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Le Collège des princesses

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La frêle Miri vit sur le mont Eskel, où l'on trouve une splendide roche aux pouvoirs étonnants. Son petit village est en effervescence depuis la prédiction des prêtres du roi: Le prince va se marier et sa future épouse sera choisie ici même. Toutes les filles de plus de douze ans doivent se rendre dans un collège où la sévère Olana copte bien faire d'elles de vraies prince La frêle Miri vit sur le mont Eskel, où l'on trouve une splendide roche aux pouvoirs étonnants. Son petit village est en effervescence depuis la prédiction des prêtres du roi: Le prince va se marier et sa future épouse sera choisie ici même. Toutes les filles de plus de douze ans doivent se rendre dans un collège où la sévère Olana copte bien faire d'elles de vraies princesses! Bouleversée, Miri quitte son père et sa soeur, loin d'imaginer ce qui l'attend...


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La frêle Miri vit sur le mont Eskel, où l'on trouve une splendide roche aux pouvoirs étonnants. Son petit village est en effervescence depuis la prédiction des prêtres du roi: Le prince va se marier et sa future épouse sera choisie ici même. Toutes les filles de plus de douze ans doivent se rendre dans un collège où la sévère Olana copte bien faire d'elles de vraies prince La frêle Miri vit sur le mont Eskel, où l'on trouve une splendide roche aux pouvoirs étonnants. Son petit village est en effervescence depuis la prédiction des prêtres du roi: Le prince va se marier et sa future épouse sera choisie ici même. Toutes les filles de plus de douze ans doivent se rendre dans un collège où la sévère Olana copte bien faire d'elles de vraies princesses! Bouleversée, Miri quitte son père et sa soeur, loin d'imaginer ce qui l'attend...

