Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Miri is a fourteen year old girl who lives in a mining village in the fictional kingdom of Danland. Her greatest wish is to join her family in mining the valuable linder stone but her father has denied her. She’s stuck with the goats.

Just when she thinks her life will be the same till she dies, a decree orders the teenage girls of her village to be trained in the Princess Academy. The (perhaps) lucky girl will marry the prince.

At first, Miri resents the martinetish teacher’s treatment of her and the other students. Slowly her education expands her world-view and she begins to question much that her everyone in her isolated hometown has accepted. To top it off,Miri discovers the secret behind the miner’s telepathic “quarry-speech,” and now she has the tools to fight the injustice of their situation.

Miri solves her own problems without the help of the prince who eventually arrives to the Academy.

It’s a fantasy but just barely because the details of the daily life of the miners grounds the story. Snippets of mining songs head each chapter and the writing is good. If you liked Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted or A Little Princess, then this would be a sure bet.


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