Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Girl Who Came Down The Mountain...

Expected Publication: August 21st, 2012
Palace of Stone (Princess Acadmey #2)
By: Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury USA
ISBN-13: 9781599908731

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she should help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city.

Picking up where Princess Academy left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.


   Miri is excited to go to the castle and help Britta prepare for her wedding to Prince Steffan.  But when she and the other girls arrive in Asland, the capital city of Danland, nothing is exactly like she thought it would be.  Peder, who came to the capital with them to apprentice a stonecarver, never has time to spend with her.  Her friends from home are diverging from each other and finding new interests.  Miri herself finds comfort in her education at the much lauded Queen's College.  But there is a revolution brewing due to the unfair treatment of the city's common people.  Miri will have to decide whether or not to stand with her new friends against the royal family and everything they stand for, or stay loyal to Britta and the mountain she comes from.  Can Miri sort out the confusion in her heart as well, and decide between Peder and the city boy who intrigues her?  This book was an interesting follow-up to a cute, if somewhat bland predecessor.  I did like the original book, but it didn't have enough action or intrigue for my personal tastes.  I loved the whole idea of Danland's citizens trying to mount a revolution against the King.  It was very realistically portrayed.  Not everything was solved by the end and wrapped up in a tidy bow.  There were still problems and all of the characters were very human.  The main complaint on my part for the book was how selfishly Britta is portrayed to be, after being so normal and down to Earth in the first book.  Also, Steffan came across as a prig and Miri's college friends for the most part, seemed truly idiotic in matters of common sense.  Other than minor annoyances, I loved Miri's parts of the story and the ending made me smile.  To me this novel was better than the one before it.  Recommended for fans of the original novel for sure.

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is August 21, 2012.*

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