30 review for Le Collège des princesses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    3.5 stars. If only…If only my eleven-year-old younger self had read this book. I know she would’ve shrieked with happiness at holding Princess Academy against her innocent little heart. Miri and younger Lola might’ve shared a stronger and more vivid level of connection and this latter probably would’ve eagerly pressed five stars as rating. (Well, it certainly isn’t every day that I refer to myself in the 3rd person.) But I’m not eleven anymore, and, even if I enjoy some middle grade and younger r 3.5 stars. If only…If only my eleven-year-old younger self had read this book. I know she would’ve shrieked with happiness at holding Princess Academy against her innocent little heart. Miri and younger Lola might’ve shared a stronger and more vivid level of connection and this latter probably would’ve eagerly pressed five stars as rating. (Well, it certainly isn’t every day that I refer to myself in the 3rd person.) But I’m not eleven anymore, and, even if I enjoy some middle grade and younger reads from time to time, I will never feel the same way when reading them as I feel toward Young Adult novels, my favorite genre. Why I do still read these books aimed to children is for the fluffiness, cuteness and fairytale omnipresent ambience that takes you to another dimension, one of dreams and endless possibilities. Something I can rarely find in YA novels. And this happened to be a good example of a book giving me this opportunity. I mean, princess stories, if they are of your taste, are wonderful to plunge into and read. Miri as a heroine lacked maturity though. I don’t know if it is my own fault thinking that, since we obviously are not same age (she is fourteen) but she spoke without thinking oh so many times…which equalled trouble, or in this context hand lashing and uncountable hours in the closet next to a rat. I kept muttering for her to stop bluntly bursting out words and felt exasperated when she did so anyway, but that’s the thing with MG novels: You can’t one hundred percent blame the young characters, since it’s normal for them, due to their age, to make mistakes and it’s usually in purpose for a character growth, which we very much could observe in this story. I’ve read three Shannon Hale books so far - The Storybook of Legends, The Goose Girl, Austenland - and I realized that her style varies depending of the genre and type of book she is writing. Probably, if you enjoyed the first two, you will feel the same for Princess Academy. But if you’ve only read Austenland, then you will find that this book is written differently (with reason and a ‘thank god’ muttered because Austenland was just a poorly written and confusing book; I couldn’t even finish it. But the movie was enjoyable – recommended!) The romance lovely presented istelf. I’m rarely into situations in which a character is in love with her/his best friend but the author managed to make this one not sound cliché or annoyingly cheesy. They were good together and the chemistry evident! This is not a book for everyone but it was short and sweet and actually not that predictable. Sure, many situations made it easy for us to foresee their outcome, but some others contained plenty of surprises. What I loved most about this book was the lyrical writing and relationship between Miri and Britta, whom she misjudged quite too quickly, and her own sister, Marda. Incidentally, it was good to see original names for the characters. Beautiful art source!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    The Princess Academy is a favorite comfort read, and a delightful older middle grade/younger YA fantasy, nominated for the 2006 Newbery Award. Miri is a teenage girl living in a small, simple mountain village, where everyone makes a living quarrying a lovely marble rock that is found only on their mountain. It's a sometimes harsh life, with everyone kind of scraping to get by, but filled with love and close friendships. One day the simple life ends: the priests of their country have mystically d The Princess Academy is a favorite comfort read, and a delightful older middle grade/younger YA fantasy, nominated for the 2006 Newbery Award. Miri is a teenage girl living in a small, simple mountain village, where everyone makes a living quarrying a lovely marble rock that is found only on their mountain. It's a sometimes harsh life, with everyone kind of scraping to get by, but filled with love and close friendships. One day the simple life ends: the priests of their country have mystically divined that the prince is to marry a girl from their village. The king's ministers, appalled that their prince needs to marry a rough and unsophisticated village girl, set up an academy, a day's hike down the mountain from the village, and force all the marriageable teenage girls in the village to go live there and be intensely tutored for a year, at which point the prince will arrive in great pomp, there will be a formal dance, and he'll choose his bride. Yay? Most of the story follows Miri and the other village girls as they deal with a harsh, cold head mistress of the academy, and the competition between them to be the head of the class (which earns you the best dress at the princess ball, plus some other perks). Miri deeply wants to be at the top of the class, but she's also conflicted because of her feelings for a boy back in the village. What I love about this book is that it's about more than just a competition to win the attention and heart of the prince. It's also about friendship, the importance of education, and being a strong person and true to your heart. There's some magic in it, though it's fairly subtle. Highly recommended! Read this instead of The Selection unless your main interest is in teen makeout scenes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    AUGUST 2012: Just re-read (technically re-listened) to this one in anticipation of the sequel coming out this month. Loved this book all over again! --- MAY 2007: So the latest books I’ve read … I haven’t exactly enjoyed. I mean, I do finish them and everything, so they must have been okay, but it’s not like I was ever reaching for my book multiple times a day, binging on pages. I’ve kind of missed that. But all that changed with Princess Academy! Seriously — I loved this book. (I should probably on AUGUST 2012: Just re-read (technically re-listened) to this one in anticipation of the sequel coming out this month. Loved this book all over again! --- MAY 2007: So the latest books I’ve read … I haven’t exactly enjoyed. I mean, I do finish them and everything, so they must have been okay, but it’s not like I was ever reaching for my book multiple times a day, binging on pages. I’ve kind of missed that. But all that changed with Princess Academy! Seriously — I loved this book. (I should probably only admit this through the relative anonymity of the Internet. Seriously … Princess Academy? What am I, eleven?! Oh well.) :-) This book is written for children. Nevertheless, the writing was terrific (I didn’t feel like I was being led by the hand through the whole story, as some children’s writing might — must be one of the reasons it became a Newbury Honor book). I thought the pacing was perfect; key pieces of information were given a little at a time. It is fairy-tale-ish, and happy endings abound, but none of those endings (even the romance) ended up being sickeningly unrealistic. I loved the themes of this book: education as a key to opportunity, diplomacy to work through problems, kindness to all (even when they don’t seem to deserve it) which leads to empathy and understanding. One of my favorite books I’ve read this year, hands down.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Sometimes you just want to take a break from endless angst and sexual tension of currently popular both adult and YA books and read something light and inoffensive. "Princess Academy" is an excellent choice for this purpose. Although this is an obviously children's book, it is not silly or overly simplistic. The fairy tale is very imaginative and teaches many valuable lessons (importance of education is among many of them), but never in a preachy way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found mys Sometimes you just want to take a break from endless angst and sexual tension of currently popular both adult and YA books and read something light and inoffensive. "Princess Academy" is an excellent choice for this purpose. Although this is an obviously children's book, it is not silly or overly simplistic. The fairy tale is very imaginative and teaches many valuable lessons (importance of education is among many of them), but never in a preachy way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself extending my walks and slowing my driving just to continue listening to this excellent full cast audio. My only complaint was that the main narrator read a little too slowly, I really wanted her to speed it up a bit. Overall, a great experience. I will definitely read more of Shannon Hale's books when I am in a mood for a nice fairy tale. Reading challenge: #1 - P.

