Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I enjoyed this so much more than I was expecting to. Shannon Hale keeps surprising me and I think this the best of all her books I've read. Of course, Austenland has a different target audience, so...really, I can only say that this outranks Goose Girl.
I hate the title. It reminds me of a Disney movie that stars Amanda Bynes or Anne Hathaway or somebody that little girls want to grow up to be like. The title actually kept me from reading this earlier. It sounded silly. In reality, however, the title is completely appropriate (I certainly can't think of a better one) and a great book for girls and their moms (sorry guys, but I don't think you'd enjoy it).
Mira is a fourteen year old Danlaner who lives on Mt Eskel with other mountain village families. When the prince's representatives come and announce that the prince will choose a bride from Mt. Eskel, each girl between the ages of 13 and 18 are forced to leave their families and attend the "princess academy" where they learned to read and write and learn the basics in commerce, poise, conversation and dance. After a years time, they meet the prince but Mira also realizes how much more enlightened she is with her education - princess-to-be or not. She uses her knowledge to better her village, defend her family and figure out the secret of "quarry-speaking".
Part fantasy, part romance, part coming of age, part fairy tale, I enjoyed this quick read.