Read Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George Online


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 chainA 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....

Title : Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781599903224
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Princess of the Midnight Ball Reviews

  • Amber
    2019-06-26 00:08

    This story was lacking in too many elements to be enjoyable for me. The characters were so underdeveloped that the weren't likable- the writing didn't make me love the hero or hate the villain. The romance lacked passion and believability. I couldn't ever figure out what the hero and heroine saw in each other, and why the hero would go to such lengths to save the heroine. And the plot was so predicable- I never wondered whether or not the princesses would be saved in the end, and the ending wasn't suspenseful at all. I would have liked more detail and description in this story.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-07-07 00:47

    That was a sweet retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It's in a German setting and follows the original story really well! A lot of people ask me for recommendations for clean, happy fantasy adventures with a hint of romance, so this is pretty much the definition of that. It's all very cute and peaceful, yet there's still a full plot and the characters are believable. The greatest part is how the soldier Galen is always knitting something and there are actually patterns in the back for everything he made throughout the story.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-07-03 19:07

    Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature: The malevolent King Under Stone cuts not one deal, but two, with the queen of the country of Westfalin: first, that she will be able to have children; second, that Westfalin will be victorious in its battles against other countries. In return, the human queen agrees to spend one night per week dancing with the King Under Stone in his underground kingdom. But the once-human king has an agenda, and supernatural beings have a way of twisting their agreements to find loopholes. The Westfalin queen bears no sons, but has twelve daughters ― not coincidentally, matching the number of half-human sons of the King Under Stone, who plans for his sons to have mortal wives and thus break the king out of his underground bondage.When the queen dies before fulfilling her bargain, the King Under Stone forces her twelve daughters to finish the contract by secretly coming down to his kingdom and dancing with his dark sons. In fact, he has no intention of releasing them, and is slowly binding the girls with his magic to his kingdom, as well as preventing them from telling anyone what is happening to them. Their frantic father, the King of Westfalin, begs for help from neighboring royalty and nobility, but each young man who tries to find out why the princesses are exhausted and have worn-out dancing slippers falls asleep, fails to solve the puzzle … and then mysteriously dies. But a polite young soldier named Galen, returning from Westfalin’s latest war, is kind to an old woman who then gifts him with an invisibility cloak and some very good advice.This young adult retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” recreates their story with a few minor twists, such as the scheming role of the King Under Stone (who is the person responsible for the young men’s deaths, not the girls’ father), the fuller development of a relationship between the oldest princess and the soldier, and Galen’s unusual aptitude for knitting (apparently it’s very useful for soldiers to be able to knit socks), which will eventually play a role in the resolution of the mystery. But in general Jessica Day George follows the traditional plotline, so the surprises are relatively mild for any reader familiar with the original story.All twelve princesses are named after flowers ― Rose, Lily, Jonquil, Hyacinth, Violet and so forth. Who knew there were so many flower names for girls? I wasn’t able to keep any of them straight except for the two eldest, Rose and Lily, and the priggish Hyacinth. Still, with twelve sisters, this likely would have been an issue for me no matter what they were named.I found Princess of the Midnight Ball pleasant reading but not memorable. In fairness, though, this middle grade/young adult novel seems to be aimed at a fairly young audience, who may not be familiar with the original fairy tale and who will be more apt to be enchanted by the magical world George creates and the budding romance between Galen and the oldest princess, Rose. For readers who enjoy young adult fairy tale retellings but are looking for a greater amount of depth and more twists on the original twelve dancing princesses tale, I recommend Juliet Marillier’s Romanian-based retelling, Wildwood Dancing.George has written two sequels, Princess of Glass and Princess of the Silver Woods, which continue the series with two of the younger princesses as main characters, and also weave in themes and elements from other fairy tales (Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, respectively). I actually consider both of these sequels stronger works than this first book in the series, primarily because of the greater creativity in their plots. If you or your child enjoys Princess of the Midnight Ball, it’s worth continuing with the series.Initial thoughts: There are YA books that are detailed and complex enough for adults to enjoy, and then there are those that are so simply told that they truly are just for the kids. This, I think, is one of the latter. Somehow three different novelizations of The Twelve Dancing Princesses have come my way in the last three or four months: this book, Entwined and Wildwood Dancing. (None of them is perfect, but I liked Wildwood Dancing the best.) Midnight Ball will appeal mostly to girls in the 10-16 age range, I think. The writing is on the simplistic side. It was a pleasant, unobjectionable read and a fairly straightforward retelling of the original fairy tale. To put it another way, it felt very middle school-ish. Which is fine if you're 13.ETA: This book and my review just resurfaced in the comment thread, and I've been thinking again about this one and Wildwood Dancing. It's worth mentioning that I just increased my rating of Wildwood to 5 stars, and one year after reading Princess of the Midnight Ball, I have absolutely no recollection of the plot of this book, or how it's distinguishable from multiple other retellings of the twelve dancing princesses fairy tale. None. That doesn't mean it's a bad book, just that, for me, it was completely forgettable.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-29 23:06