  5. 5 out of 5

    HT Goodwill

    Overall, the book was well written and appropriate for a young adolescent audience. It was certainly not written for someone in my demographic! I enjoyed a number of aspects of this book and also a few disappointements. Specifically, 1) The resolution of the primary conflict (who gets to be the princess) felt too much like a plot-device (I can't say more without giving away the ending) that the author threw into the story to avoid a painful conflict between the characters. 2)The culture of the moun Overall, the book was well written and appropriate for a young adolescent audience. It was certainly not written for someone in my demographic! I enjoyed a number of aspects of this book and also a few disappointements. Specifically, 1) The resolution of the primary conflict (who gets to be the princess) felt too much like a plot-device (I can't say more without giving away the ending) that the author threw into the story to avoid a painful conflict between the characters. 2)The culture of the mountain village and the kingdom as a whole was not developed enough - there was a lot of good potential here. On the other hand... 3) What culture was discussed permeated the story. Things like 'quarry-singing', holding hands, and twirling the miri flowers (to name a few) were present throughout the story, lending the culture a consistancy. 4) However, the absolute BEST aspect of this book is the over-all theme on the value of education. It was wonderful to see the education the girls received transforming their lives and the lives of their families. Further, I loved how the principle characters recognized the impact and determined to continue pursuing and sharing it. Despite the two negative comments above, please don't misconstrue my review for a negative one. As I said before, this book wasn't really wriiten for me. Were I an adolescent girl this probably would rate 5 stars. I think my daughters will thoroughly enjoy reading the book when they get older (I know I will recommend it to them) and I highly recommend the book for any adolescent girls you may know.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Every now and then I like to read a good children's book, especially if it has a smart heroine. Princess Academy was perfect reading for a Sunday afternoon. It tells the story of Miri, a 14-year-old girl living on a mountain that mines a valuable stone. One day, it's announced that the prince will choose his next princess from Miri's village, and all of the girls are sent to an academy to be educated. Miri is a spunky girl: she studies hard, she tries to make friends and she stands up for the ri Every now and then I like to read a good children's book, especially if it has a smart heroine. Princess Academy was perfect reading for a Sunday afternoon. It tells the story of Miri, a 14-year-old girl living on a mountain that mines a valuable stone. One day, it's announced that the prince will choose his next princess from Miri's village, and all of the girls are sent to an academy to be educated. Miri is a spunky girl: she studies hard, she tries to make friends and she stands up for the rights of others. What I especially liked is how the author emphasized education — Miri finds a way to use her new knowledge to help her family and the village. By the end of the book, it didn't really matter who became princess, because Miri had found her purpose in life. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a delightful dose of girl power.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    The linder quarries on Mount Eskel make for hard labour, but the villagers who mine it wouldn't trade their life for anything. The linder stone takes skill to extract in whole blocks from the mountainside, and its qualities enable them to converse without speaking. Fourteen year old Miri wants nothing so much as to join her father and older sister in the quarry. But she's small, and her father has forbidden her to set foot in the quarry. Instead, Miri tends the goats; teases her childhood friend, The linder quarries on Mount Eskel make for hard labour, but the villagers who mine it wouldn't trade their life for anything. The linder stone takes skill to extract in whole blocks from the mountainside, and its qualities enable them to converse without speaking. Fourteen year old Miri wants nothing so much as to join her father and older sister in the quarry. But she's small, and her father has forbidden her to set foot in the quarry. Instead, Miri tends the goats; teases her childhood friend, Peder; and wishes on the little miri flowers that she was named after to be allowed to work with everyone else in the quarry. But everything changes the day the traders arrive for the last time before winter, bringing with them an official from the capital of Dunland - a messenger from the King. It has long been a tradition that the priests name the city from which the prince and heir to the throne must choose his bride. This time, causing great shock amongst the noble families of Dunland, the priests have named Mount Eskel - so overlooked it's not even considered a province of Dunland. And so, further down the mountain in an abandoned stone manor house, the Princess Academy is established. Usually a formality, this time the girls aged thirteen to seventeen really must be trained - taught to read and write, how to walk and talk, about history and geography, diplomacy and economics. Most of the girls don't want to become princess, and their families need them back in the village and quarry, but even so, competition sparks amongst them. Who will be princess? Could Miri, who does so well at her studies and was able to make the prince smile, be the one? (And what about Peder?) Yet when a threat comes to the Academy, curtseys and platitudes won't save them - only wits, mountain strength and Miri's determination. This is the first Hale book I've read, and arguably her most popular one. It wasn't what I expected, but really it was better than I expected. It's one of those quiet fantasy books, like General Winston’s Daughter - nothing showy, no loud magic tricks or evil sorcerers or that tedious battle between good and evil (yawn). It also didn't follow those boring fantasy clichés that so many authors seem to enjoy perpetuating - a patriarchal social structure, for instance. Men and women work alongside each other in the quarry, and respect each other. Gender doesn't come into it. I got the impression that, despite classic hierarchies and class divisions, the rest of Dunland is much the same. The setting still had that typical medieval flavour, but with new angles and greater equality. Since it's Fantasy, not historical fiction, this is precisely the kind of thing I want to see - and don't get enough of. The story is also disarmingly simple in its style - the prose has that lovely, unburdened quality that's usual in YA and Children's fiction - no fancy adjectives, no heavy-handed descriptions, no long-winded paragraphs: light on its feet, detailed and yet deceptively straight-forward. Perfect for its target age group (9-12) but just as enjoyable for the rest of us. I loved Miri: she was a sympathetic character, a resourceful, intelligent, spirited girl you could really admire. She makes a great role model. The other girls weren't as fleshed-out as I'd have liked, but their characters still came through in small ways. The plot wasn't predictable, and the ending was very sweet. I also loved the small role economics plays in the story, not to mention the power an education gives you - Miri uses her hard-won knowledge from the Academy to improve her village's ability to trade, thus improving the quality of life on the mountain as well as their bargaining power. See, it's educational as well as a fun read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    Had a very long drive ahead of me yesterday, so took this lovely book along to reread it. It was never very surprising to this old reader; I could see the plot turns coming a few chapters before they did, but the true pleasure is in the relationships of the families in the mountain village where Miri lives, and of course the relationships of the girls as they develop. This reading, I appreciated how Hale takes the time to give all the girls at least some personality, and some chance to change and Had a very long drive ahead of me yesterday, so took this lovely book along to reread it. It was never very surprising to this old reader; I could see the plot turns coming a few chapters before they did, but the true pleasure is in the relationships of the families in the mountain village where Miri lives, and of course the relationships of the girls as they develop. This reading, I appreciated how Hale takes the time to give all the girls at least some personality, and some chance to change and grow, even if lightly sketched in. I loved the evolution of Miri's assumptions (often driven by anger and hurt) and how she would immediately catch herself when perceiving others' anger and hurt, and her attempts to communicate rather than brood for chapters over misunderstandings. I also loved how the girls decided how to deal with the prince coming to choose one of them before he came, and how everything resolved. And the touches of magic were subtle and fun. Such a lovely book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tamora Pierce

