Hola, reader! Today’s post is a double review – Princesd Academy by Shannon Hale and its sequel, Palace of Stone. I read them once when I was a small child, and then last week this happened in my head:
Decent-Human-Being Me: Hey, you know what we should do today?
Sarcastic-and-Generally-Rude Me: *boredly filing nails because hey, cliches are fun* What?
DHBM: We should reread some old books!
SAGRM: Isn’t that what we do every day?
DHBM: Yea, but specifically those Shannon Hale ones.
SAGRM: Why should we do that?
DHBM: Because reasons.
…and through that overwhelmingly powerful logic, it was decided.
Anyway. Princess Academy is actually a pretty good duo, despite its ridiculous-sounding name. I felt connected to only a few of the characters – namely Miri and Katar – but with them I thought I had a great insight into their minds.
Things I liked:
- Miri was an intelligent, capable, and highly articulate female lead, which I love.
- Each of the characters was fleshed out really well in the first book.
- No instalove, in my opinion!
- The romance was NOT the central focus of the story, and instead it played a background role for most of the books.
- Miri’s letters to Marda were adorable.
- The songs.
What I didn’t like:
- In Palace of Stone, there were a LOT of characters with barely any background, and I honestly didn’t care about them.
- Bena has NO personality. Literally, none.
- The plot twist with Liana was good in the idea, but not in execution.
- Making characters disappear into thin air just to tie up your loose ends annoys me.
- The barely-existing romance was great. Until the end. When Miri suddenly dropped all independence and clung to Peder like he was a lifeboat. What?!?
- It felt like there was a palpable shift in the writing style from book 1 to book 2.
This is a very quotable duo, with great gems like these:
“An idea is like a fire under ice. You can try to put out the fire, but the melting has already begun.”
“A kingdom at war with itself will not long stand. Let us wash the blood from our hands and start anew.”
“A rock lasts forever, but people don’t, and that’s what makes them more precious.”
“Gerti’s voice was soft, but her words flowed like the music of her lute.”
Tl;dr: This is a decent duo with a strong female lead. There’s a shift from children’s book to children’s/YA from book one to book two, and it’s not without its flaws, but a good read.
Overall rating : 3.73 stars