The Night Dance: A Retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (Once upon a Time Series)

( 67 )

Overview

Under the stars, in a secret world...

Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters, loves to slip out of the castle at night and dance in a magical forest. Soon she convinces her sisters to join her. When Sir Ethan notices that his daughters' slippers look tattered every morning, he is certain they've been sneaking out. So he posts a challenge to all the suitors in the kingdom: The first man to discover where his daughters have been is free to marry ...

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Overview

Under the stars, in a secret world...

Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters, loves to slip out of the castle at night and dance in a magical forest. Soon she convinces her sisters to join her. When Sir Ethan notices that his daughters' slippers look tattered every morning, he is certain they've been sneaking out. So he posts a challenge to all the suitors in the kingdom: The first man to discover where his daughters have been is free to marry the one he chooses.
Meanwhile a handsome young knight named Bedivere is involved in a challenge of his own: to return the powerful sword, Excalibur, to a mysterious lake. While looking for the lake, Bedivere meets the beautiful Rowena and falls for her. Bedivere knows that accepting Sir Ethan's challenge is the only opportunity for him to be with Rowena forever. But this puts both Bedivere and Rowena in a dangerous situation...one in which they risk their lives for a chance at love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416961321
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 11/25/2008
  • Series: Once upon a Time Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 324,895
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Weyn has written more than 100 novels for children and young adults and has had her work featured on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books in the Once upon a Time series include The Crimson Thread and The Night Dance among others. Another contribution to the Pulse line is her Romantic Comedy, South Beach Sizzle. Suzanne lives in Putnam Valley, NY.s

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Rowena pressed her slim body into the cool shadowy corner of the high wall in the empty courtyard. Shaded by the towering building behind her, her wavy copper-colored hair seemed to take on a more auburn hue. A determined glint deepened her lively, celery-colored eyes into a stormy blue-green.

Furtively glancing back at the towering manor that was her home, she saw one of her eleven sisters, Eleanore, peer out from a high, narrow window. Even from this distance she could read the look of longing in her sister's expression. Prickly though Eleanore could be, Rowena still sympathized with the trapped restlessness she knew her sister felt. Still, she couldn't take the chance of being seen, and she shrank back farther into the shadows.

Rawkeeeee! Rowena's hand suddenly flew to her heart as she whirled toward an open kitchen window on the first floor of the manor. The panicked squawk of a captive pheasant had made her jump.

Helen, the cook, appeared in the window with a small axe held high over her head and the bird clasped firmly in her other hand. She ended the struggling creature's life swiftly with a strong, well-placed blow to its neck against a chopping board. Then she strode away from the table by the window with the beheaded pheasant in her arms, setting about the business of preparing the bird for roasting.

When Rowena turned her attention back to the upper window, Eleanore was no longer there. In the next minute, Helen reappeared at the kitchen window, but only for a second, to pull the shutters closed.

Rowena waited, barely breathing, for several minutes more. Soon she felt confident that things were finally as she had hoped they'd be at this hour. Her sisters would be busy with their weaving and embroidery. Their father, Sir Ethan of Colchester, was reviewing his monthly accounts, a process that usually took hours. Most likely he wouldn't lift his head from his books until Mary, the head housemaid, summoned him for dinner.

Reaching into the cobalt blue velvet cape she wore against the late spring's still-cool breezes, Rowena withdrew a small iron cleaver that she'd smuggled from the kitchen. Even in this shadowed spot, its blade gleamed. Her father's military past had left him with a love of rules, order, and efficiency. Among his many dictates to the servants was his insistence that they regularly sharpen all the household blades on a whetstone.

A scuffle at her feet caused her eyes to dart downward. She immediately jumped back, startled by a tiny gray field mouse that had scurried in through the narrow opening that rose from the base of the wall in an inverted v-shape. The creature paused for a moment to stare up at her, then zigzagged its way across the courtyard, probably headed for the kitchen.