    I really liked it when the girls started pulling together and thinking past the fairytale, deciding that was in their best interest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kate Willis

    Confession: I waited too long to read this book. The little snatches of writing style I had seen didn’t look that good, and the description gave me the suspicion that it would be The Same Old Story. I was happily wrong and discovered one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. ;) The worldbuilding was really good and not too bizarre. It felt almost like somewhere straight out of Alps with hardworking, friendly (if slightly quarrelsome) neighbors. I loved the descriptions of the desolately beautifu Confession: I waited too long to read this book. The little snatches of writing style I had seen didn’t look that good, and the description gave me the suspicion that it would be The Same Old Story. I was happily wrong and discovered one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. ;) The worldbuilding was really good and not too bizarre. It felt almost like somewhere straight out of Alps with hardworking, friendly (if slightly quarrelsome) neighbors. I loved the descriptions of the desolately beautiful quarry, the persistent miri flowers (which are actually real!), and the linder rocks. Miri was a likeable heroine--not too strong-willed, smart, or timid. Just a regular, interesting girl. ;) The academy was a unique idea, and I loved how the girls used what they had learned to help their community without becoming the leaders of it. Britta was so sweet after she loosened up a little, and I liked what ended up happening with Katar. The encouragement to reach out to people despite their unfriendliness and band together was really excellent. I nearly laughed when they used the rules of diplomacy together on Olana, and the way they helped each other through the test was pretty awesome. ;) Spring holiday sounds like a ton of fun and is just another glimpse of the close-knit community portrayed in this book. (view spoiler)[Peder is just darling! I love how their friendship developed naturally into deep care for each other, and the linder hawk was a pretty sweet gift. <3 (hide spoiler)] One character who was immensely complicated and challenged my initial opinion of him was Miri’s father. I grew to love him. The ending was really unexpected and for a split second I felt cheated. (view spoiler)[What was the academy for anyway? (hide spoiler)] But once I thought about it, I loved it. :D Love, love, loved it. That’s really how it should have turned out, and the lasting effects of the academy were their own reward. (view spoiler)[And Miri and Peder!!! *squeals* (hide spoiler)] Not recommended for younger readers because of a slight element of romance; (view spoiler)[quarry speech, an awesome element of the story, but it’s basically telepathy (hide spoiler)] ; and extreme danger to (view spoiler)[young girls at the hands of bandits although everything turns out fine with no damage (hide spoiler)] . Also, the view of God in this book subtly reflects the Mormon religion even though it is in a fantasy setting. Best quote: (view spoiler)["Yes, I suppose so," she said with an exaggerated sigh. "But it will cost you something--one linder hawk." Peder nodded as if impressed. "An interesting choice of payment. What ever made you think of such a thing?" "I had one before, and it was the most... Well, actually, the most precious thing I own is the week right after I was born when my mother held me and never put me down. But the hawk was the second most precious thing. I was sorry to lose it, and if you make me another one, I promise not to get taken captive by bandits and have to use it to save my life." (hide spoiler)] Altogether, I very much enjoyed this sweet and satisfying read! I can't wait to read the other books in this series. ;)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donita Luz

    This was such a wonderful fairytale read! A prince, selecting a girl to marry! The Selection? Read this instead! Experience a fantastic adventure to knowledge and True Love with small but Terrible Miri! FULL REVIEW TO COME!

