Sunday, March 16, 2008

BOOK: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Young Adult Challenge, cardathon challenge

I've been wanting to read a Shannon Hale book as I've read such glowing reviews. I picked this up at the Book Fair at my kids' parent teacher interviews (they did very well, thanks for asking) And with the Once Upon a Time challenge coming up, I'll think of this as a preview to the fairy tales I want to read. If this book is any indication, I'm in for some good reading.

This has the requisite fairy tale elements: a prince looking for a wife, bandits, evil teachers, and lots of folklore, and lots of princesses. Mira is a fourteen year, small for her age, looking after her father and sister. She isn't big enough to work in the quarry like nearly everyone else in her village. The linder rock is valuable and everyone on the mountain works to release the rock. When the advisers to the king in their land announce that the prince will marry a girl from their mountain, the king's men set up an academy to prepare the girls to be presented to the prince. The girls struggle to learn how to be princesses, learn to live away from their families, and think about their life would change if they were chosen. If they even want to be chosen.

It was a great tale, with strong female leads, who learn how strong they really are. Mira learns to think, deal with the advisers, and reconcile the girls with their fate. It was well written, the plot moves along nicely, interesting characters, well developed folklore for Mount Eskel, with a few twists at the end, and of course, ends as all good fairy tales should.

Never hesitate if you know it's right.

5 comments:

Booklogged said...

Oh, I'm so glad you liked this one. I've like all of hers that I've read. Right now I'm reading the 3rd in the trilogy that starts with Goose Girl.

I didn't realize I could use Hale for the Cardathon challenge. Do you know if it's any of Hale's books or only Princess Academy?

Are you getting any signs of spring yet? It looks like a gloomy, bitter cold day in Jan. looking out my windows. UGH!

raidergirl3 said...

It was a great story, I read it in the car ride over and back from my sister's in Halifax.

I think all Hale is good for the Cardathon, definitely The Goose Girl Trilogy. I'm going to read The Goose Girl for the Once Upon a Time II challenge

Spring? blah, I think we are expecting the annual St Patrick's Day storm tomorrow, and there was 15 cm of snow in Halifax yesterday. It's still cold. I dont' expect spring until at least late April. It's brutal here!

Maw Books said...

I have this book on hold at the library and have been looking forward to it for months now!

Nymeth said...

Sounds excellent! One more for the wishlist.

Susan said...

I haven't read any Shannon Hale, so I think it's time I raided our city library. This book looks like fun, thanks for reviewing it....another on on my TBR list...surely I can squeeze it in somewhere! :-)
We had snow yesterday! (April 4...) just so you don't feel so bad in PEI.