Review Detail

Princess Power in a Swamp
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
In this sequel to Palace of Stone (2012), Miri is all set to go back to her home and family with Peder and the other girls from the academy when the king sends for her. There is war brewing, and the way he has decided to avert it is to send Miri to a far flung swamp to teach three distant cousins of the royal family to be princesses so that the king can marry one of them and not go to war with Miri's country. Reluctant to do this, Miri realizes that she can secure the future of her town in Mt. Eskel by striking a deal with the king to get the land under her village given to her if she is successful. Once she gets to the princess' home, she finds that Astrid, Felissa, and Sus have no parents, spend their entire day in pursuit of food, and are barely eking out an existence in their bare house of linder stone. Not only that, but the traders are stealing their money from the king. It's difficult to train the girls to read and write when so much time is spent on survival, but eventually she gets them to learn via stories and connecting the lessons to their every day life. When the swamp is attacked by the warring faction, the girls manage to escape, meet up with Peder (who had left Mt. Eskel and was trying to make his way to Miri), and try to get to Steffan and Britta to warn them. Family secrets are revealed, and an apt and amusing (if a little surprising) conclusion is drawn.
N.B. I read this on my Nook, which I don't have in front of me, and I can't for the life of me remember some of the names. That's the thing with e ARCs-- I don't really want to scroll back through them for details.

This is my favorite book of the series. Hale excels at world building, and Miri's adventures in the swamp, from wrestling caiman to highjacking the princess' money back by becoming bandits, are quite fun. She maintains her connection to home through letters that are quoted but not received, and the romance with Peder is nice. Lots of good girl power in this series! Definitely check out the first two books if you haven't read them!
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