When her heart had settled, Rowena turned again toward the wall. With eager fingers, she traced the lines of a crack that traveled from the top of the break in the wall halfway up to the top. Several fissures snaked out from the main fracture, further weakening this section of the enclosure.

The day before, when Mary had ordered two of the house boys to remove a brown, dead, potted tree—one of the many potted plants adorning the slate-tiled courtyard—from this corner of the courtyard, Rowena had first noticed the break in the wall. She instantly recognized the opportunity she'd been hoping for.

With the cleaver in her firm grip, she attempted several slow practice passes to be sure that when the moment was right, her aim would be accurate. Then, wrapping her fingers around the cleaver's iron handle, she waited, her back pressed against the wall.

In the next moment, the bell from the monastery outside the nearby town of Glastonbury chimed as it always did at this hour, calling the monks to prayer.

Now! Rowena thought wildly. She smashed the cleaver's blade down into the line of the crack, the deeply satisfying crash masked by the resonating bell.

The cleaver stuck fast into the wall. With two hands, she frantically yanked it out and struck again.

And now!

And now!

Again and again, she savagely wielded the blade into the cracks, straining every lean muscle of her lithe body. With each blow her joy mounted as the crumbling powdery stone tumbled to her feet.

The bell ceased its summoning toll.

Dropping to her knees, Rowena took a quick moment to recover from her violent effort and then pushed the debris away from the opening. She lay flat on her stomach and rolled onto her right shoulder. From this vantage point it was immediately apparent that even if she managed to get her head through the opening, her shoulders would never make it.

Rowena rolled back up into a crouch and then slowly stood, resolving not to give in to disappointment. The monastery bell would chime again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, just as it had rung at the same hour on every day of her life. There would be other chances to chip away at this wall, the cursed barrier that had closed her off from the wide, glorious world for the past twelve years, since the time when her mother had left them.

Copyright © 2005 by Suzanne Weyn

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    No

    This nook was poorly written, in dialouge and character development. The main characters don't have much personality other than how obsessed they are with each other. Entirely too much "passion" with kissing and other suggestive behaviors for me to stomach for the only innocent reading that I have left, fairytales. Yeah, thats right, i'm a teenager that doesn't like paranormal romances. Get used to it, because believe it or not, we still do exist.

    If you want something cleaner, more interesting, better character development, and way better dialouge, try Jessica Day Georges' 12 Dancing Princesses retelling. Actually, try anythimg by her. She is good, clean, and will never let you down like this book did. Get Entwined too, while you're at it, even though it's not Jessica, or Shannon Hale (get anything by her too) it still delivers an amazing, and incredibly sweet storyline.

    Don't get this book. It is one of the weakest in the series. Instead, get Snow, Water Song, and Crimson Thread. Water Song and Crimsom Thread mesh fairytales into history to create a sort of historical fiction. It's amazing because many of the events told in the book are actually historically accurate. Snow is more true to the mythical, fairytale sides, and still absloutely stunning in it's own right. If Snow seems a bit slow to you in the beginning, just hang on. IT GETS BETTER.

    If you'actually read this far, then congrats. Most people haven't because they can't stand to read why their "favorite book" isn't so popular. So thank you, and I hope you take my suggestions. You'll thank me later.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Best

    I like this book very much and would recomend it. But there is one series way better. Its called princess of the midnight ball. It will not dissapoint.its also a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2007

    Bianca a book lover

    I thought The Night Dance was one of the best out of The Once Upon a Time Series. It was very romantic, and magical and its got history about Arthur and his handsome knights. My favorite parts were when Rowena and her sisters were dancing underground. Or when Bedivere and Rowena were together. If only all the guys could muture be like Bedivere, or any other knight.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I thought that this book was very disappointing and could not compare to Water Song, Snow, Midnight Pearls and The Crimson Thread. I found it very unromantic and that Rowena and Bedivere's relationship was only built on looks, as well as Eleanore and Lord Liddington was only built on lust. It was also lacking in adventure and I thought that the story was very poorly developed. I was so hoping for something magical and different, but I sadly I thought it was poorly written and pathetic compared to many fairy tale remakes. I don't recommend this book, but do read Wildwood Dancing if you want a remarkable retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    All right for a rainy day