  12. 4 out of 5

    C.B. Cook

    I read this all in one day, guys. Seriously. Okay, so I read twelve pages of it this morning... Also, is it already June??? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??? The Good -The characters. Oh my gravy, Peder. Can I just steal him? And Miri and Britta and Knut... Bascially, I just want to kidnap all the characters. -The setting. Basically, the setting was just plain awesome. I WANNA MOVE TO MOUNT ESKEL. -Linder/Quarry-speech. That was sooo awesome. From the blurb, I wasn't even expecting that. But then again, I'm n I read this all in one day, guys. Seriously. Okay, so I read twelve pages of it this morning... Also, is it already June??? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN??? The Good -The characters. Oh my gravy, Peder. Can I just steal him? And Miri and Britta and Knut... Bascially, I just want to kidnap all the characters. -The setting. Basically, the setting was just plain awesome. I WANNA MOVE TO MOUNT ESKEL. -Linder/Quarry-speech. That was sooo awesome. From the blurb, I wasn't even expecting that. But then again, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting... -Plot continuity. Shannon Hale's pretty good at dropping early hints of plot twists without being too obvious. And yeah, I missed most of them, so I ended up with a ton of "Aha!" moments. (view spoiler)[-Steffan. He was a wonderful "stone pillar"! I loved when he opened up to Miri. ;) -My shipping. It held up very, very well. BASCIALLY ALL MY SHIPS WERE RIGHT. Except maybe Knut and Olana, but that was an iffy one... (hide spoiler)] The Bad -Surprises. This book actually did not surprise me all that much. I predicted pretty much everything. (view spoiler)[Except the part about the bandits. (hide spoiler)] The Ugly Very little romance, more violence than anything else. Someone falls off a cliff. So... I'm not sure if this book really intrigued me yesterday or if I just was procrastinating writing... I really enjoyed it though, I must say.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I've been reading this to my 8.5 year old daughter at night before bed. She is eating it up - and I am too. In fact - I read ahead just to see what happens. . SHHHHHHHH. Though the title is appropriate, I'm afraid that some people will not pick up this book because they think it is froofy and shallow. . 'Tis not. The protagonist is a real, rich character with an inner life and traits both admirable and unfortunate. The world she lives in is believable and complex economically and socially, and wi I've been reading this to my 8.5 year old daughter at night before bed. She is eating it up - and I am too. In fact - I read ahead just to see what happens. . SHHHHHHHH. Though the title is appropriate, I'm afraid that some people will not pick up this book because they think it is froofy and shallow. . 'Tis not. The protagonist is a real, rich character with an inner life and traits both admirable and unfortunate. The world she lives in is believable and complex economically and socially, and will be understood on many levels depending upon the sophistication of the reader. It is a coming of age story - I believe that the main character is 15-ish. Issues of friendship, love, attraction, ambition, prejudice, and family loyalty loom large, and are treated with sensitivity and insight into the mind of an adolescent girl. Put this book on your list of fast moving stories with strong, smart, resourceful and truly human female leads. Enjoy!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Kilsby

    Miri just wants to make her father proud and be like all Mount Eskel's people mining its beautiful stone. But when an opportunity for her to be a Princess is forced on their people, can she refuse? Or will this new path change her life forever? I LOVED this middle grade book. Though it's not written with a Christian world-view, it almost had an Esther-type retelling. Shannon Hale did a great job at bringing a clean respect to God in this book. Even having faithful rest days, which I very much app Miri just wants to make her father proud and be like all Mount Eskel's people mining its beautiful stone. But when an opportunity for her to be a Princess is forced on their people, can she refuse? Or will this new path change her life forever? I LOVED this middle grade book. Though it's not written with a Christian world-view, it almost had an Esther-type retelling. Shannon Hale did a great job at bringing a clean respect to God in this book. Even having faithful rest days, which I very much appreciated. Plus, there was this really unique language the Mountain people had that could only be used through the stone. Super cool! But, because it starts with singing, it reminded me of worship, of prayer and praying for each other as Christians, connecting us together as one... which I thought was neat. This book focuses on making a difference even if you are small and finding out what you are good at. It's about finding courage and strength in those who may fail around us. And most importantly, it's about the gift of books and learning. Shannon did an amazing job at reflecting these issues in all of the characters. It seemed each had their spotlight and for a middle grade book, I thought each character was well rounded with perfect arcs in this age group. Overall, a sweet and superb MG book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Krista Wright

    I thought this book would be cute, fun, and kind of similar to The Selection. Unfortunately, it was really boring. No action, no adventure, and definitely not enough romance. Even for a children's book, this still felt really flat. It was well-written, certainly, but it just didn't hold my interest.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    I found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, a lot. I loved the little poems at the start of each chapter; they gave such a good feel for this mountain community and its people. I was completely charmed by this culture and its people. There is a very inspiring main protagonist and most of the characters were interesting. I really liked Miri (the main character) and her spunk and her ingenuity, e I found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, a lot. I loved the little poems at the start of each chapter; they gave such a good feel for this mountain community and its people. I was completely charmed by this culture and its people. There is a very inspiring main protagonist and most of the characters were interesting. I really liked Miri (the main character) and her spunk and her ingenuity, especially regarding how she was motivated to use her educational opportunities and how she figured out how to communicate with her fellow students and villagers. I think this tale says a lot about feeling like an outsider vs. feeling a sense of belonging, and also about what is important in life. I didn’t really like a particular reveal toward the end because it seemed just a bit like cheating to me, but by the end I guess the way the plot evolved made sense to me and the story from beginning to end felt very satisfying. I’d say that readers can enjoy this book from ages 9 or 10 and all the way up. I have this under speculative fiction and there is a fantasy element, but it’s so subtle that this could almost be considered general fiction or a kind of realistic full length fairy tale (what with the prince and princesses and an unique way of communicating available to the mountain people.)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Magrat Ajostiernos

    http://cronicasdesdelancre.blogspot.c... ¡Menudo sorpresón! me ha ENCANTADO. ¡No os dejéis engañar por el horrible título! He disfrutado de cada página, de ese tono suave y como de cuento de hadas que tiene, del alegato a favor de la educación, de las chicas rudas y de las inteligentes… En fin, una historia que a pesar de ser previsible me ha mantenido con la sonrisa en los labios durante sus 300 páginas. ¡Quiero más! :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meli

