I love a good fairy-tale retelling. I love them in all forms -- when they're traditionally retold with new twists or exciting insights or fresh, modern versions. PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL is the former and so sweet. I owe it all to Amazon, who recommended this book to me for months and months, and to my library, for stocking it. :)
From Jessica Day George'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.
Audience: YA (12+)
The Rating: **** (Really Liked It)
The Good: Really solid characters. Really solid, likable, fun, normal characters. Rose and Galen make this book -- and Rose's little sisters sparkle in it. Each may not have a lot of "screen" time, but they are distinctive and well-thought-out. Rose's father is also this flawed but totally, fantastically lovable dad who happens to be a king. And the happy ending in this book is oh-so-fabulous. I'm a total sucker for those scenes, you know the ones, "this is how everything turned out just great." (Think like the end of HARRY POTTER and getting to know that he ended up marrying Ginny and that Ron ended up with Hermione.)
The Bad: It moved just a little too slow in the beginning for me.
The Recommendation: A lovely fantasy, fairy-tale book that's a great feel-good read. If you like Shannon Hale, you'll love this book.
The Disclaimer: Nothing to disclaim.
Buy PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL here.
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I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.