Bloomsbury PublishingFiction/Young Adult Fantasy
336 pagesAuthor's website
Everyone groaned and complained, and Miri knew she should be miserable, too, but instead she felt wrapped up and hidden, a bright secret in a magpie's nest. She stared at the white nothingness outside the classroom window, cozy with her discovery of quarry-speech and anxious to understand it more.
Just by admitting she had them, the secrets pushed inside her, a snowmelt stream against a fallen branch, and the desire to share swept over her. She hesitated. Would Britta believe her? Or would she laugh? Miri thought of Dotor's saying, Never hesitate if you know its right. After months of ignoring Britta just for being a lowlander, at least she deserved Miri's trust.
Dotor always said, Thinking it's impossible makes it so. . . . Miri shoved her doubts away.
What led you to pick up this book? It was a total impulse purchase. I was looking for something light. The word "princess" is always a grabber and the book just happened to be on my mental wish list. I bought it while in Tulsa and started reading immediately.
Summarize the plot but don't give away the ending. Miri lives with her family on the slopes of Mount Eskel, where villagers work at pounding out the linder stone from the mountain. Small and delicate, Miri is not allowed to help in the quarry, for reasons unknown to her. When a chief delegate from the lowlands brings news that one of the local girls will be chosen as the future princess and all girls between the ages of 12 and 17 must attend a makeshift academy in preparation for royal life, Miri finds joy in learning and becomes involved in a fierce competition for the single spot as academy princess. But, does she really want to marry a total stranger? And, what exactly causes the fascinating connection between villagers known as "quarry-speech?"
What did you like most about the book? I liked many different facets of this book. I loved the fact that Miri loved learning, that I couldn't quite decide whether or not I wanted her to be princess (much less what she thought). The quarry-speech concept was fascinating and I loved the connections between people -- for better or worse, but especially the warmth of her family.
What did you think of the characters? They were a nice, well-rounded bunch. The friendships and in-fighting were believable. Some of the families were tight-knit, some not so. I thought the character development was excellent.
Share a favorite scene from the book. There were several wonderful action scenes, but I think one of my favorite moments was when Miri was let out of a closet after being punished for so long that she fell asleep on the floor of the closet and awoke to the horrifying sensation of a rat tugging on her hair. The reason she was released warmed my heart.
Recommended? Absolutely. I loved this book. I'd especially recommend to people who love fantasy with realistic characters and those who enjoy Young Adult books with a solid thematic element. It's comfortable reading but it's not completely lightweight. There are some really tense moments that I truly enjoyed. Love that edge-of-your-seat sensation.
Thanks to all who have left messages wishing us a fizzled storm!! Gustav is looking scary, at this point, so our thoughts and prayers are with those in Florida and all along the Gulf Goast, in the path of Gustav. We've bought battery-operated fans, batteries and some dry foods in Oklahoma, knowing the shelves will be bare at home. We always keep plenty of water during hurricane season, so that's one thing we don't have to worry about. In case of power outage, I'm going to assume I may not be online until about Wednesday, so I wish everyone a terrific week and happy reading!!