    Reread this April 2011, as I get ready to write the third book. Kinda impressed with myself . . . fun characters, and I'm excited to get back into their heads.

  • Cara
    2019-07-02 02:05

    I couldn't fall asleep one night and without even realizing it I was so caught up and enchanted by the story it was six in the morning when I finished the book.This is a retelling but I'm not familiar with the original tale, so I can't say how close it is to the original. It stands on it's own though and you don't need any prior knowledge of the story to enjoy it.The story starts out with our hero Galen (great name by the way) coming back from a war that he and his fellow soldiers have been fighting in for twelve years. At eighteen he has seen more tragedy and bloodshed than most have in their lives. Despite and because of all this he is such a lovable character. I won't go into detail but eventually his path crosses with the beloved twelve princesses of Westfalin (what would be considered Germany today most probably).There is a mystery surrounding the twelve princesses, for some reason their dancing slippers our all worn through every third night. No one sees where they go and can't seem to explain why this happens. The princesses: Rose, Lily, Jonquil, Hyacinth, Violet, Poppy, Daisy, Lilac, Iris, Orchid, Pansy, and Petunia (all named after flowers obviously) have to dance to serve a debt but they can't tell anybody. I did have trouble keeping up with which sister was which, but other than that the story flowed well. My sister who recommended it to me said that the beginning was slow going to her, but I thought the story had enough going on to keep the reader engaged. I can't say how much I loved the Galen character (too bad he isn't real and in reality I don't think there could be, but a girl can dream...) This enchanting, romantic, adventurous tale of Rose and Galen is a must read.

  • Gkeller123
    2019-06-19 20:00

    I bought this book yesterday at work, and was excited to start it. I had some time in the evening and read a few pages. When I woke early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, I decided to read for a while. I couldn't stop until I had finished the WHOLE THING! I loved it. I have read other variations on the 12 dancing princesses, but this one had different twist and turns that made it so much different (and better!).

  • Emer
    2019-06-25 00:49

    “And all because of some shoes,” Galen murmured as they hurried away.“What?” Ulrike had to trot to keep up with him.“This all began because of their shoes being worn out night after night,” he said. He had fallen into an easy quick-march pace. He put an arm around his cousin’s waist to help her along.“If someone could just figure out what they do every night.”Princess of the Midnight Ball is a retelling of the old favourite fairy-tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and it is just lovely…LOVELY!!! A book that makes you happy, holds your hand, offers you a warm smile and a friendly embrace. I made a lot of contented sighing noises while reading this. It is a nice, easy read. It is not too taxing on the mind, not too heavy on the heart… everything just happens at a gentle pace. The retelling focuses on Galen: a soldier that has just returned from war, and is offered a position working in the Queen’s garden with his only living relative. Here Galen meets the twelve princesses and in particular, the story focuses on Rose, the eldest princess. Galen and Rose have a really sweet relationship. They instantly like each other and there follows some gentle flirting and teasing….and cue much girlish sighing on my part.“Well Your Highness, I know that I am indeed handsome, but I can hardly be blamed if my good looks overcame you so strongly that you fainted,” he said, striking a pose. He had butterflies in his stomach, wondering if he was taking the teasing too far.”However there is mystery in the palace! New dancing slippers are required each day keeping the King’s cobbler very busy and tongues wagging in the kingdom. Despite being locked into their rooms at night with maids and guards keeping vigil each of the twelve princesses appear each morning with worn out dancing slippers… where do the girls go to??? The princesses become weaker and sickly, yet still each morning they appear with worn out slippers??? Who is forcing them to dance against their will?? What witchcraft could it be??? Are they all cursed??? Or are they the ones doing the cursing???Noble princes are sent to find out and are promised hands in marriage and kingship if they solve the mystery… but to no avail and mysteriously each of these princes soon die after returning to their own lands.It is up to our brave soldier-cum-gardener Galen to figure out the mystery, break the spell and banish the evil doers….“He was the stuff of nightmares, the stuff of campfire tales. A magician so steeped in evil that he had ceased to be human, transforming himself and his most devout followers into something other: immortal and monstrous. According to legend, centuries ago every country on the continent of Ionia had risen up against him and cast him into an underground prison. He was too powerful to be destroyed completely, and trapping him in a sunless realm with only his followers to rule over had been the only solution. An army of white witches had been gathered to do the deed, and the effort had cost many of them their lives”Don’t you love a good fairy-tale?????? This was just so cute!!!!!!!!! SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!! Ok so there wasn’t exactly great character development outside of Galen and Rose…. It was like Princess Rose and eleven other florally named princesses who all merged together into one character… but I did not mind! I enjoyed the slow-pacing. I enjoyed the romance, the intrigue, the mystery… Sometimes we need life to go at a slower pace. We need to escape the harshness of the real world and I found my escape here in the pages of this book. Did it change my life?Blow me away? Make me feel all the feels??? …No it didn’t. But some times that is not the point!!! This book made me smile. It made me happy. It gave me good feelings. It left me with a sense of contentment… And sometimes all we want from life is that happily ever after…Read this if you want something gentle, if you are tired, if you are ill… It will restore your soul and gently cradle you between its loving pages.Three stars.“Their fingers touched when she took it from him, and they stayed that way for a moment, hands together, the rose cradled between them.”

