Palace of Stone

Palace of Stone, by Shannon Hale + Giveaway

Title: Princess Academy: Palace of Stone
Author: Shannon Hale
Pages: 336
Originally Published: 2012 (Release date 8/21/2012)
Format I Read: Kindle eBook (via Netgalley)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: [rating:4]


I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

Princess Academy is one of my favorite books by Shannon Hale (with The Goose Girl narrowly edging it out of first place). So, I was overjoyed when I found out she was penning a sequel. And what a sequel Palace of Stone is!

Miri and several of the other graduates of the princess academy are headed to the capital for a year to be ladies of the princess-to-be, Britta. Miri is going to enter the Queen’s Palace as a scholar and hopes to learn enough to make her family proud. She also hopes to continue her relationship with Peder, who is also in the capital as a carving apprentice. But things get more complicated that she thought possible, when she learns of the political situation in the capital and the rumblings of a revolution.

This is a fitting sequel to Princess Academy. I loved being back in this world. I love Miri. And Peder. I even enjoyed the politics. And I sympathized with the confusion and pressure Miri feels throughout the book. She is a great heroine – naive at times, but also smart and honorable.

The writing is well done, of course. I’d expect nothing less from Shannon Hale at this point. Here’s a lovely quote that also highlights one of the themes:

Unlike numbers, words were rarely just one thing. They moved and changed, camouflaging and leaping out unexpectedly. Words were slippery and alive, words wrestled out of her grip and became something new. Words were dangerous. (Ch. 12)

The plotting was deftly done and well paced. And it packed an emotional punch too. I unexpectedly cried at the end. (Oh, one small note on the plot. This may just be because I happened to be listening to the audio of Enna Burning at the same time I was reading this book, but the plots struck me as very similar: friend of princess established in prior book goes back now to help and save the kingdom with her special powers and personality. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, but it is interesting.)

Anyway, if you enjoyed Princess Academy, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one. And though Palace of Stone could technically stand on its own, I would definitely recommend reading Princess Academy first.

Palace of Stone, Shannon Hale [rating:4]

Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for the advanced copy.

I’m giving away a copy of Princess Academy to one lucky reader! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post listing all of the Shannon Hale books you’ve read (or that you want to read). U.S. and Canadian addresses only please. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, August 27, 2012.

Categories: Book Events, Fiction, Giveaways, Review Copy, Reviews, Utah Book Month


    • Jessica

      I was struggling at the beginning. I think because I was only able to read a few pages at a time up until then. Then, on Friday, I managed to sit down with it for an hour and got very into it. :)

  • Justine

    I haven’t read any Shannon Hale novels yet, but Princess Academy, The Goose Girl, and Austenland are on my TBR list!

  • Emily

    I’m so looking forward to reading this. Thanks for doing a giveaway! I have read every single Shannon Hale book (minus Palace of Stone).

    • Jessica

      Whew! Another Shannon Hale devotee. :) I’ve read them all now except MIDNIGHT IN AUSTENLAND, and I’m halfway through that.

      Oops, and the graphic novels. I haven’t gotten to them yet either.

      • Emily

        The graphic novels are so fun! I checked the first one out from the library, laughed so hard reading it and then went straight to amazon to order both. I’m not a graphic novel person, but Shannon’s just do it for me. Beautiful fantasy, perfect mixed-up fairy tale feel, completely hilarious, lovely little romance storylines, and gorgeous pictures. I highly recommend them.

  • Kami

    I think I liked Palace of Stone better than Princess Academy! It was really well done. I’ve read ALL of Shannon’s books except for Midnight in Austenland.

    • Jessica

      I think that may be the case for me too, but I read PRINCESS ACADEMY so long ago, it’s hard to tell. A reread may be in order.

  • Levina G

    I have read Goose Girl (great read) and have Austenland and Midnight in Austenland in my TBR pile. I heard great things about Princess Academy – thanks for the giveaway!

  • Anita Yancey

    I have never read a Shannon Hale book. But I would love to read this one. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  • Carrie

    I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale! I have read The Goose girl and Bayern series. The Actor and the Housewife, Austenland and Midnight in Austenland! I love her books and writing style !

  • Nivedetha

    I’ve read all her books except Midnight in Austenland and its so hard to get them here in India. Thanks for having the giveaway!

  • Emily

    Sounds good! It’s been so long since I read Princess Academy, though, I think I would need to reread it first before tackling Palace of Stone.

    • Jessica

      Yeah. I read PRINCESS ACADEMY back in 2007. While I was able to follow PALACE OF STONE just fine, I wish that I had reread PRINCESS ACADEMY to get reacquainted with all of the minor characters.

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