This New York Times bestseller and Newbery-Honor-winning fantasy novel is a compelling, warm and witty story of would-be princesses and one small but ...Show synopsisThis New York Times bestseller and Newbery-Honor-winning fantasy novel is a compelling, warm and witty story of would-be princesses and one small but determined girl's destiny in the face of powerful social conventions. Fourteen-year-old Miri lives in a poor mountain village which survives by quarrying stone. Then comes a surprise announcement that the prince of the country is to choose his bride from among the village girls. So all the eligible girls are taken to an academy to prepare for potential life as a princess. But Miri soon finds herself at odds with the strict tutor and begins to feel less sure about being chosen as the princess, especially as her feelings for her childhood friend Peder start to grow. Instead she quickly becomes fascinated by what she learns about the world around her and begins to form her own plans about how to improve her lot and that of her village. Miri is a wonderfully inspiring heroine whose adventures will keep readers hooked from start to finish.Hide synopsis
Princess Academy (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC) – Trade paperback (2007)
Trade paperback, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2007
ISBN: 1599900734 ISBN-13: 9781599900735
All the teenage girls from a small mountain village must attend the academy to learn how to become a princess. Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen.All the teenage girls from a small mountain village must attend the academy to learn how to become a princess. Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen.Hide
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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.
Shannon Hale's novel has the unique quality of making an imaginary world become real to the reader. With small doses of fantasy, the novel reads more like a piece of historical fiction that grips the reader and transports them to a past world. The main character Miri is on a path of discovery just as her outlying territory and small community are determining their place within a wealthy nation. The book follows a small group of unrefined girls from a remote territory learning how to be royalty in anticipation of the prince's arrival and choice of one of them to be his bride. With a fairy tale like quality, the main character and in fact all of the characters are left to decide what happily ever after really means for them as individuals and for their home as a whole.
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