    Imagínense algo como La selección, pero sin romance y bien escrito :) No me mató, pero me gustó, toca temas un poco raros para un middle grade (¡economía? WTF), pero también tiene un lindo mensaje de amistad y ser uno mismo.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie Grace

    this will always be one of my favorite books. I've grown up rereading it multiple times, and it's such a cozy, fluffy story. <3

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    This was one of the first (contemporary-written) fantasies I ever read, and I was swept away. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, but I still found this story fascinating.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Berry

    4.5 stars That was absolutely lovely.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    When I read “Rapunzel’s Revenge” and “Calamity Jack,” I became more interested into Shannon Hale’s works and “Princess Academy” was certainly no exception! “Princess Academy” is a Newbery Honor Book from the imaginative mind of Shannon Hale and it is about a fourteen year old girl named Miri who is taken away from her family to be taught how to be a princess in a princess academy, while trying hard to accomplish the goal of being the academy princess. “Princess Academy” is truly one of the most When I read “Rapunzel’s Revenge” and “Calamity Jack,” I became more interested into Shannon Hale’s works and “Princess Academy” was certainly no exception! “Princess Academy” is a Newbery Honor Book from the imaginative mind of Shannon Hale and it is about a fourteen year old girl named Miri who is taken away from her family to be taught how to be a princess in a princess academy, while trying hard to accomplish the goal of being the academy princess. “Princess Academy” is truly one of the most brilliant fairy tale retellings ever created! Never have I seen a book so well written since J.K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series and Shannon Hale has done a magnificent job at writing this book. Shannon Hale makes this book extremely exciting as the audience sees all the tough trials that each girl from Mount Eskel have to go through in order to become civilized princesses before the Prince arrives to the academy. Also, Shannon Hale has done a great job at making the story somewhat intense, especially when Olana at first treats the girls in a cruel manner and locks them up in a closet and also when Miri has to compete with Katar, another brilliant girl to be academy princess and many adults would love to see so much tension build up between the characters which makes the story exciting to read through. The character who stood out the most in this book is Miri herself as she is shown to be a strong and independent girl who would defy Olana’s rules of the academy in order to save the other girls’ lives. Miri shows the true power of a kind heart as she was willing to put everyone’s needs before her own and even being kind to her rival, Katar as Miri tries to understand the other girls’ problems and try to figure out a way to solve their problems. Miri is truly a great role model for women who want to stand up for what they believe is right and to always be kind to everyone, no matter if they are your enemies or friends. “Princess Academy” is truly an inspiring story that teaches people how to stand up for what you believe is right and to just be yourself, even if you are put through training to become a proper princess! If anyone wants a book about princesses, adventure, romance, and fierce determination, then this is the book for you! Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book. The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secrets). Also it shares the "speaking" theme. What I love most about Princess Academy is the growth the characters experience. Miri began as a scrawny quarry girl who didn't know her place in the world. She developed into a brave, intellegent girl who knows her heart. The road of growth is deep in plot and emotion which makes of a very meaningful and to I think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book. The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secrets). Also it shares the "speaking" theme. What I love most about Princess Academy is the growth the characters experience. Miri began as a scrawny quarry girl who didn't know her place in the world. She developed into a brave, intellegent girl who knows her heart. The road of growth is deep in plot and emotion which makes of a very meaningful and touching read. Lovely. Shannon Hale is a master of fantasy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Review originally posted on A Reader of Fictions. On the surface, Princess Academy seems a silly tale, a story of a Prince choosing a bride, an obvious read-a-like for Kiera Cass' The Selection. Of course, that is the crux of the story: the prince of Danland is to choose his bride from among the twenty girls of the proper age in Mount Eskel, a small territory town full of quarriers. The girls are required to spend a year in training for the Prince's coming. However, Princess Academy is so much mo Review originally posted on A Reader of Fictions. On the surface, Princess Academy seems a silly tale, a story of a Prince choosing a bride, an obvious read-a-like for Kiera Cass' The Selection. Of course, that is the crux of the story: the prince of Danland is to choose his bride from among the twenty girls of the proper age in Mount Eskel, a small territory town full of quarriers. The girls are required to spend a year in training for the Prince's coming. However, Princess Academy is so much more than that, and you would be a fool to pass it by because of that expectation. The covers given to Shannon Hale's books market to middle grade readers, which I think is a shame. While middle graders could certainly read this book and enjoy it, so too can teens and adults. There is nothing childish about Hale's writing or the stories she tells. They are, however, free of swearing and sex, which might age them in the eyes of publishers. These books are not just for young folks. When I saw Shannon Hale in person, she spoke to her motivations in becoming a writer for young people. She talked about how much reading meant to her as a child, and how she loved the stories of journeys. She compared that to all of the literary classics she was made to read in college, beautifully composed, but lacking in plot and story. As an author, she aims to compose books that do both, that can be both quality literature and entirely fun to read, told in a classic story arc. To my mind, she succeeds beautifully. One of the largest themes of Princess Academy is that of class. Those in Mount Eskel live far from the rest of Danland. They have their own customs and interests. Their sole source of income is from the mining of linder, the best building stone in the land. Only in Mount Eskel can linder be found, and those that live there build their lives around it. They even have their own form of speech for use within the quarry, which is so loud normal conversation cannot be used. Quarry-speech constitutes the only truly fantastical element of Princess Academy. This ability feels magical and wondrous, and I commend Shannon for devising it. Despite their unique skills, those in Mount Eskel are looked down upon by the lowlanders, the traders that come through town. Seen as stupid blue collar workers, the mountain people get no respect. As such, they have just as little affection for the lowlanders, viewing them solely as hateful people out to mess with hardworking citizens. These tensions can be felt in any society, the gap between the wealthy and the poor. In the Princess Academy, the possible princesses get an opportunity no Mount Eskel person has ever had before: the chance to obtain a traditional education. In Mount Eskel, the learning always ran to the mining of Linder, and other skills necessary to survive on the mountain. No one in the town knew how to read or much of anything about the history of their country. Princess Academy points to the value in book learning and of language, but also indicates the power and beauty of the work of the miners. Both are important, and learning can improve anyone and any profession. Miri, our heroine, is a tiny girl, not strong enough to mine linder, who does not really fit in. Perhaps the most important theme of the book is about realizing one's own strengths. While Miri may have no physical strength, her extraordinary cleverness helps her and others through life. Even that, though, might not be her largest contribution. Miri has a wonderful attitude and the ability to make others laugh. She excels in finding common ground with others, in creating friendships. This makes her such a wonderful, touching heroine. The other girls, too, have real personalities. Unlike The Selection, in which only a couple of girls receive much notice, Shannon manages in this short book, to make sure that we have a good sense for quite a few of the girls. She gives even the most annoying ones a real sense of self, and attributes them with motivations for acting the way they do. In fact, even the evil school marm, who reminds me quite a bit of Umbridge in her disdain for the students and draconian punishments, is not simply a figure of evil. Shannon develops fascinating, lovable, flawed characters. The romance, which I just have to comment on, is so well done. Shannon does not go for the easiest and most obvious routes. Her books always make me feel and give me butterflies of happiness when the couples finally get together. She manages to make me swoon without even writing in a kissing scene. This, my friends, is true skill. This was my second read through Princess Academy and I love it every bit as much as I did on my first time through. Shannon is one of my favorite authors for a reason.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Faith Hicks

