Book Review: Princess Academy

Princess Academy

Princess Academy,  a book by Shannon Hale, is a book that I read for the Fantasy Reading Challenge that I’m participating in, (Yes, it was in February) is a book that I stole from In the Bookcase’s TBR List. Although I didn’t participate in the challenge’s second half, I still wanted to review this book because it was so awesome.

Fantasy Love February Reading 2016

In a tiny mountain town in a territory unworthy even to be called a province in Danland, workers mine linder, a stone so precious that it is the only rock that can be used in the king’s palace. It is here that Miri, a motherless, friendless girl lives with her father and sister. Although everyone else works in the quarry, Miri is not allowed to set foor in the quarry at all.

One day, out of the blue, and important messenger arrives from the lowlands with a startling message: This little town has been chosen as the home of the prince’s future bride. All girls of eligible age must attend a finishing school in preparation for the prince’s choice of bride.

As all the girls start school under the watchful eye of Tutor Olana, who often doles out frequent and often unfair punishments, Miri faces the competition of girls she has never called friends and her conflicting desires to stay on the mountain with Peder, a boy that calls her his “best friend”, or to go to the lowlands to marry the prince.

However, Miri has her own secrets.She is learning, something other than the Reading, Danlander History,  Diplomacy, and other courses in the school. Since she was never allowed into the quarry, she had never learned this art, the art which all the quarry-workers knew. However, with practice, she learns this skill, and it is with this skill that starts to bind her close to the other girls. It is with this skill that allows her to communicate. It is with this skill that she employs when her class runs in the peril.

This was an incredibly well written, well-put-together, spell binding, and beautiful book. If I had a word to describe it, it would be enchanting. And no, that’s not because it’s a princess book. In fact, Princess Academy is about as far of a princess book that I have ever read. It defies the standard prince, ball, ball gown, magic everywhere, happily-ever-after type fantasy story. In the beginning of the book, when it said that Miri was not allowed into the quarry, I surmised that it was going to be a Sleeping Beauty cliche-y type fairytale retelling. However, this book surpassed all my expectations, performing plot twists and unexpected endings that defied all my expectations.

This book seems to cover everything, from Miri’s striving to become accepted, to her earnest desire to work in the quarry with the other townspeople, to her attraction to Peder, this book passes over all the normal princess stuff for a much deeper, more intricately woven story.

Having accidentally gotten a little spoiler from GoodReads, I presumed I knew what was going to happen. However, the plot twists so intricately woven into the storyline made the ending so exponentially different from what I had expected, which was incredibly gratifying. I especially appreciate the ending, the way all the loose endings, even down to minute details were tied up. I love how reconciliation came about, I love how truth prevails in the end, and I love how (this is probably the most cliche part of the entire book) family and friends are always better than any material possessions.

Although I have never considered myself to be a fantasy reader, preferring to read historical fiction and mysteries, this book has captured my interest and leads me to want to read the rest of the books in the trilogy, as well as other books in the fantasy genre.

RockandMinerals4Him rating- 10/10 (if there are pluses, then I’d give those too).




Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge | Part 3 | Tales of Old

So…I’m back with Week 3 of  Fictionally’s Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge!!! It’s been great so far watching what others are reading, while my books are taking their time arriving from the library…. 🙂

Grimm’s… Hans Christian Anderson….This week’s challenge is to find an old version of a fairy tale, read it, then answer the questions on your blog.
Fantasy Love February Reading 2016
1. What fairy tale did you read?
I read “The Girl Without Hands” by the Grimm Brothers.
2. Did you enjoy it?
 Um. It was very interesting, to say the least! I feel like the story was incoherent, and some points didn’t exactly correlate to the other, and needed a bit of thinking to understand. Also, the story was quite disturbing, involving the devil, and having hands chopped off.
3. If there is a movie version of it, which is better? If there’s not a movie version, do you think there should be an adaption?
I’ve never seen a movie adaptation, and I wouldn’t feel like watching a movie edition either, because of the storyline!
4. Is this the first original fairy tale you’ve read?
No, I’ve read several other original fairy tales before. I’m a storyteller, as some of you know, so I read stories on a regular basis trying to choose stories to tell. 🙂
5. Do you want to read any more original tales now?
Yes! As a matter of fact, I just loaned a Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales book from my friend K, so I’m excited to read that! It’s also the prettiest book I’ve ever seen, so I’m shooting it for my Mini Challenge 2. 😀

Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge | Part 2 |Art

This week’s mini-challenge from Fictionally is “Art”! Although I’m no artist, Grace thought of that beforehand and noted which things were considered “artistic”…so I did a photo shoot with the books that have arrived from the library, and made them into a collage, and then added a quote. It’s by far not the best piece of anything that I’ve done…but…hey, it’s all for the blog, right?


Mini Challenge 2- Art!

Quote Collage.jpg

I do like the quote a lot. 🙂



Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge | Part 1 | My TBR List

A blogging friend, Shantelle at A Writer’s Heart, led me to a fantasy reading challenge on Fictionally, a blog run by Grace…and being the person who steals ideas like they’re nothing, I decided to join in!

Fantasy Love February Reading 2016

Mini Challenge 1- Your TBR List

Hmm…I don’t particularly think of myself as a fantasy reader, (so why did I steal this idea?) but I have a few books that I have in mind….so here goes!

(hmm…I actually read several fantasy books last month…but they don’t count…arrgh)

  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (stolen from In the Bookcase)
  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (stole this one from Knittingfrenzy18)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (yes, I’m really behind schedule on that one)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (I’ve never been able to really get into this one, even though it has great reviews and everyone seems to think it’s really good, so I’m attempting again)
  • Beauty : a retelling of the story of Beauty & the Beast by Robin McKinley (stole this one from Fictionally)

Toldja that I liked stealing things…

This should be plenty…aside from the other books that I have to read for school. (and the fact that the spring is never a good time for me to read much, haha).

I’m really excited for this challenge…I’m so excited that I may or may not be writing this post during school hours erhem…that I’ll be reading something (that I think) is out of my comfort zone (although judging by the number of fantasy books I read last month, it may not be, haha)…however, it’s going to be really interesting how this actually goes, since February/March/April/May usually is my no-reading part of the year.

Feel free to join the challenge here, and happy reading!