The Palace of Stone
Princess Academy, Book #2
By Shannon Hale
Author’s Website: http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie
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. (Goodreads)
I guess Palace of Stone could be called pretty good. It’s disappointing though, especially if you’ve just finished reading Princess Academy. You might want a good year or so before reading Palace of Stone if you loved Princess Academy to pieces. I think Palace of Stone is a great book, but it’s just nowhere close to Princess Academy. I guess there’s nothing else to say about my feelings now.
I absolutely hated the love triangle. Shannon Hale had so much freedom when writing Palace of Stone, yet she just had to put in a love triangle! It’s pretty obvious that Miri would choose Peder; that happens in every single novel. However, if Miri really had chosen Timon, I wouldn’t have anything to complain about. Don’t get me wrong, Peder is the perfect boy. It’s just that when you have a perfect boy, there’s really no need for a love triangle.
I feel like Miri’s not as strong of a character anymore. In Princess Academy, Miri came to be a strong character. She really developed and became a heroine. In Palace of Stone, Miri’s nowhere near as strong. She still strong in terms when compared to other protagonists, but that doesn’t cut it. She’s annoyingly clingy and underwhelming. She doesn’t have the right mindset to solving all the problems. She’s just not as great of a character anymore.
However, I did love all the elements with the linder and Britta and the magical touches that are only in Shannon Hale’s books. It’s nice to read about Mount Eskel again, no matter how morphed the plot is. I missed Peder a lot, and I guess the romance wasn’t too bad. You have to keep in mind the words “too bad,” though. It’s not as if I love Peder’s inability to express his feelings for Miri. Another thing to keep in mind is that Katar, Gerti, Esa and Liana aren’t really in the story. They’re blank characters for you to remember, and that’s about it.
I really hate giving Shannon Hale a bad review. It hurts a lot, but I feel as if Palace of Stone deserves it. It’s not cool how it’s a step down from Princess Academy, but I guess that’s partly my fault that I’m a picky reader. I just really hope that Peder and Miri’s next adventure is more exciting than the one they just had. I miss them already.