Plot: One year after Miri and the other girls of Mount Eskel graduated from the Princess Academy, they are invited to Asland to attend the royal wedding between prince Steffan and their friend Britta. But the royal city is not the paradise they imagined. The new ladies from Mount Eskel are scorned by the other nobles. Meanwhile revolution is brewing among the lower classes, the “shoeless” as they call themselves. Miri is torn between her loyalty to her friend and her support for the revolutionaries.
This review is based on an ARC received at BEA 2012.
This is the long-awaited sequel to Hale’s wonderful Princess Academy and I loved it as much as the first book, if not more. I honestly wasn’t sure where the story could go after the end of first book. The prince had chosen his bride, life on Mount Eskel had improved drastically. Happy ending right?
Wrong. The girls arrive in Asland in the middle of a revolution. Their families are threatened with povery and starvation once again. Friendship and love is tested. And the entire purpose and right of the monarchy is put into questions. Miri changed life for all the quarry workers in Princess Academy, this time she has the weight of the entire kingdom on her shoulders. If you expecting nothing more than some fancy balls and a royal wedding, you will be surprised. The book has remarkable depth. Miri struggles with issues of ethics, politics, history and rhetoric in a very approachable way.
There is also some romance, more than in the first book in fact. Miri’s feelings are also torn between her childhood sweetheart Peder, who suddenly has far less time for her, and Timon, the charming young revolutionary she meets at university. But as with the first book, romance is far from the first concern on her mind.
This is above all else an exciting, engaging novel about a remarkable group of girls. Well worth a read.
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone will be released on August 21 2012.
Title: Palace of Stone
Series: Princess Academy (2)
Author: Shannon Hale (http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html)