Monday, August 20, 2012

Up and Coming: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Katie is a huge Shanon Hale fan, if you happen to be as well, consider yourself on notice:

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Release Date: August 21, 2012

Most girls may dream of being a princess at some point in their life, but Shannon Hale is here to remind us that sometimes it is the princess’s best friend who might be the most interesting character of all. 

Miri and the girls of the Princess Academy return to form in Palace of Stone. If you thought all their problems were solved by having brought fair trade to Mount Eskel in The Princess Academy, you would be wrong. Away from home, staying at the castle in preparation for the royal wedding, Miri has new demons to battle--both within herself and within the castle walls. Having the opportunity to attend a real school for the first time in her life, Miri is introduced to new people and new views--thoughts that she never considered before on top of her mountain. Such as what gives a king the right to rule? What is the price of revolution? How far is she willing to go to do the right thing? And while we’re on the subject, what exactly IS the right thing?

A rebel within the castle walls, a friend to the future princess, a seeker of truth, Miri is one of those characters who constantly dazzles the reader with her intelligence and good heart even when she seems truly lost and confused in the letters she writes her sister back home. 

This is not to say that Palace of Stone is a book only about political intrigue and revolution, though. Shannon Hale has a knack for deftly weaving in the intricacies of friendship and romance into the larger themes, most notably as we watch Miri struggle between her old and new life and the love of her past and the new crush of her present. Miri is wrestling with some huge issues (ones that we should all ask ourselves at some point), and in her case the consequences for those she cares about could be grave indeed.

This is a lyrical and moving read. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale’s previous work, books that make you think, or just really good writing.

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