Mini Review: Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Pennyroyal Academy
M.A. Larson
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pennyroyal Academy: Seeking bold, courageous youths to become tomorrow's princesses and knights….Come one, come all!

A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war. She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragons. There, given the name “Evie,” she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal than she could ever have imagined.

Set in Grimm’s fairytale world, M.A. Larson’s Pennyroyal Academymasterfully combines adventure, humor, and magical mischief.
After the intensity of Su Baekhyang, The King's Daughter, I sought light reading. My reading queue showed that I had two books in line, Scorched Mari Mancusi and Pennyroyal Academy. I knew that Scorched would be, although not quite as intense as Su Baekhyang, would be not of a light read that I would have wanted at that time. So Pennyroyal Academy it is.

Who wouldn't want to be a princess? With knights who would rescue from clutches of evil stepmothers and dragons, castles to live in and beautiful dresses to wear? But the princess cadets of Pennyroyal Academy were not your typical princesses. They fight alongside their knights against the evil magic of witches - with Courage, Compassion, Kindness, Discipline. Such values reminded me of another princess, Sara Crewe. 

Pennyroyal Academy was a light and charming read. It reminded me of Gail Carson Levine's Enchanted and a little bit of Shannon Hale's Princess Academy. It held a certain kind of whimsy that made me remember those days when I was play-pretending as a princess.
Ayanami Faerudo

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