Man, it’s been a while since I wrote an official book list and it feels good to be back! I thought I’d return with a list of a few books to try if you enjoyed Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. This is one of my favorite middle grade novels and I have raved about Shannon Hale in general here before.
If you haven’t read any Shannon Hale before, I highly recommend you start with Princess Academy! If you’re looking for more magical tales with strong princess protagonists, check out my list below.
Start with the Sequels:
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone & Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters // First, I recommend the sequels to the original Princess Academy story for more adventures with Miri and her friends. I enjoyed book 3 more than book 2 but both have great plots and fun developments of our favorite characters from book one. They give us a glimpse at life after the happily ever after of book one and we see Miri grow in fun ways. Also fun fact, apparently I haven’t blogged about book 2 so I see a reread in my future!
Also by Shannon Hale:
The Goose Girl // This might be my favorite Shannon Hale novel period. I love this book so much! Isi is the princess of a small kingdom who has been promised in marriage to the crown prince of Bayern–a large, powerful neighboring kingdom. On the long journey to her new home, Isi is attacked and must go into hiding as the king of Bayern’s goose girl. Can she regain her name and title? Fantastic characters, exciting adventures, and clever languages make this a must read for me. Also the first book in a 4 book series 🙂
Book of a Thousand Days // I recently reviewed this one on my blog and loved my reread earlier this year. This book is written as the journal of a young maid named Dashti who is locked in a tower with her mistress for 7 years. Along the way, she must save them from starvation, cold, and exhaustion. And she also must interact with her mistress’s two suitors–one kind and the other cunning. Can Dashti save herself and her mistress while also seeking to save the country that she loves? A beautiful tale with fantastic characters and intriguing fairy tale inspired details.
Other fantastic authors:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine // This is the first book that came to mind when I thought of books to read if you enjoyed Princess Academy. The story is pretty well known after the movie adaptation. But the book is quite different! I love the ways Ella asserts her will even with her curse of obedience and I love the simple, charming romance between her and Prince Char. My Gail Carson Levine reading is still quite limited, but I know she has written several great books inspired by fairy tales and princesses that I hope to read more of one day!
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George // This is a fun retelling of the 12 dancing princesses fairy tale. It reminds me of Princess Academy because the princesses are resourceful and experience new adventures together. It’s been years since I read it but I know there are sequels that I hope to read one day. Jessica Day George is another prolific writer especially of fairy tale inspired novels. I also aspire to read more of her books in future!
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier // Another 12 dancing princesses retelling, this novel is a bit more of a YA than middle grade fiction. But it has beautiful imagery and a fantastic plot. It is definitely darker in tone than Princess Academy but the characters are inventive and clever like Miri and the fairy tale inspired setting is equally engaging.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer // This one is for an older audience (I’d say at least 12 and perhaps even older depending on the reader) but it’s a great way to end this list. Cinder is a science fiction inspired retelling of the Cinderella story. It is incredibly clever and fast paced with unique characters and so many Cinderella inspired details. I loved the full series but especially this one.
What books would you recommend to Princess Academy fans?