Title/Author: Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury Children's Books, August 21st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley.
Goodreads summary: "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."
***WARNING: SPOILERS POSSIBLE FOR BOOK 1***
So, only a little while ago I read Princess Academy and absolutly LOVED it! So imagine my excitement when I could almost immediately move on to the sequel! Sadly, I think this one worked somewhat less for me than Princess Academy did.
It took me a freaking week to read it! Which is slightly embarassing and not really a reflection of the book whatsoever as I was just crazy busy and I probably would have finished it sooner if I wasn't. That said, I didn't really find myself constantly thinking about the story when I wasn't reading it and didn't feel an irresistible urge to pick it up no matter how busy I was.
I loved Miri in Palace of Stone just as much as I did in Princess Academy. She's young and she makes mistakes, but she owns them and tries to fix it when faced with the less than desirable outcome of said mistakes. I love her courage and her resourcefulness. I love that she's a good, loyal friend and that she calls people on their bullshit.
And there are so many other characters for me to love! I mean, Peder stole my heart in Princess Academy and even though he's mostly all clueless boy, he's just adorable and sweet and I love the moments between Miri and him.
I didn't much care for most of the new characters that were introduced. I thought they were pretty ruthless and taking advantage of Miri's naivety. The one person I did really like in the end was the queen, because she learns to exert her influence and stand up for what she believes in.
The storyline is darker than in Princess Academy, and that's ok, because they grow older and are faced with real world problems outside of the ones they faced on Mount Eskel. I love that we delve a little deeper into the linder lore and there are some nice twists due to it.
Overall I did really enjoy Palace of Stone, but I didn't LOVE it. I think it was mostly due to the set of new characters that I wasn't really taken with. I do think these two books are wonderful and if I had a little girl in my life, I would gladly pass them on to her to read them, because I think they're adorable and have a powerful message, especially Princess Academy.
My rating: 4 stars