    The idea for the story was interesting, but the actual writing was terrible. There was no subtly about what happened, there was no character development or explanation of motive. What was Morgan le Fay going to do with the sword? Why didn't she get explored more? Characters didn't really 'discover' information as much as simply know what was going on. And it was kind of a slap in the face to read that the author was so obsessed with historical acurracy when this book clearly couldn't decide on a time period. The idea of 'romance' was trite and twisted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2006

    ~The Night Dance~

    I thought that this book was very eexciting and I loved every minute of it! The romance was great and it the whole book was at a perfect level of excitment and adventure. I highly recommend this book!~

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Awesome really great book keep me one my toes ,couldnt put ot down

    Loved it thought some of the names were hard to pronounce and the story line was hard to follow sometimes, but if you like twists on classics i definitly recomened it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2014

    I actually really enjoyed it

    I actually really enjoyed it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Is it okay for a pre teen?

    Please respond to this reveiw.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    good book

    This was a good book that kept building suspense. It got confusing at some parts especially the beginning. I love how suzanne collins mixed the 12 dancing princesses with the myths of the knights of the round table.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Read this review.

    Iread the sample and thought it was very good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    I love 2 read!!!

    The book is like "i love books!!!" Put it beast. If u like this book then check out the slection, the siren, twilight, cursed, need, and the kane chronicles!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2012

    Awesome!

    I love to read retellings of Fairy Tales, and my favorite is the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I have read other books in this series and by the author Suzanne Weyn and I loved them. This was one of the best! What I loved was the combining of two great stories, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and King Arthur and His Knights. It was fascinating how the authors wove the stories together. I think this is a great book that is easy to read, but full of all the things that make a great story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Night Dance - mixture of Camelot knights and fairy tales Genius!!!!

    I have already loved so many other Once Upon a Time series books because of the magical fairy-tale like qualities to these amazing novels.The Night Dance was no different mixing Camelot with a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses,the plot was woven with intrigue,passionate romance *yay for all romantics out there!* magic and mystery.It was such a pleasure to read because the plot was well thought out and I loved Rowena's head-strong and courageous personalty that truly surprised Bedivere as a knight and a man and I believe drew him in. I mean women weren't suppose to be so spirited and adventurous then,you know and that made beautiful Rowena stand out against her other eleven sisters.The threading of the fairytale with Camelot legends like the Lady of the Lake,Morgan Le Fey and Arthur was a another attractive addition to the story!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

    This story was wonderfully rewritten and I found it to be an extremely good book full of interesting characters and a well put together plot.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fairy Tale meets Arthurian Legend!

    I don't know how she pulled it off, but the result of Suzanne Weyn melding togehter the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses with the story of King Arhtur and Camelot is fantastic! I could not put this one down and was constantly left breathless by the innovation and smooth writing. I am a huge fan of the Arthurian legends and was so elated to find that those characters were made part of this enchanting fairy tale. This is definitely a book I will read over and over, whenever I need a pick-me-up!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    VERY GOOD READ

    I LOVE MUSIC AND DANCING AND FAIRY TALES SO THIS WAS A PERFECT READ FOR ME.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    A retelling of the "Twelve Dancing Princess

    This is retelling of the twelve dancing princess with some Arthurian Legends throw in.Out of all the Once Upon a Time books that I read so far this one is my least favriote.This book was a little confusing in parts most the Arthurian parts.This book is worth reading, if your like me and want to read any retold fairy tales, but if your looking read a good book don't waste your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    I LOVED THE NIGHT DANCE

    I AM MADLY IN LOVE WITH THE NIGHT DANCE.....it was the best book ever ......I almost cried durring some parts but that just means it was every well written.... I don't know how to explain it but it was soooo good...I recommend it to every one

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews

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