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. 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."Just when you think that a sequel is going to go and ruin something you love, that nothing better could possibly be tacked on, that it just won't work...a novel like this one comes along. I was worried about reading it, I see that now. Its why I waited so long and put it off. I was initially excited. I love Shannon Hale's writing style, I've devoured everything of hers I've been able to get my hands on as of yet and I loved Miri. Of course I wanted more! Then I second-guessed myself, questioned whether or not a sequel could live up to Princess Academy.
It could. It did. And in some ways, I feel that it might have surpassed it.
Princess Academy will always hold special magic for me. It was the first novel I ever read by Shannon Hale. It told the story of a girl who wasn't sure of who she was or where she fit in, a story that I could have easily related to at any stage of my life. And in its own right it was complete. Yet it held a cast of characters that you wondered about long after you closed the book. Obviously Shannon Hale felt the same way and thought to treat us to what she thought Miri went through after the academy.
I'm so glad that she did.
Miri was still that same girl. The story was as if you never put the first book down. That same humble beginning with a goat on a mountain and the girl who tends him, or her. It didn't feel as if it was a hasty extension but rather a continuation of the same story. I don't know how to explain it. Palace of Stone just fit.
I loved Palace of Stone just as much if not more, than Princess Academy but in different ways. I love them both so very much in their own right. They tell the story of growing up, of finding yourself, of questioning right and wrong, of hearth and home, of so many things, of so many universal things and with a twinge of magic and Miri's mayhem. Palace of Stone was a beautifully written book, like everything Shannon Hale has written, and definitely worthy of a read. I'm simply not doing it justice. Just, go pick it up.
I received a galley of this courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.