How can I find words to describe my adoration for this book? It was completely perfect! I fell in love with Shannon Hale’s writing in a whole new way. In so many ways it was almost better than Princess Academy. It was wonderful getting a chance to check up on my old friends from Mount Eskel.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 didn’t think it to be possible for Shannon Hale to have improved upon Princess Academy, but I think guess anything is possible! She took off a year after Princess Academy left off, and this time sent the girls down from Mount Eskel, the see what life is like for the other Danlanders.
The new setting was just as vibrant as Mount Eskel, but with a fresh new feeling about it. The reader was experiencing things for the first time along with Miri, and I loved that. Everything felt foreign, but quickly grew friendly and familiar.
I think the reason this book was so amazing and powerful were the lessons it taught. Ethics and Revolution are the two big themes of this book, and they’re beautifully presented, without being overly political, and I thought they were handled masterfully.
The one thing I didn’t love about this book was Timon. I’m personally not a huge fan of the name, because every time I read it I felt the urge to sing Hakuna Matata. And I just wasn’t a big fan of him as a character, though his role was very essential to the plot. He was blinded by power and seemed to be a big fan of “the Greater Good”. He acted selfishly, and did some things I couldn’t stand. I also didn’t enjoy the brief love triangle going on , but of course Miri could sort out who was the better choice ;)
I personally consider this one a little bit more YA than MG because the characters are older and wiser, there are more complicated themes, and there’s a little bit of romance. That isn’t to say that it’s inappropriate at all, I just feel it would be more appreciated by an older reader.
I received an advance eGalley to read and review, and received no compensation for this review