A little while back I was sent a couple of books for Big to read as they were the wrong age range for the blogger they’d been sent to (waves to The Boy and Me). I glanced at them, saw pink fluffy covers and series title of Princess Academy and relegated them mentally as being completely not the kind of thing that either of us enjoy.
For some reason this week I picked the first one up and read it.
It’s great. The second one is even better. I’ve told Big that I think she’ll enjoy them, and to ignore the cover as being totally unrelated to the story. I’ll feed her opinion back if she gets round to reading them.
The book is about growing up. It’s about democracy, and education, equality and fairness, love and revolution. Miri is a wonderful character – a very little girl, with a huge heart, who wants all sorts of things, but mainly to have a better life than she has, and for her villagers to not have to struggle as much as they do. It’s great fantasy, with a magical rock called Linder, and a teeny bit of romance littered here and there.
And it’s all hidden behind a pink and fluffy cover and while I can see why the first one is called Princess Academy, because that’s what it’s about, an academy where the girls from a village are taken to be trained so that one of them can become the bride to the heir to the throne, what possessed the publishers to treat it as a series title? Emblazoning Princess Academy on the cover of the second, with Palace of Stone as a subtitle, when really it’s not about that any more at all, just makes you assume that you’re picking up some boarding school series where girls are going to be swooning about trying to be Disney Princesses. What is that about? Who decided that was a good idea? The readers who might enjoy a pink fluffy boarding school are probably going to feel very let down by the book they get, and the people who may well love it, could very well never pick it up.
I’ve read a lot about book covers recently. But I am now wondering what gems I’m missing because of poor packaging, and what on earth possessed the publishers to do this to these really powerful stories. Did it increase their sales I wonder? I’d really love to know.
So, if you enjoy a good fantasy, with excellent characters, and a hint of magic, plenty of thought provoking discussion on the structure of society and a little bit of romance, I highly recommend the Princess Academy books. Not about boarding schools at all.
What have you all been reading this week? Stick a post in the linky if you’ve something to share, and feel free to use the button if you’d like to.