Thursday, August 2

Palace of Stone: Book Review

Palace of Stone
Princess Academy #2
Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury USA
August 21st 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -
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.

I think while waiting for this sequel I out grew the story. What was once enchanting has lost much of its glimmer. This time on re-entry to this world things didn't fit as well. The quarry-speak was a bit odd, one might even say fantastical. Something akin to the random imaginings of young girls. Each of the princess academy girls is starting to grow up and take responsible paths. All those big decisions just weren't as exciting when inked out as they were in a vague happy ending sort of way. Peder felt lack luster and very much a background prop in this story.

The book took on a bigger chunk of thought provoking material than it could fit. It felt so very serious for such a young audience. The main topic being the changing of a nation through rebellion. Instead of being rather vague Miri finds herself with a front row seat to all the glory and bloody parts of a revolution. It isn't black and white or good versus evil but treachery and lies. There was a hitch in this when the revolution really gets going. Suddenly it felt mismatched when it was turned from highly realistic to all is peaches and roses. Change comes suddenly without bloodshed or argument. As if upon finding the book was about to get ugly a sweet grandmother shuts it and makes up an unbelievable ending in which everyone, villain included, lives happily ever after.

As a whole it was all too deep for me. The romance between Miri and Peder was very awkward and just about non-existant. It wasn't terrible, just different. Their relationship seemed like a role reversal.

The book felt a bit long. It wasn't the fun and innocent read of its predecessor despite all the gawking done by Miri. It was well written and fairly well paced. But even with so many good qualities I just wasn't captivated.

Violence: Mild