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, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.
©2005 Shannon Hale (P)2013 Full Cast Audio and AudioGO
"Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical, wonderful fantasy." (Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tithe)
Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.
This story was entertaining, but be forewarned in between each chapter is weird singing. The narrators have nice voices but the music is horrible. For me, it didn't hurt the book. I still enjoyed the story and the singing is very short lived (thank God). The singing & intermittent music is the only reason I took one star away from this book.
As my headline says, I literally finished this book in one night. I got attached to the story and intrigued by the little princesses. They are definitely underdogs. Although I had though the main characters reasons for feeling outcast and what they can do with rock speaking could have been taken so many other places, the author found intriguing ways of moving the story forward in a somewhat predictable but very likable manner.
If you like this book you will like the Selection series even more. Similar idea but more depth. Another good, similar series is the Countess.
When my daughter was young and still into all things "princess", she had this title on her shelf. We never read it at the time and I think it was probably because I was so burnt out on princess stories. Many years later, this book showed up on one of the girl empowerment feeds I read so I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did!
The story is one of family love, tradition, the power of education, friendship, and making life affirming changes within that framework. I truly enjoyed the story and loved the full cast performances.
You will read lots of reviews slamming the music between chapters. It was odd at first but very quickly became part of the story.
I have now read the second book and am getting ready to read the third. So far, the series has moved along and kept my attention even though at at 51 I am not the target audience. The stories are clever and feel timely.
I imagine the print edition may have an edge because it would not suffer from the horrible narration of the main character's voice. She is supposed to be an independently minded young teen but instead talks like a whiny 7-year-old. The narration of her internal thoughts is fine but that voice...ugh.
That voice, why?
This middle grade fantasy has strong girl characters who learn to love and value education and use it to change and save their lives. Their are many positive themes with an engaging heroine who uses her brains, learns about herself, and about her value in the world around her.
Shannon Hale has such a beautiful way of writing. she almost writes in poems and sonnets. Its magical. Great up lifting story!
Shannon Hales books of Bayern. A lot of the story line is trying to understand respect, and work with nature. The writing is similar, the stories are wonderful, I always recommend these books. I have red and re read all of these books over and over again.
It's very easy to picture in my mind the characters .
When Miri teaches her people the concept of commerce and trade. Miri shows so much bravery trying to change her clans ways
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I liked this book when I read it, not so sure about listening to it though. The book itself would appeal to the 9-13 year old female reader who dreams of being a princess... and is mellow enough to really listen to the acted out reading and musical interludes... it's a little slow. The messages of self empowerment, accepting your own differences, thoughts that govern behavior, family dynamics and being a friend to everyone are well done. I liked it better in book form though.
My oldest started reading this as part of her summer reading list heading into her 5th grade year. I agreed to read along with her. Now in full disclosure she was reading the hardcopy. But being able to discuss this together over dinner and other times during the week was AWESOME. The story is well done and full of empowering messages I know she will hold onto. Just to be clear.....this dad enjoyed the story as much as she did.
The story is great, especially if you like Shannon Hale's popular Goose Girl and sequels. If you like dramatic, full cast audiobooks, this is a great one, well done, and high enough quality audio. If you don't, you should probably just read the book.
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