Title: Princess Academy
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: Princess Academy, 1/3
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Release Date: June 16, 2005
A simple life on Mount Eskel is all Miri has ever known. That is, until one day when her village receives word that the prince of Danland will be choosing a bride – from her very village. All eligible girls are ordered to attend a princess academy in the hopes of becoming suitable enough to catch the prince’s eye.
Miri is not sure she wants to be a princess, mostly because of her feelings for her childhood friend, Peder. During her time away at the princess academy, she begins to see the possibilities of a life outside of Mount Eskel. In addition to learning etiquette and poise, the girls learn the ways of commerce and diplomacy, and of course, how to read. But Miri’s learning and training equip her for more than just a shot at becoming a princess – she will help her village in a way she never could have dreamed of, and save the princess academy from an unforeseen threat.
I read the first two books of the Princess Academy series when I was younger, and I am happy to say that I enjoyed it just as much – okay, if not more – as an adult. I love this story of a simple, mountain girl thrown into princess training. This book has a lot going for it, too. Themes of family, friendship, and young romance are displayed in a thoughtful, beautiful way, which is why this book works for so many ages. Shannon Hale is among my favorite writes of YA fiction!