Not your average girly-girl princess tale Apr 20, 2007
Princess academy is a great coming of age tale with plenty of fairy tale references thrown in. It is not just a twisted take on an old tale. This story has a realism to the land and the culture. Shannon Hale has managed to delve deep into the heart of a young girl in a typical fictional kingdom, without being predictable or tongue-in-cheek.
The main charcter, Miri, is believable as an ordinary girl, with ordinary struggles. She occasionally loses her head in her daydreams of handsome princes, great riches, palaces and gowns. Like all young girls, she wrestles with how these dreams will fit into her current life, or how they will alter it forever.
The charm of this novel is how a modern reader, grounded in reality, can identify with Miri's indecision. We would all like to be transported to some far-off kingdom, but some hidden part of us whispers questions. Is escape the answer to our problems?
Hale also stirs in genuine suspense, danger, and enough twists to keep us guessing.
A good, clean, happily-ever-after adventure.