Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball

4.3 243
by Jessica Day George

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A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king's gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse. See more details below


A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king's gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

After the end of a long war, a young soldier travels to the capital to find his only remaining relatives and a job. Galen obtains work as a palace gardener, where he meets the king's oldest daughter and soon learns of the mystery surrounding Rose and her 11 younger sisters: in spite of being watched every night, they somehow wear out pair after pair of dancing slippers. Readers soon learn that the siblings are paying off their mother's debt to the evil King Under Stone by dancing every night with his sons. Several princes have failed to unravel the mystery. Can Galen, driven by his love for Rose, discover the truth and save the princesses? While readers may be familiar with the fairy tale that's the basis for this story, George creates suspense by showing the princesses' suffering and Galen's determination to help his beloved. He is a sympathetic hero, and his feelings about war and talent for knitting help bring him to life. Rose and her florally named sisters are distinguished by character traits and move beyond stock figures as well. Fans of fairy-tale retellings like Robin McKinley's Beauty (1978) or Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (1979, both HarperCollins) will enjoy this story for its magic, humor, and touch of romance.-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI

Kirkus Reviews
As she did so deliciously with 2008's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, George takes another fairy tale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and turns it into a rich and engaging novel. Princess Rose and her 11 sisters must dance each night for the King Under Stone, even when they grow exhausted and ill. They cannot explain their enchantment, cast when their dead mother bargained for both their births and peace for the kingdom of Westfalin. Galen, a young orphaned soldier home from the war against Analousia, has homely skills, including an easy hand at knitting. Watching after Rose from his position as castle gardener, he finds reason to use the strange gifts (a cloak of invisibility and some remarkable yarn) given him by a crone to whom he was kind. Galen, Rose and her sisters are engaging company throughout; near the end the story spirals up in intensity, touching on witchcraft and evil clerics along the way before a satisfyingly exciting conclusion. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Kathryn Fry
This story is a retelling of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, in which 12 princesses of Westfalin attend lavish parties and dances at their Father's palace. However, they are forced to attend another celebration every night deep underground at King Under Stone's palace. It was their mother's deal with an evil magical King that cursed them with their dancing fate. The head gardener's nephew sets out to find the reasons behind the princesses' worn out dancing shoes, though many princes have lost their lives in the attempt. This is a knight-in-shining-armor tale with a twist. It is bravery of under-gardener Galen Werner that saves the day, and ultimately, the princesses. Galen's invisibility cloak and instincts are part of an exciting journey to free the 12 princesses from King Under Stone's control. Reviewer: Kathryn Fry

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Twelve Dancing Princesses Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.18(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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