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M.A. Larson Books In Order

Publication Order of Pennyroyal Academy Books

Pennyroyal Academy (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Warrior Princess of Pennyroyal Academy (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

M.A. Larson is a noteworthy author and screenwriter from America, who is known for writing children’s books, young adult, and fantasy novels. He was born as Mitchell Aaron Larson in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 5, 1976. Later in his life, he shifted to New York, followed by Los Angeles. The reason behind Larson’s multiple shift of residence was to try and establish himself as a screenwriter. Author Larson has worked for a few animated series, which include Gravity Falls, My Gym Partner is a Monkey, Littlest Pet Shop, as well as his most popular work, My Little Pony : Friendship is Magic. He was interested in working in the latter after working for a previous assignment with the show’s original showrunner named Lauren Faust. Larson has said that he was too surprised by the characterization of the primary characters by Faust and this inspired him to begin writing for this show. Later, author Larson went on to become a famous figure within the teenage and adult fan-base of the show, known as ‘bronies’. This helped him to receive invitations of several conventions. As a novelist, Larson is particularly popular for writing the Pennyroyal Academy series. Its first book, titled as Pennyroyal Academy, was released by Putnam in 2014. Author Larson says that he was influenced by the ‘princess fatigue’ in the well known culture at the time when he was working for Cartoon Network. He was so much brainstormed by it that he considered creating a children’s work comprising of many princesses, who would live together in one place and have to deal with the idea of residing with each other. The original title given to the story by author Larson was Princess Boot Camp. Even the princess characters were shown as undergoing difficult military like training in a boot camp. While author Larson was developing the story, he came across the Bruno Bettelheim’s Uses of Enchantment. In this, Bruno had analyzed several popular works such as Grim’s Fairy Tales with the use of Freudian psychology and had come up with the conclusion that the dark elements in such stories help in the development of emotions in children.

Getting inspiration from this analysis, author Larson decided to revamp his work, which took him six years, in an attempt to target a bit older audience. Eventually, Larson removed some humorous elements and added some scarier ones. The result of this revamping and modification was the book called Pennyroyal Academy that revolves around a school where budding knights and princesses undergo training to fight against the approaching enemies and evil witches. The book was highly appreciated and was very well received. Critics labeled it as an exciting and breathtaking novel. The story was so much popular that even before its release, it was chosen by the production company of Reese Witherspoon to adapt it into a movie. Witherspoon stated in an interview that author Larson has created an exciting universe filled with magic and believes that everyone would love to get immersed in. Witherspoon also believes that the princess story reflects all those values that young women like to embody. Larson’s depiction of strong, fierce, and independent princesses and the knights who appear to be their perfect match, impressed Reese Witherspoon a lot. Larson is happily married and is blessed with a daughter. He resides in California along with his family and a couple of dogs. As a screenwriter, he has worked for many animation companies like Disney Channel, Disney UK, Cartoon Network, The Hub, Nickelodeon, and Disney XD.

The Pennyroyal Academy book series written by M.A. Larson is comprised of 3 books in total, which were released between the years 2014 and 2017. The debut novel of this series entitled ‘Pennyroyal Academy’. It was released by the GP Putnam publication in the year 2014. The main story of the book is set around the life of a girl named Evie, who enlists herself at the Pennyroyal Academy to fight against the deadly enemies. At the start of the story, it is depicted that a girl arrives from the woods and takes shelter in streets of a bustling kingdom. This girl does not have a name and has no idea as to why she has arrived in the kingdom. However, she notices that she has landed at a place which is at the center of a huge war. The girl joins that Pennyroyal Academy, where the princesses & knights are given training to battle dragons and witches, which are considered as the 2 worst menaces of the society. The girl receives a name, Evie, and endures harsh training sessions under the Fairy Drillsergeant. While doing so, she navigates through a totally new world of enemies and friends. Evie goes on to realize the true meaning of being a princess, but she also learns surprising things about her family and herself, about inhuman cruelty and human compassion. Also, as the witch forces come closer, Evie finds that the fight between the witches and princesses is too personal and that she never realized it before or during her training.

The next book in the critically acclaimed series is called ‘The Shadow Cadets of the Pennyroyal Academy’. This book was released in 2016. Once again, author Larson has depicted Evie as a feisty, capable, and strong princess. At the beginning of this book, it is shown that Princess Cadet Evie comes back to the Academy. She seems to have become very famous because of her brave acts. The word of her win over the witches has traveled to far away places and has proved to be inspirational to many new recruits at the Academy. Even though it seems flattering, Evie finds the unexpected attention as overwhelming. Among the numerous fan mails, she finds a threatening letter. It appears that a secretive society has been formed to carry out a wicked plan. This has put the Academy in a great danger. The new enemy is equipped with magical powers far more effective than those of the princesses and because of this, Evie and her companions are at a high risk of losing their lives. The danger seems even bigger when Evie finds out that someone from the Academy is not what he appears to be. Now, everything is up to Evie and other princesses to unravel the dangerous plot and prevent their Academy from a great destruction. The sequel novel comes with more suspense and adventures for the middle grade readers, who already liked the first installment very much.

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