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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Princess of the Midnight Ball 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 243 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very entertaining. Each character is developed in a short space of time, but with out sacrificing depth. Even with so many characters to keep track of, each has a distinct and unique personality that add color and vividness to the plot. The plot is also well developed, the characters are supremely likable (or loathsome depending), and there are plenty of surprises to keep things interesting. All around two thumbs up!!!
bookfan13 More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a good, get-yourself-lost-in-it book, you've found it. The story is well developed with amazing characters and a plot that's creative. Based on a fairy tale, Rose and her eleven sisters are doomed to dance for the dreaded King Understone. All hope seems lost--until Galen, the soldier-turned-gardner shows up. Jessica Day George mixes romance, imagination, and magic (both in the literal and figerative meaning of the word) in this book that now has a permanent space on my shelf.
yearningtoread More than 1 year ago
There's something going on in the royal Westfalian family, and no one can figure out what it is. The twelve princesses of all different ages haven't been to a ball in years - and yet every morning the maids wake from a deep sleep to find that the girls' dancing slippers have been worn through. And while the king puts up with this for a very long time, he soon comes to the end of his rope and says his throne (when he dies) and one of his daughters belongs to the man who can solve this mystery. Galen, a former soldier working with his uncle as one of the king's undergardners, watches the progress as nine princes come and go with no luck in solving the mystery. Having met the princesses, Galen is concerned for their safety and decides to play his own hand, hoping that a few unexpected gifts and talents may help him along the way. The Twelve Dancing Princesses has always been a favorite story of mine, ever since I read the Disney version in the Disney Fairytale Book. For a few years now I've been wanting to find a book that holds the same wonderful story I read all that time ago, but revised and for an older audience. After a little research I came across an author by the name of Jessica Day George, who had written exactly what I was looking for. I had never heard of George, but was willing to give this book a try for the sake of my love for the story. I'm SOOOO glad I read this book! It was well told and easy to follow, but with some great twists that are George's original addition to the story - her signature print. The princesses are easy to like, as is Galen, the wonderful hero of this story. Since this book I've read George's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (post coming soon!) and am currently reading her newest novel, Princess of Glass. I can officially say that I love this author. And while she's not the next J. K. Rowling, her stories deliver, they're fun, they're adventurous, and they're clean, which I've found can be a big problem in modern literature. All those things, and more, make George's works so enjoyable that you'll want to come back for more.
FairytaleKP More than 1 year ago
I must say that Princess of the Midnight Ball is one of the best retellings of the Twelve Dancing Princesses I have ever read. It was definitely a joy to read, because I have read so many unoriginal fairy-tale retelling recently. I loved the unique quality that Jessica Day George gave to this story. The characters were believable and I must say that I wish more men would knit like Galen! I wish that the story would never have ended. The only problem was the ending was a wee bit too overly happy ending, but overall the book was so splendid to read that I did not mind a bit. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fairy-tale retelling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!!! Jessica Day George writes the best fantay/romance books. The book was very charming, with romance, magic, and humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not just for YA. George reminds me a lot of Robin McKinley. I loved the characters, especially Galen, and I'm already reading the next story in this series. Truly wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Jessica that I have read and it is amazing! All the characters are so funny! I have Dragon Slippers, it's two sequels, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, and really want to read the other books connected to this one. Read this book and you won't regret it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books. Galen is to DIE for! It has evrything a good fairy tale needs. Action, romance (clean), mystery, and happily ever after. This is a great book for ANY age group. Please read this book and check out the sequel Princess of Glass. You won't regret it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. I finished it in 2 days, I couldn't put it down!! Rose is my favorite sister, with Lily and Pansy at a close second. Galen is super gallant and charming, and the perfect prince. This is a great retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses that you won't want to miss!! Five stars!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love these books! I can't wait for the other ones to come out, if they ever do!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an amazing book. I also love how its not just romance but it has a little action and suspense i guess you can sy. Any one who likes a fairy tale would definately like this book. I also LOVED the ending. :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book, along with Princess of the Silver Woods and Princess of Glass, for my granddaughter. She has said that she is loving them and is extremely happy with the gift. I think they are a good read for the age group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just to get peoples attention;is this the first book? Or the second? Me confused!
