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Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  82,685 Ratings  ·  7,348 Reviews
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, an ...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by Bloomsbury Children's Books (first published 2005)
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Popular Answered Questions

Nikki try the book 'Book of a Thousand Days' it is in diary format and is one of my all time favourites
Meredith There's a sequel, if that's what you mean. It's called Palace of Stone.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lola  Reviewer

3.5 stars. If only…If only my eleven-year-old younger self had read this book. I know she would’ve shrieked with happiness at holding Princess Academy against her innocent little heart. Miri and younger Lola might’ve shared a stronger and more vivid level of connection and this latter probably would’ve eagerly pressed five stars as rating. (Well, it certainly isn’t every day that I refer to myself in the 3rd person.)

But I’m not eleven anymore, and, even if I enjoy some middle grade and younger r
Aug 20, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AUGUST 2012: Just re-read (technically re-listened) to this one in anticipation of the sequel coming out this month. Loved this book all over again!


MAY 2007: So the latest books I’ve read … I haven’t exactly enjoyed. I mean, I do finish them and everything, so they must have been okay, but it’s not like I was ever reaching for my book multiple times a day, binging on pages. I’ve kind of missed that.

But all that changed with Princess Academy! Seriously — I loved this book.

(I should probably on
Oct 17, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love fairy tales and children's books
Shelves: 2009, fairy-tales
Sometimes you just want to take a break from endless angst and sexual tension of currently popular both adult and YA books and read something light and inoffensive. "Princess Academy" is an excellent choice for this purpose. Although this is an obviously children's book, it is not silly or overly simplistic. The fairy tale is very imaginative and teaches many valuable lessons (importance of education is among many of them), but never in a preachy way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found mys
HT Goodwill
Jun 29, 2007 HT Goodwill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women and girls from the age of adolescence and up, those who enjoy adolescent fiction
Overall, the book was well written and appropriate for a young adolescent audience. It was certainly not written for someone in my demographic!

I enjoyed a number of aspects of this book and also a few disappointements. Specifically,

1) The resolution of the primary conflict (who gets to be the princess) felt too much like a plot-device (I can't say more without giving away the ending) that the author threw into the story to avoid a painful conflict between the characters.

2)The culture of the moun
Jun 14, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, girl-power
Every now and then I like to read a good children's book, especially if it has a smart heroine. Princess Academy was perfect reading for a Sunday afternoon. It tells the story of Miri, a 14-year-old girl living on a mountain that mines a valuable stone. One day, it's announced that the prince will choose his next princess from Miri's village, and all of the girls are sent to an academy to be educated.

Miri is a spunky girl: she studies hard, she tries to make friends and she stands up for the ri
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
The linder quarries on Mount Eskel make for hard labour, but the villagers who mine it wouldn't trade their life for anything. The linder stone takes skill to extract in whole blocks from the mountainside, and its qualities enable them to converse without speaking.

Fourteen year old Miri wants nothing so much as to join her father and older sister in the quarry. But she's small, and her father has forbidden her to set foot in the quarry. Instead, Miri tends the goats; teases her childhood friend,
Tamora Pierce
Sep 03, 2008 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it when the girls started pulling together and thinking past the fairytale, deciding that was in their best interest.
Donita Luz
This was such a wonderful fairytale read!

A prince, selecting a girl to marry! The Selection? Read this instead!

Experience a fantastic adventure to knowledge and True Love with small but Terrible Miri!

Sep 22, 2008 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 9-adult to read alone, read aloud to 5 and up
I've been reading this to my 8.5 year old daughter at night before bed. She is eating it up - and I am too. In fact - I read ahead just to see what happens. . SHHHHHHHH.

Though the title is appropriate, I'm afraid that some people will not pick up this book because they think it is froofy and shallow. . 'Tis not. The protagonist is a real, rich character with an inner life and traits both admirable and unfortunate. The world she lives in is believable and complex economically and socially, and wi
This might sound weird, but I have to admit that what attracted me to this book in the first place was that almost every major character was a girl. (Oddly enough, the bad guys are all male, but that is totally beside the point--I do NOT mean to give the impression that this is a girls vs. guys thing, because it's not! --just a random thought that spontaneously occurred to me.)

