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Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
3.5 Stars: A Good Read
Series: Princess #1
Hardback: 288 Pages
Publication: January 20, 2009 by Bloomsbury Children's

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

Princess of the Midnight ball is a delightful retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princess." Galen is the noblest of heroes. After having served in the army since he was a small boy running errands to a grown man fighting on the front lines, Galen is ready for peace. However, unbeknownst to him, a chance encounter with a mysterious old woman gives him the tools necessary to free Rose and her sisters from the curse of the King Under Stone.

Mystery surrounds the twelve princesses. No matter what is done to prevent their escape, the princesses wake up tired, their dancing shoes worn out. The princesses don't seem to be happy, but they can't tell anyone about the debt they must pay to the King Under Stone. It isn't until Galen expresses an interest in investigating their going ons, that there is hope for them.

Galen is a perfect gentleman. Unlike the princes who come in the hopes of winning the prize of figuring out where the princesses go dancing each night, Galen wants to help the princesses from the goodness of his heart, a heart that is captivated by the eldest princess Rose. He also has his wit and magic on his side. From the beginning, his sweet and caring nature captured my heart, as well as that of Rose. Rose has borne the duty of caring for her younger sisters since their mother's death. She is brave and intelligent; it is no wonder that she and Galen attract each other.

Jessica Day George has captured the magic and essence of fairy tales in this story of magic, heroism, and  romance. Princess of the Midnight Ball is a book to read if you enjoy fantasy and fairy-tale retellings.

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3 comments on "Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George"
  1. I like Jessica Day George so I may try this. I like fairy tale retellings. Thanks for the great review.

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  2. 12 Dancing Princesses is one of my favorite fairy tales. I will definitely have to give this one a go.

    Great review.

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  3. This is one of Jessica's best books! I suggest you try her follow-up novel Princess of Glass, which involves Princess Poppy and retells Cinderella.

    ~Debz

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