  • Rachel E. Carter
    2019-07-19 00:49

    Felt just like the fairytales I grew up on. Maybe not my favorite book as far as YA or romance, but it was still spellbinding from first page to last, there's just something special about the storytelling that made me feel as if I were reliving the old illustrated collection I grew up on. I would get this book for anyone that loves fairytales in a heartbeat.

  • Tatiana
    2019-07-05 21:47

    Princess of the Midnight Ball is an utterly inoffensive retelling of Brothers Grimm's fairy tale Twelve Dancing Princesses. No gore, no violence here, suitable for pretty much any age.The premise is straight forward - the King of Westfalin's 12 daughters nightly wear out their dancing slippers. Several princes attempt to uncover the princesses' secret for a reward of inheriting the Kingdom, but fail. Only 19-year old Galen - an ex-soldier/now gardener - succeeds in finding out the truth with the help of an invisibility cloak and some magical wool.I am not familiar with the original tale, so it's hard to tell how much the author has expanded on it. Princess of the Midnight Ball is a nicely written story with an interesting setting and likable characters. Galen is certainly a peculiar hero with a penchant for knitting (yeah, I know, not necessarily a turn-on for me either) and princesses are mostly interesting too, especially those who are developed better. The main weakness of the story IMO is that the magic is a bit shaky - it is unexplained why Galen knows how to do certain things. I can't say there is anything remarkable or of a wow quality here - no spectacular writing or characterization or mythology, but overall the novel is a cute, light, engaging read. I will probably read more retellings by Jessica Day George, whenever mood calls for something like it. As for the original fairy tale, I'd like to read Juliet Marillier's version - Wildwood Dancing or, gasp, an erotic version The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Nancy Madore. Maybe these two put some new, interesting spin on it.

  • Katerina Kondrenko
    2019-07-19 02:58

    5 out of 10ревью на русском/review in russianShort-Soundtrack:Pianochocolate – WaltzCassidy Ladden – ShineYuriko Nakamura – Flower Well, I don’t know what to say. I thought it would be a true retelling for young adult auditory but this is an extended version of the old Grimm’s tale for middle grade people or even children.The plot is more than close to the original story about twelve princesses. The book is good but the idea and its execution were shamelessly stolen. Okay, it's a retelling, usually this is normal. But only if you take an idea and develop it in your own way. When you transform 30-pages-story into a 280-pages-one (a lot of dialogues and inner monologues make wonders) by pouring water between the lines, and then sign the result with your name... that smells like plagiarism. Or laziness. I was waiting for unexpected twists, for some underground-orgies, court intrigues and revolutions… even a mere good romance could save the story for me. But all I’ve a got was a chip rainbow.The book is well-written, it fairytale-stuff looks nice, but the author did miss with her audience. The plot is too simple, clean and steady for ya-guys, there are no blood, real kisses or strong language. So why YA?For me the book was a waste of time. But juveniles would love it, I guess. The Princesses of Westfalin (Принцессы Вестафалина):— Princess of the Midnight Ball (Принцесса полночного бала) #1/3— Princess of Glass (Принцесса стекла) #2/3— Princess of the Silver Woods (Принцесса серебряных лесов) #3/3

