The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess

by Diane Zahler


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061825002
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Pages: 243
Sales rank: 838,437
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.52(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess, and Princess of the Wild Swans. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape.

What People are Saying About This

Gregory Maguire

“THE THIRTEENTH PRINCESS is a lucky find, a wheeling gavotte of a novel that refreshes an old fairy tale with new enchantment.”

Alex Flinn

“An enchanting retelling.”

Diane Stanley

“Splendid entertainment with a guaranteed happy ever after.”

Customer Reviews

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The Thirteenth Princess 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
After her mother, the queen, dies in childbirth, Zita is cast away by her father and forced to live in her own home as a servant. Her few encounters with her father are usually brief and heated. Her only bright light of hope is her twelve older sisters and her weekly night escapades into their bedroom. When the princesses start falling ill and their shoes keep getting well-worn, Zita takes it upon herself to figure out what is happening. With no knowledge of magic because of the king's ban on it, she turns to an elderly witch who lives on the outskirts of the grounds, hidden from human view. In an attempt to break the possible curse, Zita tries to send out letters to the neighboring kingdoms. She promises them the hand of her eldest sister if they can break the enchantment. Her father, however, catches her before she can send them and she is forced to try other measures. Shortly after, she feels she is being watched by someone, and that the danger that may cause her sister's deaths is growing stronger. Can Zita shake the watchful eyes and save her sisters? Will she ever be able to truly call the castle her home? A great book filled with action and adventure. Although the secondary characters are a little underdeveloped, the main characters are well-done. The plot is intense and keeps the story moving along quickly. Those who like fairy tales, mysteries, fantasy, and books with lots of danger will enjoy reading THE THIRTEENTH PRINCESS.
pinkfairytale More than 1 year ago
This book was my favorite telling of the twelve dancing princesses ever! I have read many retellings but none like this. This book was interesting,funny,and unexpected. Each chapter kept me on the edge of me seat, wanting to find out more. The story is told by the youngest of the twelve pricesses - she is the thirteenth princess. I have never read retelling that has been told from this point of view. I have always read retellings told by one of the princesses who were cursed to dance, or the prince who saved them. This story was told from an observer of the curse. The reasons for the curse also made this story more interesting then most. It made perfect sense. Unlike most retellings it was not overly weird, or filled with the normal dark magic, and evil princes. You will be surprised by the outcome. It is a step up from other books! I suggest this for girls ages 12 and up. There were a few suggestive things said in this book, so parents may want to make sure that the reader is old enough to read this book. No langauge was used.
DMPerreault More than 1 year ago
The Thirteenth Princess is a superb reworking of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, told from the spunky point-of-view of Zita, those princesses' youngest sister, whom they hardly know at the outset of the narrative. As finely written as it is intelligently conceived, this novel pleased me enormously; indeed, I read it at bedtime with my sixth-grade daughter, who listened with enthusiasm. Often I cringe at the sassy, ironic, even jaded sorts of first-person narrators telling the stories of contemporary middle-school fiction. By contrast, Zita has a fresh, hopeful perspective, neither naive nor worldly; and the story Diane Zahler lets Zita shape and filter points up her strengths of character: sensitivity and curiosity, bravery and ingenuity, vigor and determination. As the story unfolds, Zita gains more than a family: she learns what good she can accomplish when love is her guide. And her marvelous accomplices in saving her sisters' lives -- her plucky friend Breckin and the wise witch Babette -- are fully realized characters in their own right who are integral to the plot and to Zita's journey toward family and self-realization. My daughter and I look forward with anticipation to Zahler's next work of fiction.
KidsLeadGirl More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Zita, the thirteenth princess to a king who has no sons. Her being the thirteenth girl, he banished her to the kitchens at birth. Her twelve sisters are the sisters known in the fairy tale twelve dancing princesses. Zita, since she works as a servant, escapes the curse that causes her sisters to dance themselves to exhaustion every night. Once she finds out that she too is a princess, her and her newfound friends must help rescue the rest of the sisters from the terrbible curse before they dance themselves to death! This book is engaging and great for any girls 9 and up who want a good princess story. Well written and woven with great descriptions of castles, dresses and witches, I highly recommend this book.
the1butterfly on LibraryThing 28 days ago
This retelling includes all the elements of the original story, but changes many of them, primarily to give the thirteenth princess a role. I found the story captivating, and I very much liked Zita and Breckin. I was a little surprised by how some of the family relationships worked out, but I was happy with how everything went.
foggidawn on LibraryThing 28 days ago
This retelling of the fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" is a fun read without a lot of substance. Zita, the thirteenth daughter of a king, is shunned by her father and made to live as a servant in her own house. When her older sisters are enslaved by a mysterious enchantment, Zita, her stable-boy friend Breckin, and a mysterious old lady who lives in the forest work together to discover and overturn the enchantment. The plot drags at times, and the characters are not as well-developed as they could be. Young readers who are addicted to fairy tale retellings will probably enjoy this, though it's not on par with Gail Carson Levine or Robin McKinley's work.
