mount Eskel as the home of the future princess. Therefore, every girl between the ages of 12 and 17 is to be sent to an academy and taught “high society”. It is among these girls that the prince will choose who he wishes to marry.

The villagers, being skeptical of outsiders, blow them off and return to work….until a group of soldiers arrive to forcefully take the girls.

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Miri feels useless and unwanted in a village full of physically-fit, intimidating mountain people. She reluctantly leaves her family behind, but soon discovers a love of reading and commerce. Before attending the academy, she thought education was unnecessary (being well taught won’t help you to move stone) and a waste of precious time (winter is approaching and they need to stock up on food to survive it).

Princess Academy is a tale of twenty girls who learn to overcome obstacles, realize their potential as intelligent young women, and come together as one big family to survive both an abusive teacher and blood-thirsty bandits.

But it’s up to you to discover the true power of “quarry speech”…


8 thoughts on “Book #8: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

  1. This was one of the childhood reads I read back in elementary school but didn’t particularly care for, but I do see the appeal. And I think Princess Academy has had several cover changes since I’ve read it, but this one is the one I had. Nostalgic. Anyway, nice recap and review!

      1. Have you ever read Gail Carson Levine’s books? She’s also a middle grade writer that writes this type of books. And what about Graceling? That’s a great ya high fantasy read you might appreciate after reading this one. 🙂

      2. I actually have never read a mystery or suspense novel. Though the closest I’ve come to those genres has been Gone Girl, a psychological thriller. I didn’t like it though. And I do tend to lean towards young adult but I also really enjoy reading classics and adult historical fiction/romance. Sometimes even autobiographies. But I do have some of the Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown books, so I’ll get to them one day hopefully. 🙂

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