Blog Tour: The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale

Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: March 3, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 3 of the Princess Academy trilogy
Summary: After a year at the king’s palace, Miri has learned all about being a proper princess. But the tables turn when the student must become the teacher!

Instead of returning to her beloved Mount Eskel, Miri is ordered to journey to a distant swamp and start a princess academy for three sisters, cousins of the royal family. Unfortunately, Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than becoming princesses.

As Miri spends more time with the sisters, she realizes the king and queen’s interest in them hides a long-buried secret. She must rely on her own strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the girls, complete her assignment, and finally make her way home.

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If there's one overall word to describe the Princess Academy series, it would be delightful. Shannon has created this magical world (ironically without very much magic), and I wish I could live there. Even though the series doesn't shy away from danger and conflict—bandits, mean tutors, revolutions, possibly poisonous snakes, war—there's no end to its charm and grace and joy. I am absolutely honored to be part of The Forgotten Sisters blog tour and help celebrate TEN YEARS of Princess Academy goodness.

First of all, GIRL POWER. The ladies of Princess Academy don't put up with crap from anybody, and it's amazing. Miri has proven that since the first page of book one, and the royal cousins Astrid, Felissa, and Sus continue that spunky attitude in The Forgotten Sisters. Wrestling with caimons? Challenging muscular soldiers to one-on-one hand-to-hand combat? Stopping a robbery? NBD to this fearsome foursome! And it's really quite extraordinary because these girls use their bodies AND their brainss to get out of any dangerous situation. Although the sisters intitially struggle against Miri's tutelage, eventually she's able to impress upon them the importance of education, and the girls put their studies to good use at every plot turn.

I also love the growing romance between Miri and Peder. Lately, I've become really interested in new adult and exploring serious romances of, ahem, a particular nature, but Miri and Peder's relationship is so sweet and innocent and PURE that I could just die. Also, they kiss now, which is why I don't. It's been wonderful to watch these two childhood friends develop their relationship throughout the series, despite a number of obstacles such as distance, a potential love triangle, and, oh yeah, possible death. Several times. Like a lot. What warms my heart is how much trust they have in each other and how much they support one another. I love that Peder knows how strong and smart Miri is, and he not only loves her for it, but he defers to her in many situations. These two also provide a good amount of the humor in the book, especially at the end.

This series is so wonderful for so many reasons that I can't possibly get to them all, and I think The Forgotten Sisters is a fantastic final book for the trilogy. It maintains the same sweet and rustic feel that Princess Academy in particular had while the characters explore how to survive in a world that is suddenly much bigger than one mountain or one swamp. I love the theme of redemption in The Forgotten Sisters and how it applies to just about everyone from members of the royal family to bandits. This series is truly special, and I recommend that everyone give it a try!

Favorite quotes: 

"Are you so afraid of a baby girl?" Miri said, leaning toward him across the table. "How about me? Do I terrify you too? Watch out, I wear a dress and don't grow a beard and if you don't keep me in check, I'll steal all your power!" –ARC, page 233

"The point of education is to learn other ways too. Don't just assume that all you know is right. Learn more and then choose." –ARC, page 116

"Why do you care so much about teaching us to read anyway?"
"Three years ago I didn't know how," said Miri. "But once I did I learned things that made life on our mountain a lot better. Reading a book is like going on a great journey. You don't know what'll happen, but something is bound to change. And for me, that change has always been good." –ARC, page 92

If I were a princess:
Princess Mary has a good sound to it, don't you think? In addition to reviewing The Forgotten Sisters, I was invited to write up a post detailing what I would do if I were a princess so PREPARE FOR SOME CHANGE, WORLD.I really wasn't sure what I was going to say until after I finished The Forgotten Sisters. Miri embodies the importance of education and constantly challenges the notion that girls and women are beneath men in some way: less smart, less capable, less important. Reading about Miri's adventures with her friends made me look at the things I consider important and focused on those.

1. As someone who has struggled with body image for a long time, I would encourage and assist with body positive campaigns and programs. I think many campaigns focusing on health and fitness and improving your body have great intentions...but often these campaigns only increase dissatisfaction and hate toward one's body. It's important to be healthy, but you should also love your body. I want girls, boys, women, men, young, old, WHOEVER to feel like they're not forced to conform to any universal shape or size. There would probably be a anti-bullying movement as part of this campaign as well because body shaming of anyone is terrible.

2. Another serious bullet point. I would also work on mental health initiatives. It's time to end the stigma toward anyone struggling with their mental health. As a society, we're always going on about keeping your body healthy (see above), but for some reason, people get really judgmental when the subject of mental health arises. Your mind is JUST as important as your body IS part of your body. Often times the decrease of one's mental health is caused by a physical imbalance somewhere in your body. Depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders....these are all real diseases that focus their attention on one's mind and are just as damaging as illnesses affecting only the body. It is far past time to get serious with research on mental disorders and get people the help they need.

3. I would be best friends with Kate Middleton, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. I mean obviously. Also Mindy Kaling and Betty White. Because if I'm going to be a princess, I need some powerhouse BFFs to help me get all this change done and be fabulous while doing it.

4. Speaking of Hollywood, I would use my influence to make a ton of YA adaptation movies and encourage the ones already in progress to go faster.

5. I would have a library like in Beauty and the Beast but with fewer books...for now. Because isn't that the dream?

The legend begins at Princess Academy

Pub Date: June 16, 2005
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: middle grade fantasy
Summary: Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.

Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

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Pub Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: middle grade/young adult fantasty
Summary: Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding.There, Miri also has a chance to attend school-at the Queen's Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. 

Picking up where
Princess Academy left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.

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About the Author:

Shannon Hale is the Newbery Honor–winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Academy series; Book of a Thousand Days; The Books of Bayern; Dangerous; and the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack. She also wrote three novels for adults, including Austenland, now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. She and her husband, the author Dean Hale, have four children and live near Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit Shannon online at and on Twitter at @HaleShannon.
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This is a US only giveaway for a Princess Academy trilogy set with the newest covers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour. 

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read the series yet, but I love the covers. They definitely make me want to read the series.