By Shannon Hale
Miri lives, high on the slopes of Mt. Eskel. Up there the world echoes with the sound of hammer against rock and the ground is full of the hum of quarry-speech. Miri longs to join her father and elder sister in the quarry. She longs to work along with the villagers and feel the quarry-speech in the stones beneath her. However, her father seems determined to keep her out of the quarry. Miri fills her days with keeping the families goats and trading their stones. But then the unexpected happens.
The prince must have a bride and that bride must come Mt. Eskel. All eligible girls in Miri’s village are taken to the princess academy to prepare for meeting the prince. Miri is faced with competition among the girls, the longing to go home, and yet the strong desire to learn. However, when danger threatens the Academy Miri must put aside her feelings and save the people she loves most.
I really enjoyed Princess Academy. Miri’s struggles and pain are made real to you as you pursue the story and your love for her and her people will grow as you turn the pages. The quarry-speaking is a rather mysterious talent that the mountain people have. They can communicate with each other through the mountains stones. Though rather unique, quarry-specking is not perceived in an evil light but rather an exciting form of communication.