Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, by Shannon Hale

Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone. 336 p. 2012. Bloomsbury. Hardcover $16.99. ISBN 9781599908731.

I was completely enchanted by 2006 Newbery Honor book, Princess Academy. I mean, let's face it-- when am I NOT completely enchanted by Shannon Hale's writing? Never, that's when! I adore anything she writes. So... Princess Academy-- I thought it wrapped up beautifully and never did it enter my mind that there could be room for a sequel. Thus, I was a little...surprised?... to hear there would indeed be a sequel published this year. But, I figured, it's Shannon Hale. She can do no wrong.


It's Shannon Hale! She can do NO WRONG! Princess Academy: Palace of Stone is an absolutely wonderful sequel. It was such a pleasure to welcome back characters I knew and loved in the first volume, delve deeper into the mysteries of quarry speech, and get to know more of the country of Danland as Miri travels beyond her mountain home.

This book is a bit more mature than its predecessor; there is more romance, more danger, and more complexity. The narrative involves self-discovery and romance amidst political intrigue and revolution. It's sort of... Princess Academy meets Catching Fire. In other words, thought-provoking and multi-layered while somehow cozy and, of course, beautifully written. As usual with a Shannon Hale book, I just wanted the story to go on and on; I wanted to live in it. Gorgeous.

Look for Princess Academy: Palace of Stone on bookstore shelves starting August 21st. ARC for review provided by Bloomsbury via Netgalley.


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