Miri lives in a dirt-poor mountain village which survives by quarrying stone. So it comes as a huge shock when it is decreed that the kingdom’s prince must choose his bride from among the village girls. At the Princess Academy, where the eligible young girls are sent to prepare for their possible futures, bitter competition quickly breaks out over who will be chosen. Yet Miri finds herself at odds with the strict tutor, especially as her feelings for her childhood friend Peder start to grow. But when bandits arrive to kidnap the future princesses, rivalry over the role becomes the least of their worries. With her common sense and insight, Miri must find a way to reconcile the girls, get rid of the bandits and restore the peace!
This New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor winner is a warm and witty tale of would-be princesses and one girl’s courage in the face of powerful social conventions.
“A fresh approach to the traditional princess story with unexpected plot twists and great emotional resonance.” Newbery Committee
“This is not a fluffy, predictable fairytale, even though it has wonderful moments of humor. Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships… and the place we call home.” School Library Journal
“There are many pleasures to this satisfying tale: a precise lyricism to the language and a rhythm to the story… an unalloyed joy.” Kirkus starred review