    I really liked this book! I was assuming it would be something ... well, maybe more "Disney" due to the title (not to knock Disney, love their animated movies), but instead it was a thoughtful and genuinely touching story of a brave kid dealing with societal obstacles and winning the day with kindness and resolve. Really enjoyed this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    (warning: spoilers) Ok, so I hate it when people hype up a book so much that there's no way you can ever enjoy it. That's what happened to this book. Everyone told me I would love it so much, and so when I read it I was, I couldn't help but be...disappointed. It was good, don't get me wrong! I enjoyed it. I read it fast, it was a book that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. But I found it to be very predictable and it felt very confining. She mentioned that the mountain was beaut (warning: spoilers) Ok, so I hate it when people hype up a book so much that there's no way you can ever enjoy it. That's what happened to this book. Everyone told me I would love it so much, and so when I read it I was, I couldn't help but be...disappointed. It was good, don't get me wrong! I enjoyed it. I read it fast, it was a book that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. But I found it to be very predictable and it felt very confining. She mentioned that the mountain was beautiful, but it didn't feel beautiful, there's weren't many descriptions of the beautifulness of the mountain, and because of that I couldn't wait to leave the mountain, but unfortunately the action in the book took place in only 2 places at the village or at the academy. That was kind of dull. Even when the bandits threatened to take the girls away, I thought, oh, good, they're finally going to get away from this mountain, but no, they didn't. Ok, there's more things that I was going to say, but it's better saved for a discussion rather than a review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kyra

    This book is really seriously a great one!! I love how there is so much to the story and how you never want to put it down!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz F.

    Yay! I liked this book!! :P Things I liked... -I thought the author did a wonderful job of including most of the (20) girls in all the dialogue and I felt I got to know them all fairly well! :) (I feel like I would be really bad at that though XDD) -I liked Esa's character the most, I think! I liked Marda and Britta too though. -And Peder. And Doter. I guess I just liked their whole family XD -I appreciated that the bandit scene wasn't super cheesy or anything and that they didn't get away or that t Yay! I liked this book!! :P Things I liked... -I thought the author did a wonderful job of including most of the (20) girls in all the dialogue and I felt I got to know them all fairly well! :) (I feel like I would be really bad at that though XDD) -I liked Esa's character the most, I think! I liked Marda and Britta too though. -And Peder. And Doter. I guess I just liked their whole family XD -I appreciated that the bandit scene wasn't super cheesy or anything and that they didn't get away or that the villagers didn't beat them like the last round of bandits. I think that added to the story! Things I didn't like... -Though I liked Marda's character, I think she could have had a little more dialogue and action in the story. Though I guess she did (view spoiler)[break her leg (hide spoiler)] -I think Olana gave up a little too easy in some different things... maybe that's her weakness. -In the first part of the book, I didn't really like Miri's Pa's chracter. A house with closed shutters describes him well! - I felt like Miri's character went up and down and up and down. Like she cared about Peder and then she would love to be married to the prince and that was her biggest dream. She was very defensive in front of Olana, but meek at some points too. And other things like that. It just bugged me a little. But not enough to not enjoy the story ;) All in all, I loved reading Princess Academy! My rating is 5 stars!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Xiomara Canizales

