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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 listeners say about Princess Academy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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Performance
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Story
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    17

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

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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.



9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 people found this helpful

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

Delightful reading of a childhood book

I grew up with this story on my shelf, and revisiting as an adult has been a treat.

What I didn’t like: The voice used for Miri often had an obnoxious tone that seemed too young for her age. Some of the songs had a fuzzy sound quality and canned-sounding instruments.

What I liked: great voice acting for all the other characters, I could distinguish them easily, and the voices seemed to reflect the demeanors of the characters. I love the story, the lessons on self worth, finding your place in the world, finding meaning in one’s life. The power of education helps the girls at the academy improve their lives and navigate their experiences with more understanding and confidence. The lessons taught in their village are not disregarded. Religion is not shamed, but rather, allowed to exist as what it is: a way that people understand their world and their place in it. A beautiful tale that displays the strength and grounding that tradition gives, but also the hope and understanding that education brings. Both are needed. Miri learns the importance of a balance between faith and science, and the blending of the two.

My rating:
Performance is docked for sound quality and Miri’s often whiny, immature sounding voice. (I know she’s a young teen, but it felt younger to me)


1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A childhood favorite

Princess Academy was my absolute favorite book when I was a child. It was nice to be able to relive that experience yet again!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This one is pretty awesome!

I listened to it almost all the way straight through the first night, finished the last hour and a half the second night. The story feels fairly original, I can't compare this book to any other I've known in my lifetime, and it's very captivating. Definitely, I recommend.