I mean, as a girl who grew up constantly reading stories about boys, it shouldn't be too surprising that I'd eventually
Lisa Vegan
I found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, a lot.

I loved the little poems at the start of each chapter; they gave such a good feel for this mountain community and its people. I was completely charmed by this culture and its people.

There is a very inspiring main protagonist and most of the characters were interesting. I really liked Miri (the main character) and her spunk and her ingenuity, e
Krista Wright
Jul 28, 2015 Krista Wright rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be cute, fun, and kind of similar to The Selection. Unfortunately, it was really boring. No action, no adventure, and definitely not enough romance. Even for a children's book, this still felt really flat. It was well-written, certainly, but it just didn't hold my interest.
Nov 25, 2008 SheWunders rated it it was amazing
I think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book.

The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secrets). Also it shares the "speaking" theme.

What I love most about Princess Academy is the growth the characters experience. Miri began as a scrawny quarry girl who didn't know her place in the world. She developed into a brave, intellegent girl who knows her heart. The road of growth is deep in plot and emotion which makes of a very meaningful and to
Jun 26, 2007 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Girls
(warning: spoilers)

Ok, so I hate it when people hype up a book so much that there's no way you can ever enjoy it. That's what happened to this book. Everyone told me I would love it so much, and so when I read it I was, I couldn't help but be...disappointed. It was good, don't get me wrong! I enjoyed it. I read it fast, it was a book that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. But I found it to be very predictable and it felt very confining. She mentioned that the mountain was beaut
Aug 24, 2015 Meli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagínense algo como La selección, pero sin romance y bien escrito :)

No me mató, pero me gustó, toca temas un poco raros para un middle grade (¡economía? WTF), pero también tiene un lindo mensaje de amistad y ser uno mismo.

Mar 30, 2008 Kyra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone looking for a great book!!!!!!
This book is really seriously a great one!! I love how there is so much to the story and how you never want to put it down!!!
Shannon Messenger
This was probably the 5th Middle Grade book I bought and read (I started with the Newbery winners) and if I'd had any doubts that this genre could have beautiful prose and deep, powerful stories they were erased here.

Don't be fooled by the title into thinking this is some fluffy fantasy about pretty dresses and fairy godmothers. The story is based off a fairytale, and there is a slight magical feel, but this is an emotional, rich story about a poor, uneducated mountain village that learns they
Apr 22, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here.

Unfortunately, Princess Academy is one of those books for which my enjoyment suffered because of the format I chose. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Princess Academy, I most certainly did, but I would also almost certainly have enjoyed it more had I read it. The audiobook of Princess Academy was produced by Full Cast Audio, and like their name, they use a full cast to read their books. Instead of a book narrated from different perspectives using various narrators (whi
Oct 14, 2008 Juli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of nontraditional fairy tales (or, you know, anyone who can read.)
Recommended to Juli by: Katie O'Neill
The main character is Miri (named for a moutain flower), who lives in the poor mountains of a rich kingdom. None of the mountain people can read or write, and their only source of income is a product of the mountain itself, which they have to mine, and they're dependent on traders who come from the lowlands with basic goods to swap for the precious mountain stone. The king's priests determine that the prince's future bride will come from Miri's mountain village, so all the eligible young girls h ...more
Oct 01, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, utah-author
Literary academics love to debate definitions. When did the Victorian era of literature really start? To which nation should an ex patriot’s writing be accredited? What is young adult fiction? Stephenie Meyer, one of the most recently popular young adult authors, noted her opinion that young adult books merely have young adult protagonists, while adult books have adult protagonists. That may be true, but YA plots also usually involve some kind of bildungsroman.

