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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"Shannon Hale writes deft, lyrical, wonderful fantasy." (Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tithe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    258
  • 4 Stars
    140
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    231
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    12

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    233
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alfonzo
  • Concord, California, United States
  • 07-28-15

Father And Daughter Agree!

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finished in One Night.

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LL
  • 03-10-15

Don't Let the Title Throw You Off

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.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great for the right younger teen reader...

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Full-Cast of a good story

I don't know if it's full-cast audiobooks in general, but the shifts in reader were kind of jarring. The story is good, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic at any age

What made the experience of listening to Princess Academy the most enjoyable?

Shannon Hale has such a beautiful way of writing. she almost writes in poems and sonnets. Its magical. Great up lifting story!

What other book might you compare Princess Academy to and why?

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.

What does Laura Credidio bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's very easy to picture in my mind the characters .

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Miri teaches her people the concept of commerce and trade. Miri shows so much bravery trying to change her clans ways

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Story, performance varied

Would you consider the audio edition of Princess Academy to be better than the print version?

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.

What three words best describe Laura Credidio’s performance?

That voice, why?

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Princess academy

A definite 5 of 5 I love the rest of the series
Too. :) :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I recommend it to ages 8-14

my eldest daughter liked it, it wasn't her favorite, but she enjoyed it. read it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A pleasant surprise

Such a sweet story! I decided to read this book after Melanie Kilsby, on her YouTube channel "YA Christian Books and More" gave it a glowing recommendation, and I was not disappointed. While it did take me a few chapters to get truly invested, I eventually fell in love and really looked forward to the next chance I would get to listen more. (Having listened to this on audio, please pardon if I spell anything wrong because of that.)

Some of my favorite things were Miri's friendship with Britta, the whole concept of quarry speech, the themes about the importance of education and literacy, and the sweet little romance. I found myself cheering and being proud of the characters on several occasions, and when the climax of the story came, I couldn't stop listening until the story was done.

My official rating is 4.5 since it did take a few chapters for the story to really grab me, but otherwise, I can't find much else to complain about. It was a charming story with an extremely satisfying ending.

The audiobook was a recorded with a full cast who even sang all the songs. I loved it!

Content Advisory:

Language: None

Violence: Much of the discipline the girls receive when they first start going to the Princess Academy is harsh and unfair compared to the supposed "infraction". They are whacked across the palm with a stick, and get locked in a dark closet with a rat for hours on end and sometimes are forgotten in there.

Someone is hurt by a fall in the quarry. The injury is not described.

Probably the "worst" of the violence comes towards the end when the girls are, for spoilery reasons, treated badly via being tied up, threatened, and some of them are gagged. One of them is even backhanded across the face by a man for saying the wrong thing. There are other threats of violence against the girls, including threats of neck breaking (which doesn't happen, but for a while it seems like it could). Some of the villains get killed in non-descriptive ways, mainly getting shot with arrows. Brief mentions of blood in the snow, but nothing graphic or upsetting. Someone dies by falling off a cliff and disappearing into the mist far below.

Sexual content (or lack thereof): There is a slow-growing attraction between a young boy and girl. It never gets "sexual" or even becomes an official romance, but there are tingly feelings, a kiss on the cheek, and much emotional confusion going on. The other little romance that happens features no more than a hand kiss and is just very sweet. I also feel I should mention that attraction between these couples is NOT insta-love (thank goodness :p), but grows slowly over the course of years.

Worldviews: While not featured heavily, there is mention of a "Creator God". This "Creator God" has priests who make a prediction that is crucial to the storyline. It is mentioned briefly only once that a character prays during an intense moment, but there was no indication to whom the character was praying, or what was prayed.