rebecca191 on LibraryThing 28 days ago
For as long as she can remember, all Zita knew was the life of a servant girl in the castle of the harsh King Aricin. But when she is seven years old, she learns a secret that changes her life forever: she is the youngest daughter of the king, banished to the servant¿s quarters after her birth. And over the next four years, she learns the reasons why: her father only wanted sons, and when his wife died giving birth to their thirteenth daughter, he wanted nothing to do with the newborn Zita and sent her off to be cared for and live among the palace servants. But Zita¿s twelve older sisters know the truth, and still love her. When they realize that she has learned the truth, they decide to secretly spend time with her, which brings much happiness to Zita¿s dreary life.Shortly after Zita¿s twelfth birthday, however, strange things begin to happen to the princesses, causing Zita to be deeply worried for her sisters. First, they are unable to speak in the presence of suitors. Then, they begin to become very tired and pale, but show no visible signs of illness. And though they spend all day resting in the palace, their shoes are mysteriously worn through. Zita soon suspects someone may be using magic against the princesses. Aided by her best friend Breckin, a stable boy at the castle, and Babette, a kind witch who lives in the nearby woods, Zita sets out to solve the mystery and save her sisters.The Thirteenth Princess is a delightful middle grade retelling of the story ¿The Twelve Dancing Princesses," filled with mystery, adventure, magic, and a bit of romance. It is sure to be enjoyed by young girls who love books by Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale, and by anyone who loves fairy tale retellings. Zita is a charming heroine, and readers will cheer her on during her quest to save her sisters. This book is the first by debut author Diane Zahler, and I look forward to reading more from this promising new writer.
llpollac on LibraryThing 28 days ago
Zita is the king's thirteenth daughter, but has been raised as a servant since she caused the death of her mother in childbirth. When her twelve older siblings begin to fall under an enchanted exhaustion, with no clue as to the cause other than their worn-out dancing slippers, it is up to Zita, with help from her friends Breckin the stable-boy, Milek the soldier, and Babette the witch, to find the cause and save her beloved sisters. This retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" places a heroine rather than a hero at the heart of solving the mystery. However, the larger story is more about Zita's relationship with her father the king. The premise that Zita is raised as a servant in the palace but is still beloved by all of her sisters, who know exactly who she is, is rather improbable but manages to work. None of the twelve sisters are particularly well developed, and the pace of the plot drags at times. A bit of romance adds to the story without overwhelming it. Middle grades readers, especially girls who enjoy retellings of fairy tales, will enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amaia watched Derik put his face in his hands. She could hear muffled sobs. "Derik...I'm so sorry." "No, you had a right to wonder. I guess I had forgotten about her once I met you. I want you to believe that I really did love you." Amaia stared at him, her anger rising. "Well I don't think I can love you anymore. In fact, after you broke my heart I started wondering if love was worth all that pain." Amaia said harshly. Derik then wiped his eyes and turned his back away from her. Amaia cruelly wondered if he was snickering. But then he turned his face toward her and walked up the the bars of the cell, merely inches from her own bars. He took of his jacket, ripped the collar off and retrieved a knife. He began cutting at the bars as if they were string. Then, the silver paint started to peel off and it revealed that the bars were wooden, not metal. He easily cut a large hole, big enough for him to get out of the cell. He climbed out and then began to cut mine. "I know you hate me, Amaia, but you will have to deal with me while we escape. Then you can go along on your merry way." Amaia sighed and climbed out of the hole. Thus is the end of part four. You will find part five sometime this week on the book "star wars before the awakening" thx for reading. If you have any questions, comment to STARWARSCRITIC. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So sad but best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you see this book and choose not to read it that is about the eorst mistake ever!!! You must read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I won this book and SQUEE I LOVE IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book and it is beautufuly written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books!I think everyone should get a chance to read it and I highy reccomend it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good. I think everyone should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is sooooooooo one of my favorite books ever i love th way the author tells the story and the voice in this wants me to read thos book over and over again i recommend u read this its so good u have to read this book its sooooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book out of all the books I read my whole life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this before and fell in love with it! You will too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I loved how she decribed Zita and I love that name! I thought the ending was very sweet. I would sooo recommend this book! Well done :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the book its really nice .its amazeing how the writer did such a good book with only 14 chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago