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85990

PRINCESS ACADEMY

By

SHANNON HALE

Age 12+

Tags: Princess, Coming Of Age

Additional reads: Palace Of Stone(Princess Academy#2)

Born on a Mount Eskel, in a family of miners, Miri is named after the Miri stone her family has quarried for generations. Small for her age, ordered by her father not to step in to the quarry, Miri feels hardly anything like the stone she is named after. Everything changes when the royal priest announces that the future bride of the prince will have to be from the forgotten highlands of Mount Eskel. Miri, along with other young girls of Eskel, is forced to leave their families to train to become a future princess.

Things go bad for Miri from day one as she challenges tutor Olana’s rules inadvertently. On a particularly bad day Olana locks Miri in a dark closet without food, Miri discovers that she can communicate to the other girls through the Miri stone. At first Miri is puzzled, but later she figures out that the stone has been an integral part of the highlanders for generations and the stone now flows through their veins, thus making it possible for Miri to initiate communication.

One particularly early and harsh winter storm, the girls get snowed in and are attacked by thugs looking for a royal ransom in exchange for the future princess. How Miri leads her friends to escape from the bandits is the rest of the story.

It’s a typical Chak De India story with a nice twist at the end that smoothly sets the scene for a sequel. There are lots of small details that are worth a mention. Like how one of the girls has a limp arm, she is never ridiculed by the tutor, her friends or the royal seamstresses preparing the girls for the ball. Also how the girls are not treated as delicate darlings, but are expected to split wood, do hard chores, learn to curtsey as well as the basics of politics. The story flows well, but for the initial few pages where Hale tries explaining Miri’s her special powers.

As I read the book, I made notes on the section where the girls put to use the basics of diplomacy they are taught. I was clearing some stuff and the notes actually prompted me to write this post. Yes, I make notes like a maniac on everything I read, we all have our peculiarities don’t we?!

-Clearly state the problem.

-Admit your own error.

-State the error of the other party.

-Propose a specific compromise.

-Invite mutual acceptance.

-Illustrate negative outcome of refusal and positive effects of acceptance.

-Assert a deadline for acceptance.

 

Nice-no?!

All in all a sensitive and a sensible story