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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Palace of Stone - Shannon Hale ***WARNING: SPOILERS POSSIBLE FOR BOOK 1***

So, only a little while ago I read Princess Academy and absolutly LOVED it! So imagine my excitement when I could almost immediately move on to the sequel! Sadly, I think this one worked somewhat less for me than Princess Academy did.

It took me a freaking week to read it! Which is slightly embarassing and not really a reflection of the book whatsoever as I was just crazy busy and I probably would have finished it sooner if I wasn't. That said, I didn't really find myself constantly thinking about the story when I wasn't reading it and didn't feel an irresistible urge to pick it up no matter how busy I was.

I loved Miri in Palace of Stone just as much as I did in Princess Academy. She's young and she makes mistakes, but she owns them and tries to fix it when faced with the less than desirable outcome of said mistakes. I love her courage and her resourcefulness. I love that she's a good, loyal friend and that she calls people on their bullshit.

And there are so many other characters for me to love! I mean, Peder stole my heart in Princess Academy and even though he's mostly all clueless boy, he's just adorable and sweet and I love the moments between Miri and him.

I didn't much care for most of the new characters that were introduced. I thought they were pretty ruthless and taking advantage of Miri's naivety. The one person I did really like in the end was the queen, because she learns to exert her influence and stand up for what she believes in.

The storyline is darker than in Princess Academy, and that's ok, because they grow older and are faced with real world problems outside of the ones they faced on Mount Eskel. I love that we delve a little deeper into the linder lore and there are some nice twists due to it.

Overall I did really enjoy Palace of Stone, but I didn't LOVE it. I think it was mostly due to the set of new characters that I wasn't really taken with. I do think these two books are wonderful and if I had a little girl in my life, I would gladly pass them on to her to read them, because I think they're adorable and have a powerful message, especially Princess Academy.

My rating: 4 stars