Princess Academy (Fairy Tale Fridays)

 In the past I've used Fairy Tale Fridays as a chance to explore classic fairy tales such as those by Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm.  However, I also want to use this meme and my 2011 Fairy Tale Challenge to focus on some modern books that very easily fit into the fairy tale genre.  Today's pick is from an author that composes fiction for readers of all ages.  I previously read and reviewed her novel The Actor and The Housewife, but today I want to spotlight a different book by Shannon Hale.

Princess Academy is a cute fairy-tale story perfect for youth or young adults but easily enjoyed as a light novel for grown readers too. The book tells the story of Miri, a young girl from a mountain village who feels useless to her town since she is forbidden to work in the rock quarry with her family. One day an emissary from the king comes to the mountain and reveals that the king's priests have determined that the prince's bride is to be chosen among the girls from Miri's village.

Miri and all her friends are sent to a special Princess Academy to learn the ways of royalty but as Miri progresses through the school she finds that, even more than becoming a Princess, what she really longs for is a place to belong. With themes of the importance and potential of all people, and with a story that is sweet and yet unpredictable, Shannon Hale's Princess Academy is a charming tale that deserves all the accolades showered upon it.
I don't want to give away too much of this story, but I will say that it's a lovely fairy tale.  For those looking for a recent publication of an ages-old genre, this is definitely a short novel that you won't want to miss!

8 Response to "Princess Academy (Fairy Tale Fridays)"

  1. Me says:
    January 28, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    What a wonderful idea for a meme! I hope to join you today...I'm such a fan of Fairy Tales - especially modern ones - I'm actually workin gon my own modern Fairy Tale right now...kind of a Cinderella, Chick Lit, contemproary novel - a work in progress...Look forward to hearing what else you're reading!

  2. Anonymous Says:
    January 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Sounds like a good story. I always have trouble deciding which modern books fit as fairy tales, aside from retellings. I'll have to add this to my list.

  3. Lesa says:
    January 28, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    I'm a big fan of fairytales and retellings and I thought this was a great one! I've been wanting to read more Shannon Hale.

  4. Anonymous Says:
    January 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Since you say this is unpredictable, I hope that she isn't just training to be a bride??? I guess I have to read it to find out :)

  5. SunTiger says:
    January 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    This book sounds a bit too whimsical for my dark-fiction tastes but all the same I enjoyed reading your post. :-) The most compelling idea is how unpredictable this book is supposed to be. I love it when an author completely surprises me!

    ~ Tami

  6. Anonymous Says:
    February 4, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    I'm looking for a book to read my six year old daughter, something which is a step up from the picture books.

    Do you think this would be appropriate?

  7. lisa :) says:
    February 4, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Might be a bit advanced for a six-year-old, but with most books it depends on the child. I think this one is recommended as a middle grade book (ages 9-12) so if not now, in a few years maybe.

  8. Tif Sweeney says:
    March 7, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    How did I miss this one?!? I discovered Shannon Hale last year and have loved everything that I have read by her so far! I need to add this one to my wish list!!

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