Princess Rose and her eleven younger sisters are enigmas to their father, the king, and all of their servants. They are charming, lovely, and kind girls, yet they refuse to say why almost every morning their dancing slippers are worn to rags. And they continue their silence, despite threats and guards who are with them constantly. Galen is a young soldier turned gardener who can't get Princess Rose or the mystery of the princesses' dancing slippers out of his head, and despite the deadly consequences that have befallen others who have attempted to learn the princesses' secrets, he is determined to help the sisters. And with his ingenuity, the help of a few magical objects, and true love, a simple gardener just might be able to do what no prince can.
Princess of the Midnight Ball is a lovely fairy tale retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" and the perfect escape from your everyday world. Rose and Galen's world is loosely based on a historic Europe with a dash of magic: Galen receives magical assistance in his quest to help the princesses, magicians exist in hiding, and princesses are under curse that requires them to travel beneath the palace to an evil realm with dark half-human suitors. The action unfolds quickly as the book bounces back and forth between Galen and Rose's perspectives, and a romance begins to slowly blossom. George has done a very good job with this retelling: it's a fast-paced and fun, and just complicated enough to be engrossing, but not so much that it hasn't lost the wonderful fairy tale-like quality. She even manages to throw is a few little twists at the end, making for a delightful ending to a very engaging and magical book.
Like George's previous book I read, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, Princess of the Midnight Ball is an adaptation of one of my favorite fairy tales, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". Its not very very often that I find books, longer then a picture book, using this fairy tale. There is, depending on the version and translation, several different ways to interpret the tale, but they're all sort of...complicated. The story follows, for the most part, a young soldier named Galen … more
The Brothers Grimm tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses is vibrantly retold and set in a fictionalized nineteenth-century Europe. Galen, a soldier (and knitter) returning home from war, encounters an old woman who gives him an invisibility cloak and yarn possessing magical powers. While working as a gardener at the palace, he encounters the princess, Rose, and her 11 younger sisters. Because of a secret bargain their mother made with the evil King Under Stone, the princesses are cursed to dance each night till their shoes are worn ragged. Aided by the good magic held in his yarn, Galen solves the puzzle that has stumped many a prince and earns Rose’s love and hand in marriage. Though cursed and in need of rescue, the sisters are feisty and cunning—not passive victims of their fate. Galen’s magical knitting patterns will appeal to teens fond of this trendy hobby. This is a well-realized and fast-paced fantasy-romance that will find favor among fans of fairy tales, feisty heroines, and dashing young men with strength, cunning, and sensitivity. Grades 6-10. --Heather Booth--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.