Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: Book Review

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Cover of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale4 Stars

Miri is a small teenage girl from the mountains. She feels inadequate in her village because she isn’t allowed to help in the quarry, the lifeblood of trade. She tries her best to help every way she can, but she just knows that everyone must think she’s a burden.

One day, with the spring traders, a delegate from the faraway court arrives. He announces that the priests have divined that the prince will find his princess in their village. All girls between the ages of 12 and 18 must go down the mountain to where a Princess Academy has been set up to teach them all that they must know to be fit to be a princess.

This wasn’t my favorite of Shannon Hale’s books (That would be Goose Girl, followed closely by Book of a Thousand Days), but I still liked it. I felt that it had a good message for young girls about learning what you can, speaking up for yourself and others, helping others, and being happy with your own talents instead of focusing on what you can’t do. It did all this without being preachy in the least.

I liked the girls. Miri was by far the most well-developed, but they all had their little (or big) dreams. They are of course changed by their lessons but they still remain true to who they were before. Miri was a plucky little thing and I admired her courage.

I suspected how everything would end up from really early on, but I still enjoyed the journey to get there.

I highly recommend this for tween girls.

Read an excerpt.

Find author Shannon Hale on her website, her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy Princess Academy at

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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1 Comment

  1. I haven't read Goose Girl though I did read Princess Academy and I liked it. I think there is a sequel to Princess Academy but I don't know that I'd read it.

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