Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Princess Academy

(Princess Academy #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  113,253 ratings  ·  8,691 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,
Paperback, 314 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Bloomsbury Children's Books (first published July 1st 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Princess Academy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Maryam Hi Cocoa Kitty, you could ask Shannon Hale a question or tell her something on the 'ask author' section.…moreHi Cocoa Kitty, you could ask Shannon Hale a question or tell her something on the 'ask author' section.(less)
Maryam Yes it's okay for 5th or the years are 8 9 10 and 11. E.T.C.…moreYes it's okay for 5th or the years are 8 9 10 and 11. E.T.C.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  113,253 ratings  ·  8,691 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1)
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
The Princess Academy is a favorite comfort read, and a delightful older middle grade/younger YA fantasy, nominated for the 2006 Newbery Award.

Miri is a teenage girl living in a small, simple mountain village, where everyone makes a living quarrying a lovely marble rock that is found only on their mountain. It's a sometimes harsh life, with everyone kind of scraping to get by, but filled with love and close friendships. One day the simple life ends: the priests of their country have mystically d
Nov 10, 2007 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 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love fairy tales and children's books
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 rated it liked it
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
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherwood Smith
Dec 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Had a very long drive ahead of me yesterday, so took this lovely book along to reread it.

It was never very surprising to this old reader; I could see the plot turns coming a few chapters before they did, but the true pleasure is in the relationships of the families in the mountain village where Miri lives, and of course the relationships of the girls as they develop.

This reading, I appreciated how Hale takes the time to give all the girls at least some personality, and some chance to change and
Tamora Pierce
Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really liked it when the girls started pulling together and thinking past the fairytale, deciding that was in their best interest.
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens, 2010
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,
Kate Willis
Confession: I waited too long to read this book. The little snatches of writing style I had seen didn’t look that good, and the description gave me the suspicion that it would be The Same Old Story. I was happily wrong and discovered one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. ;) The worldbuilding was really good and not too bizarre. It felt almost like somewhere straight out of Alps with hardworking, friendly (if slightly quarrelsome) neighbors. I loved the descriptions of the desolately beautifu ...more
The half-exposed slabs and laboring villagers gave the place energy, a feeling that here was where all the work of the world was done. Here everything was important. Sometimes just looking at it made Miri's chest feel hollow.

I love to read middle-grade books. That's something I determined a long time ago. And when one loves to read middle-grade books, certain stories crop up over and over in your recommendations from various sources. "Princess Academy" was one of those books. So when I saw it
Donita Luz
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!

Melanie Kilsby
Miri just wants to make her father proud and be like all Mount Eskel's people mining its beautiful stone. But when an opportunity for her to be a Princess is forced on their people, can she refuse? Or will this new path change her life forever?

I LOVED this middle grade book.
Though it's not written with a Christian world-view, it almost had an Esther-type retelling. Shannon Hale did a great job at bringing a clean respect to God in this book. Even having faithful rest days, which I very much app
Sometimes you see a book around so much that you get a mental picture of it without ever reading the back blurb. That was me with this book; so, going into it, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually loved it.

I think it was the beautiful world building that captured by heart. The small town mountain lifestyle and fierce togetherness of the people, yet how they’re willing in the end to listen to their own, grow, try new things, and better themselves. The concept of speak through the li
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Faith M:)
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This series is AMAZING!!!! You will love it the minute you start reading! Shannon Hale is a BEAUTIFUL writer!
C.B. Cook
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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

When I read “Rapunzel’s Revenge” and “Calamity Jack,” I became more interested into Shannon Hale’s works and “Princess Academy” was certainly no exception! “Princess Academy” is a Newbery Honor Book from the imaginative mind of Shannon Hale and it is about a fourteen year old girl named Miri who is taken away from her family to be taught how to be a princess in a princess academy, while trying hard to accomplish the goal of being the academy princess. “Princess Academy” is truly one of the most
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) 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
Katie Grace
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
this will always be one of my favorite books. I've grown up rereading it multiple times, and it's such a cozy, fluffy story. <3 ...more
Kellyn Roth
This was one of the first (contemporary-written) fantasies I ever read, and I was swept away. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, but I still found this story fascinating. ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Awkward prose

I couldn't get around the unseemly and awkward phrasing, so bad I couldn't enjoy the story. My impression is that the author is not well-read; her word-usage is just slightly off. The combination of bulky sentence structure and jarring words felt pretentious to me. The poetry, intended as quarry-work songs, was nauseatingly trite. Ech! Unfortunately, these aren't sporadic issues, they inundate the entire novel. Definitely could have used more editing.

You can imagine my surprise to f
Liz F.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-stars
Yay! I liked this book!! :P

Things I liked...

-I thought the author did a wonderful job of including most of the (20) girls in all the dialogue and I felt I got to know them all fairly well! :) (I feel like I would be really bad at that though XDD)

-I liked Esa's character the most, I think! I liked Marda and Britta too though.

-And Peder. And Doter. I guess I just liked their whole family XD

-I appreciated that the bandit scene wasn't super cheesy or anything and that they didn't get away or that t
Faith Hicks
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! I was assuming it would be something ... well, maybe more "Disney" due to the title (not to knock Disney, love their animated movies), but instead it was a thoughtful and genuinely touching story of a brave kid dealing with societal obstacles and winning the day with kindness and resolve. Really enjoyed this. ...more
Xiomara Canizales
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, children
"Look no farther than your hand, make a choice and take a stand"

Miri is such a heroin! The type of character I really enjoy to read and a great role model to my daughter! She speaks out her mind, is brave, smart, always finds her way, she is just perfect!
There is this 'Bachelor' idea in between the plot, that I wasn't attractive to and I also wasn't a fan of the age of the girls to get married because even though Sahnnon Hale has this amazing writing style that can transport to a past genera
Jun 06, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 touchi
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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!!!
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1)
  • Fairest
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #1)
  • The Two Princesses of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #1)
  • Ever
  • Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)
  • The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)
  • A Tale of Two Castles (A Tale of Two Castles, #1)
  • Princess of Glass (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #2)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods ( The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #3)
  • The Princess Curse
  • The Frog Princess
  • Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower, #1)
  • The False Prince (Ascendance, #1)
  • Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1)
  • Dragon Flight (Dragon Slippers, #2)
  • Just Ella (The Palace Chronicles, #1)
  • Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8.5)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

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

News & Interviews

Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
18 likes · 10 comments
“There you go...let it all slide out. Unhappiness can't stick in a person's soul when it's slick with tears.” 586 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.” 274 likes
More quotes…