    "Look no farther than your hand, make a choice and take a stand" Miri is such a heroin! The type of character I really enjoy to read and a great role model to my daughter! She speaks out her mind, is brave, smart, always finds her way, she is just perfect! There is this 'Bachelor' idea in between the plot, that I wasn't attractive to and I also wasn't a fan of the age of the girls to get married because even though Sahnnon Hale has this amazing writing style that can transport to a past generati "Look no farther than your hand, make a choice and take a stand" Miri is such a heroin! The type of character I really enjoy to read and a great role model to my daughter! She speaks out her mind, is brave, smart, always finds her way, she is just perfect! There is this 'Bachelor' idea in between the plot, that I wasn't attractive to and I also wasn't a fan of the age of the girls to get married because even though Sahnnon Hale has this amazing writing style that can transport to a past generation the novel is very recent. That been said, the real message of the book is EDUCATION, the importance of get our girls the education they deserve and how can educated woman can change the environment of their communities, I think that is a great message and I really appreciate. The father and daughter relationship was heart warming, I really love that new profile of a father, it was a difficult but honest and loving relationship. This story was a joy! Sadly I cannot keep reading this beautiful story because there is not an Spanish version! I read with my daughter so the English version is not an option... Setting: Asland & Mount Eskel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    I can’t tell you how much I’ve heard about this book. A lot. Let’s just say a lot. Between one of the sweet girls I babysit raving about it and the nearly 90 friends here on Goodreads that have shelved this book, I’ve known about this series for a while. Since I have read Shannon Hale’s Ever After High books and liked those decently well, I went ahead and got this trilogy. Opinion Time: I have to say, this first book was cute. There were three main thoughts I had while reading this bestseller: (1) I can’t tell you how much I’ve heard about this book. A lot. Let’s just say a lot. Between one of the sweet girls I babysit raving about it and the nearly 90 friends here on Goodreads that have shelved this book, I’ve known about this series for a while. Since I have read Shannon Hale’s Ever After High books and liked those decently well, I went ahead and got this trilogy. Opinion Time: I have to say, this first book was cute. There were three main thoughts I had while reading this bestseller: (1) “….so it’s like a mini version of The Bachelorette…?” (2) “Why does this feel like a young Ally Carter book?” and (3) “I still don’t understand what this quarry-speech stuff is.” {Like telepathy, but not? There are sometimes the mountain is made out to be actually alive…like the Disney-Pocahontas nature-is-alive style. (*cough* Listen With Your Heart 1 *cough*)} Also have to add: Miri’s last name is Larendaughter, because her father’s name is Laren and she’s his daughter. I’m blaming sleep deprivation on why I was laughing so hard at that. The ending is a bit coincidental, but I truly liked the family and friends message of the plot. I wouldn’t say I was impressed by the writing or plot, but I can see why so many have enjoyed it and plan to read the next two books. Content- -Nearly Many Mentions of priests/ministers of a creator god; Mentions of chapels & going; A few mentions of praying. -Pain, palm lashing, & being pinched (up to semi-detailed); Being held hostage by bandits, being tied-up/gagged, threats of being killed, & pain (semi-detailed); Some eye rolling; Gossip & talking about/thinking of other girls negatively; Mentions of palm lashing, being hit, & cruel punishments; Mentions of accidents, injuries, & blood/bleeding (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of bandits, attacks, being tied-up/gagged, being whipped, injuries, & pain; Mentions of thieves & murders; Mentions of the possibilities of deaths & killing; Mentions of threats & a threat to Miri about slitting her throat; Mentions of gossip & mean comments; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of slaughtering animals & their blood (barely-above-not-detailed); A few mentions of icky animals causing grossness or one that caused an infant’s death; A few mentions of cheating; A few mentions of throwing up & vomit; A couple mentions of wars & assassinations; A couple mentions of crimes & criminals; A couple mentions of gas; A mention of a boy who killed a bird; A few mentions of curses (said, not written); Up to quite a few ‘stupid’s, ‘idiot’s, ‘dumb’s, and ‘shut up’s. -Two cheek kisses; Touches, Dancing, Hand Holding, & Nearness (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes; A bit of noticing; Some talks about boys & crushes; Mentions of noticing, nearness, touches, blushes, & the effects on Miri (barely-above-not-detailed); A few mentions of young girls being in love with someone for years; A few mentions of blushes; A couple mentions of jealousy; A mention of a hand kiss; Mentions of Miri’s mother who died shortly after she gave birth to Miri & a different mother dying in labor as well.

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