Reviews for Palace of Stone
Booklist Reviews 2012 September #1
Miri's chance to leave Mount Eskel, home of Danland's valuable linder-stone mines, to attend university in the capital city, Asland, is too tempting to refuse. She will also help former classmate Katar, now Mount Eskel's delegate to the capital, help assess brewing political intrigue. Hale's sequel to Princess Academy (2005) stirs up plenty of suspense and surprise as the kingdom teeters on the brink of Asland Spring. With characteristic pluck, Miri navigates a delicate path between defending her academy friend and newly chosen princess, Britta, and working for a more humane and democratic government. "How could she face her family again if the king's tributes reduced them to poverty worse than before?" But can she risk participating in a revolution that could be brutally suppressed? Miri's appealing blend of innocence, bravery, and good sense will draw fans. This lively, provocative tale about political change and justice works better as a sequel than a stand-alone. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Princess Academy rode a Newbery Honor onto the New York Times Bestseller list, and Hale's only gotten more popular ever since. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Miri and Peder (Princess Academy) leave their beloved mountain for the capital city of Danland, where they are joyfully reunited with their friend Britta, now betrothed to the prince. But something is amiss: revolution is brewing. Nobody has Hale's knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the more epic scope of high fantasy.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #5
Fresh from the adventures of the Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy, Miri and Peder leave their beloved mountain for the capital city of Danland, where they are joyfully reunited with their friend Britta, now betrothed to the prince. But they quickly realize that something is amiss: revolution is brewing. Miri, in league with those plotting the king's downfall, finds her sympathies divided not only between Britta and the revolutionaries but also between steadfast Peder and a new suitor, a fellow student and passionate firebrand. As Miri works through these issues, she comes to realize that her mountain home has a role to play in the unfolding drama beyond what she ever could have imagined. Mount Eskel, so vividly evoked in the previous book, is very much a haunting presence in this book, too. If the sequel's setting is less distinctive, Hale's skill as a storyteller will charm her audience to the point that it hardly matters. And nobody else has quite the same knack for seamlessly segueing between the folksy, intimate charm of an extended fairy tale and the larger canvas and more epic scope of high fantasy. jonathan hunt
Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
Miri leaves her mountain of linder stone for another year of study and finds ethics and rhetoric to be powerful tools in the making of a revolution. This sequel to Princess Academy (2005) returns Miri and several of the girls from Mount Eskel to Asland to prepare for the wedding of Miri's best friend Britta to Prince Steffan. Times are dire: The people are destitute or starving, and the king, Steffan's father, seems indifferent and distant. Miri meets Timon, a classmate, and Lady Sisela, who speak strongly of the oppression of "the shoeless." The first half of the tale is a little slow and full of set-up, but the second half, when Miri takes action to prevent bloodshed, is powerful and deeply engaging. She uses not only rhetoric and ethics but the emotions of her people, which are held in the linder stone that comprises the palace, to hold the violence of the revolution in check. The politics echo the French Revolution (Hale notes this in the acknowledgments), but Miri's clear voice keeps the story hers and her people's. There's lovely texture to clothing and architectural descriptions and vivid warmth to Miri's friendships, her longing for home and her thirst to learn more and more. Not one but two boys help her find all the feelings kisses can engender. Miri's story comes to a satisfying end; readers who have been waiting since 2005 will find their patience well rewarded. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 August #3
Readers of Hale's Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy (2005) will welcome this reunion with Miri and her schoolmates, as they descend Mount Eskel to help Britta prepare for her wedding to Prince Steffan. But while the palace in the capital city of Asland is as luxurious as their imaginations conjured, the working classes are hungry and tired of footing the royal family's bill. Revolution is in the air, and it sweeps Miri, now enrolled at the university, into its wake. Miri is torn in several ways: between two boys, between the educational advantages Asland offers and her home in the mountains, and between empathy for the "shoeless" and loyalty to Britta, who has become the focus of the revolutionaries' wrath. Hale handles these threads ably, although a scene in which the Eskelites stop a villain by using their ability to communicate through stone--a homegrown talent called "quarry-speech"--has a whiff of comic-book superhero that feels out of place. Still, this is a fine follow-up to a novel that already felt complete. Ages 10-up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 August
Gr 6 Up--In this follow-up to The Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2005), Miri and her fellow graduates are headed to Danland's capital city to attend the wedding of their friend Britta and Prince Steffan. Miri is also given a place at the university and wonders if she might stay in the city rather than return to her tiny village of Mt. Eskel.This indecision is complicated by her mixed feelings about Peder, her maybe-fiancÚ from home, and Timon, the friendly scholar she meets in her classes. When delegates from the other provinces stage an insulting protest to the king, Miri learns that the Eskelites are not the only ones who have been abused by the monarchy, and that the "shoeless" poor are close to rebellion. She is enlisted to befriend the rebels and quickly becomes sympathetic to their side. When it turns out her new friends have an agenda of their own, she realizes that she has put Britta's life in danger. The rebellion plotline acts as a primer on why change and social improvement are so difficult, and how resorting to violence can backfire. Miri may be just a young woman from Mt. Eskel, but in Palace of Stone she proves once again that with quick wits and brave words, one person really can change the world.--Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA [Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2012 October
This sequel to the bestselling Princess Academy (Bloomsbury, 2005/VOYA August 2005) picks up where the 2006 Newbery Honor book left off, with Miri and her friends coming down from their isolated quarry village on Mount Eskel to a new life in the capital city, Asland. ┬áThere, the resilient heroine, Miri, assists the future princess, Britta (who won the hand of the prince in the first book), prepare for the royal wedding while having the opportunity to continue her education at the queen's Castle. ┬áMiri enjoys making new friends and experiencing life in an exciting, unfamiliar environment, although she soon realizes political intrigue permeates the lowland city, and the personal strengths she discovered at the Princess Academy will again be put to careful use. Hale has written a worthy and complex continuation of Miri's story, and her strong and vibrant character will be familiar and welcome to readers of the first book, despite the length between publications. A literary and engaging coming-of-age story, the elements of class tension, home, family, friendship, and self discovery ring true. ┬áLikely to be included on many notable books lists for 2012, this is an essential purchase for school and public libraries.--Elaine Gass Hirsch 5Q 5P M J S A/YA Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.