Princess Academy is no exception. T
Nola Redd
May 26, 2008 Nola Redd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults, girls
Recommended to Nola by: Sesika
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
After hearing a number of people recommend Shannon Hale's The Princess Academy, I couldn't resist trying it out myself. I found it to be a delightful read, perfect for children and young adults, and rather engaging even for us 'big people.' More than your average fairy-tale, the novel creates a protagonist that exceeds the usual boundries.
The premise of the novel is fairy-tale typical. When the priests of Danland determine that the prince's bride will come from the slopes of Mt. Eskel, an acad
Dec 07, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are trying to discover who they really are—whether a preteen, teenager, or adult
Recommended to Jacqueline by:
Old review written in 2008 or something like a million years ago:

Everyone who has been or is a teenager has to admit it: one of the most trial times of your life is in your mid- and early teens. If you think about it, these are the times when you have the most conflicts in your life--those with family, friends, neighbors, and probably the greatest, with yourself. Young adult fiction writer Shannon Hale takes a look at these same conflicts. Though the main character of the novel Princess Academy
V. Gingerich
Another book that makes me go, "Where have you been all my life?"

Expect lots of similes and other figures of speech, lovely and well drawn characters, and a fantasy setting that feels real as the page.

Miri fights against prejudice and ambition and worries about things like fitting in and how important she really is to her family. She struggles to know the difference between being happy and being chosen for something important, and, as a reader, I struggled, too. I really wanted Miri to be chos
Apr 14, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Shannon Hale - and get sucked right in to her books from the beginning. This book is certainly no exception.

I'm trying to remember though - I have read a book similar to Shannon Hale's style - it was about a girl stuck up in a tower with her maiden. Does this book sound familiar to any of you? If so, can you remind me of the author? I'd like to check out more of those books.

Nevermind...I just found it. It's called Book of a Thousand Days and yes, it is written by Shannon Hale and not so
Dec 01, 2008 Amma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amma by: no one
This is the greatest book I've ever ever ever ever read. It takes place a longggg time ago in Scandanavia and it is so like real life it's scary. It very interseting, a book you can't put down.
Mar 24, 2009 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend Chris Dufort LOVES this book. He is has every bit of Princess Academy merchandise that he can find. He told me that he has read this book 5 or 6 times. I took him up on it and I liked it.
C.B. Cook
Feb 02, 2016 C.B. Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this all in one day, guys. Seriously. Okay, so I read twelve pages of it this morning... Also, is it already June??? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN???

The Good
-The characters. Oh my gravy, Peder. Can I just steal him? And Miri and Britta and Knut... Bascially, I just want to kidnap all the characters.
-The setting. Basically, the setting was just plain awesome. I WANNA MOVE TO MOUNT ESKEL.
-Linder/Quarry-speech. That was sooo awesome. From the blurb, I wasn't even expecting that. But then again, I'm n
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Review originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

On the surface, Princess Academy seems a silly tale, a story of a Prince choosing a bride, an obvious read-a-like for Kiera Cass' The Selection. Of course, that is the crux of the story: the prince of Danland is to choose his bride from among the twenty girls of the proper age in Mount Eskel, a small territory town full of quarriers. The girls are required to spend a year in training for the Prince's coming. However, Princess Academy is so much mo
This book has great re-read quality. Even rereading it twice in say, a month, like I sort of am, is worth it. You catch little details and tiny foreshadowings you don't catch the first time around.
...........October 14th 2010........
Shannon Hale's books affect me in very odd ways. Occasionally I have to wipe tears out of my eyes. I squeal and laugh and pound my feet on the floor. I have just finished re-reading two of her books in a row, and I am practically in a state of overload. Her books ar
Kat  Hooper
Oct 01, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The people who live on Mount Eskel mine linder, the marble-like substance that’s highly prized by those who live in the lowlands. Even though they’ve always supplied the linder for the King’s palace and other important buildings, the mountain folk have their own culture and know very little about what happens beneath their mountain. Therefore, they’re just as surprised as the lowlanders are when the priests ordain that the prince’s bride will come from Mou
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more
More about Shannon Hale...

Other Books in the Series

Princess Academy (3 books)
  • Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2)
  • The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy, #3)

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“There you go...let it all slide out. Unhappiness can't stick in a person's soul when it's slick with tears.” 540 likes
“I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star. My nurse said the story was about how we all have something that keeps us down.” 275 likes
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