Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball is a YA fairytale retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Jessica Day George.

After the twelve year war, soldiers are returning from battle to their home country. Galen is one of these. On his journey to find his mother’s sister, the only family he has left, he meets a mysterious elderly woman on the side of the road gives him magical items and declares he will need them soon…

Meanwhile, in the palace, Rose is the eldest princess of twelve and is faced with a problem. Each morning she and her sisters slippers are becoming terribly worn – and no one call tell the king why. The ordinary flood of balls in their father’s kingdom is not the cause…

Instead, Rose and her sisters are being forced to travel deep into the earth to the malicious King Under Stone’s realm where they must dance with his twelve sons. It is a curse. And it is not one with an ending any time soon.

Or ever.

Once Galen becomes a gardener at the palace and learns of the mystery, and its escalating results, he decides that he needs to help. And in order to banish the curse, he’ll probably need to use the items the old lady gave him…

Princess of the Midnight Ball
has a very classic tone, which I heartily enjoyed. It is very faithful to versions of this story we have seen before yet helps to fill in gaps, provide more detail and give us a chance to know and care about the characters.

I truly felt terribly for the princesses! To be forced to dance all night long whether sick, tired, etc. is horrible – but especially for the little ones that are too young to know the dangers of complaining about it. There was definitely suspense there!

Galen is an extremely likable, honorable young soldier that trumps most fairytale princes with his principles, kindness and intentions. We see early on that he and Rose are a perfect match – and happily the author gives that relationship time to grow and cement on more than attraction or the ridiculous “insta-love” fairytales often provide.

Mixing all of this together makes for a solid, fast-paced magical read and a book that I read very quickly. I was satisfied with the end and ready to embark on the next two books from Jessica Day George that are also set in this land and retelling other tales, such as Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.

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