Princess Academy #2 (Palace of Stone)

Princess Academy #2 - Palace of Stone
By Shannon Hale
Published by Bloomsbury
To be Published on: August 21, 2012

Summary taken from Goodreads:

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.

The Cover:  The cover of Princess Academy 2 is significantly different than the first book.  With the first Princess Academy book, the cover was hand drawn and looked much like the folk art that would have represented the people in this story well.  This cover is lovely, but a little boring.  I loved the folk art feel of the first book, and I am slightly disappointed that they chose to go to the "pretty girl in a dress with a disinterested look on her face" route.

The Characters: Miri is the same character that she was in the first book.  She is trying hard to learn everything the world has to offer, and in this case, living in Asland- Miri's opportunities increase greatly.  I found her to be bold at some point and incredibly niave in others.  She was all over the place!  This was entirely fitting for what she was experiencing in the story.  Timon's character was eh to me.  I felt immediately how that relationship was going to turn out, and was glad it turned out the way I had hoped.  I felt Peder's character was a little flat.  Miri is absolutely the dominant person in this relationship (which is similar to the first book).

The Story:  I really love Shannon Hale's writing.  I thought that I would struggle remembering the story and characters since it has been years since I read Princess Academy, but I found myself immediately drawn in and remembering the first book.  Shannon does characters extremely well, and she has a way of making books seem exciting and enticing even when there really isn't a great deal of action.  Most of the "violent" action doesn't really occur until the last 100 pages of the book.  The first two hundred pages are mainly talking and observing.  It didn't feel like a slow book, however.  I honestly don't know anyone who has read a Shannon  Hale book and disliked it.  This book will fit nicely into the collection of the author's other books.

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