Jacque87 More than 1 year ago
The overall story was good, but I thought there we be more romance.
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
This book was way better than I expected it to be, and I expected it to be pretty good! Jessica Day George is a great author, and this book is proof.
I defineitely recommend it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Galen, age 19, is going to his Uncle and Aunts house. Along the road he meets an old crone, who is more than meets the eye. With the cryptic words "you will have great need when you are in the palace." Stuck in his head, he reaches his uncles house with no more than a invisability cloak, the pack on his back, and knitting needles. His biggest problem is trying to be a good gardener, and not embarres himself infront of the beautiful princess Rose. The princesses have a different problem. There are 12 f them; Rose, Lily, Jonquil, Hyacinth, Violet, Pansy, Poppy and Daisy, Iris, Orchid, Lilac, and Petunia. They're mother was queen Muade- at least, before she was danced into an early grave. She had no children and was desperate- desperate enough to call on a long banished, evil, black magic using, creature called the King Under Stone. He gave her 12 children, and in exchange, Muade danced nearly every night, from midnight until dawn. When she died her contract was passed down to her duaghters, so they danced from when Petunia was 2 till when she was nearly 7. Then the kingdom finds out about their worn out dancng slippers, and the girls and their loving father, are accused of Witchcraft, and suitors, who came to unveil their secret, start dyeing left and right, it is up to Galen to save the day, the princesses, and all of Ionia. Together, Galen and the princesses, defeat the King Under Stone and a handful of his sons, and lock up his gates forever, or so they think... Galen and Rose are wed the next month, and then Lily finds that her Heinrich, Galens cousin, is alve and they are soon wed too.---------------- check out my next reveiw on the next book, 'Princess of Glass' a equaly thrilling combo to 'Princess of the Midnight Ball'. I really hope this reveiw was informationable. &hearts, Icefαωn Monica
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
Meh, I was underwhelmed by this book, especially since it received so many great reviews. I thought the entire book was quite rushed and should have been made into a series. While the action and even the romance were well done by George, I thought the reasoning behind the plot was missing. George should have gone more in depth about the Queen- her upbringing, her foreign marriage, her inability to conceive... I thought there was a huge lack of character development that could have really added to the story. I also think the story needed more of an antagonist to hate. The King Under Stone was just blah. He backstory wasn't fleshed out either and it really hurt the storyline.  Overall, this book was only given to readers on a surface level where it has the potential to really come to life. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Galen is a soldier returning from war. At only nineteen he has been on the battleground most of his life. He is world-weary and eager to return to Westfalin and try his hand at civilian life now that the war is over. Rose is one of the twelve princesses of Westfalin cursed to dance each night for the King Under Stone where they wear out their dancing slippers every evening. Unable to speak out about their nightly activities or defy the King Under Stone, Rose and her sisters suffer in silence. Many princes try to discover where the princesses go each night. All of them fail. As the stakes grow higher, Rose and Galen will have to work together to break the curse and save Westfalin from threats found both underground and above in Princess of the Midnight Ball (2009) by Jessica Day George. Princess of the Midnight Ball is the first book in George's trilogy of companion novels following the princesses of Westfalin. It is also a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" fairytale. Princess of the Midnight Ball is written in the third person and alternates between Galen and Rose's points of view to create two protagonists who are very authentic instead of relying on character archetypes. George also flips several standard fairytale tropes upside down with her refreshing and well-rounded characters. Galen is levelheaded and cautious while still having enough charm to rival any prince. He also knits his own socks. Rose is clever, sharp and decidedly proactive as she works independently of Galen to try and save her sisters. Together Galen and Rose are unstoppable as they face faeries, curses and other ills besides in their efforts to break the curse and save Westfalin. Despite having numerous secondary characters--just with all of Rose's sisters!--George manages to present concise snapshot descriptions for each character without bogging down the narrative. This story can also appeal to a broad age range as it's thin on gore or violence with a lighter tone overall. Princess of the Midnight Ball is a delightful retelling that stays true to the source material while also adding original touches and memorable characters. A thrilling plot, sweet romance and genuinely scary villains make for a winning combination in this reinvented fairytale. Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Entwined by Heather Dixon, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Toads & Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books because i like the author using the twelve dancing princesses and flower names. I also like that the author used princesses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago