princess of the midnight ballTitle: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author: Jessica Day George
Pages: 272 (Hardback)
Rating: 3/5

With Project: Fairy Tale coming up quickly in February I’ve shifted into full fairy tale mode. I started the year off by reading a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princess and I had so much fun reading PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL. From the author’s website:

Returning home from the war, young Galen finds work with his mother’s family in the royal gardens. There he learns that the king’s twelve daughters have a secret: every night they dance their shoes to tatters, but no one knows how or why. When prince after prince tries and fails to find the answer, and the family is haunted by accusations of witchcraft, Galen decides to help. Armed with a pair of silver knitting needles and an invisibility cloak given to him by a strange old woman, he follows the princesses and unlocks the secret of their curse.

When you think of a fairy tale you might groan with assumption that a fairy tale’s plot is simple and predictable. Most of us did grow up listening to these tales and they can’t hold any new surprises, right? Wrong. Ms. Jessica Day George lends some great twists to this retelling. What do you think about knitting for example?

Galen is dashing and polite to all of the twelve princesses, mainly Rose, the eldest of the flower-named daughters of the King. After a long war, Galen returns looking for unknown family members who take him in. Working for his uncle, the head gardener of the King’s Folly, he gets caught up in the events surrounding the princesses that escalate as princes from far lands try and fail to learn their secret.

Our antagonist, King Under Stone (don’t you love the name?) is a chilling villian and I enjoyed getting to learn more about him and his twelve sons. As you would expect from a fairy tale, it has a happy ending for all but not before you watch magic, courage, and a dash of (not instant) love come into play.

There is dancing, shootings, and knitting. Need I say more?

Also check out Jessica Day George’s favorite books list! She has great taste:)