Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Summary: Mount Eskel has always been a small territory which survives on Lander-a stone from the quarry. Miri has never been aloud to work in it, even though she wishes she could.
Her lonely life changes when the Prince is told to go to Mount Eskel in search of his bride, the Princess. To prepare the mountain girls for life at the royal court, they are taken to a makeshift academy in the lowland. Miri's competitiveness earns her unfriendly faces, but also a couple of good friends.
Miri doesn't really know if she wants to be chosen, but she sure knows that she wants to stop being useless. Miri gets her chance to prove her worth when all the academy girls fall in to terrible danger.
Review: Miri was a great character! She was actually very real to me, even in the more dramatic scenes. The story line was pretty interesting as well, even if a bit predictable. The academy teacher annoyed me a lot and her dishonesty was cruel. I wish there had been more about the cleaning dude. He seemed like a really nice person. Britta was harder to get a hold of, but her actions made sense later on.
The writing was good. It kept me interested throughout the entire story with it's consistency and almost fast-pacedness. :) I think my favorite part was the description of the actual academy just because I like buildings with that feel. The names really helped set the scene in the story as well as the cultural things like the singing. Before each chapter, there was about a stanza of some Eskelian song. Most didn't make sense to me, but I thought that they added just that much more to the book. It was pretty close to amazing, so if you find that you need a book check this one out!
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