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PRINCESS ACADEMY02 PALACE OF STONE Paperback – 24 February 2015
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“Palace of Stone . . . proves once again that with quick wit and brave words, one person really can change the world.” ―School Library Journal
“Powerful and deeply engaging. . . . Readers who have been waiting since 2005 will find their patience well rewarded.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience . . . nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy.” ―Horn Book
“Hale is a master of fantasy. . . . A gorgeously-written sequel.” ―Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss
“Shannon Hale's books reignite my love of reading--that joy of having the time of my life with a great story.” ―Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight
“Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical wonderful fantasy.” ―Holly Black
“Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience…nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy.” ―The Horn Book on Palace of Stone
“Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical wonderful fantasy” ―Holly Black
About the Author
- Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (24 February 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1619632578
- ISBN-13 : 978-1619632578
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Item Weight : 312 g
- Dimensions : 12.83 x 3.3 x 19.56 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Best Sellers Rank: #224,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,062 in Children's Science Fiction (Books)
- #1,747 in Fiction about Friendship for Children
- #2,997 in Children's Family, Personal & Social Issues (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from India
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Well... not exactly. "Princess Academy: Palace of Stone" picks up where Shannon Hale's first enchanting tale of potential princesshood left off, now with a darker French Revolution-inspired twist. The plot is a bit scattered at times, shifting from rising unrest to the romantic travails of Miri, but it's a powerful little fantasy story with a heroine that is impossible to not like.
All the girls of Mount Eskel are summoned to the palace, so they can attend to Britta before her wedding next spring. But upon arriving, Miri realizes that things aren't going well for Britta's future in-laws -- all the other provinces send mocking tributes, and a person claiming to represent the "shoeless" tries to murder the king. A revolution is brewing because of the king's high taxes, among the poor and rich alike.
And Miri quickly discovers that the people of Asland are not fond of the Mount Eskel people. Though she lives in luxury and attends a fine university, everyone sees her as a bumpkin who is lower than the servants.
Before long she finds herself suspended between the royals and the rebels -- she loves and supports Britta, but she also realizes what the king's callous indifference has done to his country. But when the rebel leaflets start stirring up hatred of Britta -- using Miri's innocent words against her -- Miri realizes that both sides are acting with cruelty she can't support. But how can a humble girl from Mount Eskel stop a revolution?
Writing a sequel to "Princess Academy" is a pretty gutsy move on Shannon Hale's part -- after all, it won the coveted Newbery Award. But she pulls it off nicely with "Princess Academy: Palace of Stone," primarily because it's not the same story all over again. And Miri finds out more about the world -- poverty, corruption, snobbery and cruelty among the nobles. I guess fantasy worlds aren't as different from reality as you think.
In this case, she drew a lot of inspiration from the French Revolution... although thankfully there's a less bloody, happier resolution to the Aslandian conflict. After introducing the rebellion with a bang (literally), Hale winds the dark threads of impending war through Miri's story. As the story goes on, they grow thicker and coarser, until finally there is nothing else to be seen.
The plot is sometimes a little scattered, bouncing between the court and the secret rebel meetings. It only meshes together neatly in the tautly-written climax, which resonates with Miri's voice and inner strength. And Hale's nimble, bright prose and little patches of singsong poetry keep it flowing smoothly as a bolt of silk. And she catches emotions that shine like so many jewels -- the moments of humiliation, of happiness, and occasionally of romance.
Miri is still a lovely and instantly relatable heroine, and she expands in strength and intelligence in this book. As she learns more about life in Asland, she also finds out how nasty it can be -- and her compassion for the shoeless is not diminished by her love for Britta. "We could try to unite nobility and commoners to bring change together," she urges the rebels in one scene, and she works toward that goal for the rest of the book.
She also gets stuck in a love triangle in this book. She and Peder have a slightly awkward romantic relationship, but the wealthy rebel boy Timon also develops a massive crush on her as well. Hale adds little flickers of development to the various people here -- Britta, Lady Sisela, the dull queen and the spoiled cold king -- to keep them from ever seeming flat or simple.
While not quite as tight in places as "Princess Academy," the sequel "Palace of Stone" is a little gem of a fantasy book -- especially since it rests on a bright, strong young heroine. A delightful little book.