Palace of Stone
By Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury Childrens, 2012. 336 pgs. Young Adult
In this sequel to Princess Academy, Miri and some friends from Mount Eskel, including Peder, have been invited to spend a year in Asland, the capitol of their country. Miri and the girls stay in the palace as ladies to Britta, who will become the princess when she weds Prince Steffan. Miri has been looking forward to the opportunity to attend a special school and pursue addition knowledge, but she finds her trip to Asland is more complicated than she could have expected. Despite her feelings for Peder, he hasn't declared his feelings for her, and when Timon, one of her classmates, invites her to spend time with him, she must wonder where her heart lies. But her heart faces further tests, as Timon and his friends are revolutionaries calling for reforms in the kingdom, saying that the king's tributes keep the people impoverished. Miri, while afraid that if the king decided to exact tribute from Mount Eskel, her family and her people will lose everything, also doesn't want to betray Britta, who is her dearest friend. Miri must use all her intelligence to help her people--and her friend.
Yay! Highly enjoyable, this is sure to please fans of Princess Academy, Shannon Hale, or fantasy. I loved Miri in the first book and I was thrilled to be able to see her further growth in this tale. The fantasy world is well-developed but doesn't have so many details that they detract from the plot. I can't think of anything not to like about this one.