  • Isabel
    2019-07-07 21:10

    So, unfortunately I promised a few people that I would write a review on this book (I mean, maybe one... or two...) so here's my best attempt at writing one: (note: I am not particularly good at writing thoughtful, lengthy reviews)To be quite frank, upon finishing Princess of the Midnight Ball I felt deeply annoyed at myself for ever having picked up this book -- and having it sit in the corner of my room, making me feel guilty, for almost eight months. At times this book showed some potential (most definitely not as a YA book, however) but the plot was so askew and the characters -- especially Galen and Rose, two of the most annoying POVs ever -- were cliche and didn't have the slightest depth. I got so bored mid-way through the book, and already felt like it should have ended by then even though the story is already very short at 272 pages. There were lots of problems with the story itself, and it lacked much excitement and most definitely a good romance. Galen and Rose were such an annoying pair and their feelings for each other didn't seem real to me; I honestly didn't much care whether their "relationship" would work out in the end or not. And -- I suppose this is a spoiler, but it was so pathetically lame that I don't think it really matters if you read on -- Heinrich returning to Lily in the end (during Galen and Rose's WEDDING, wow) made me groan and actually put down the book for a few minutes. The King Under Stone was a terrible villain, and Rose's story began to get quite tiresome to me. There were many loopholes in the plot, too -- for one, why did the king only realize that the princesses wore out their dancing slippers every third night after they had already been doing it for YEARS? And why did Angier still seem completely oblivious to what was going on with the princesses even after gaining possession of Queen Maude's diary?Despite its many faults, I do believe that if I had picked up Princess of the Midnight Ball at an earlier age I might have enjoyed it more. Unfortunately, though, I don't think I'll be giving any of Jessica Day George's other books a shot for a while now. Perhaps they just aren't my thing. I also know how much thought and hard work goes into writing a book like this, and I appreciate that fully -- this is purely my opinion, not meant to offend anybody. I did enjoy some of the humor in this book, and some parts of it were pleasurable. But I must say I'm glad to have finally gotten it over with.

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-07-03 22:05

    A delightful retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses with charming and interesting characters and the true meaning of love.

  • Sesana
    2019-07-04 01:07

    Princess of the Midnight Ball is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses story. Maybe I haven't looked closely enough, but one rarely sees this particular story get retold. Probably because it requires a big cast of characters. Yes, there are indeed twelve dancing princesses here, and George tries valiantly to give them all personality, but there's only so much an author can do in 270 pages. That said, the featured princesses were all interesting enough that it didn't bother me that some (Daisy, for example) weren't given much substance. I was also thoroughly charmed by our hero, Galen. I will cheerfully admit that I decided to read this book because Galen is a knitter. And his knitting is not only an integral part of the character, it's an integral part of the plot. The story itself is mostly a straight-forward retelling of the original. Mostly. The last bit of the book is taken up largely with unnecessary complications that result mostly from Galen, who before had always been clever and wise, acting like a bit of an idiot. (view spoiler)[Yes, Galen, you may indeed be hiding behind a cloak of invisibility that is your only protection from the powerful king of the underworld, but have a drink anyways! Or a few! And then dance with one of the princesses, making sure you draw everybody's attention! Great idea! (hide spoiler)] Also largely unnecessary is the plot thread about the princesses being considered witches.And yet, I still enjoyed the book. There's something to be said for a retelling that doesn't mess too much with the source material. And there's something to be said for a sweet and simple fantasy with a nice romance.

  • PaigeBookdragon
    2019-07-01 20:03

    “What young girl wouldn’t love to dance away her nights in this splendid castle in the arms of a handsome suitor?”I was hooked with the blurb of this book because I used to watch Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (don't judge, asshole).Princess of the Midnight Ball is a fun read. I enjoyed reading it because on a scale from 1-10, the fluffiness level of this book would be 7.5.Don't expect this to be an epic read because it's not. This book is just perfect if you want to read something breezy with a little mystery.We're all familiar with the original story. There was a king (because we can't have princesses without a king) and this king has 12 daughters. These poor princesses were cursed to dance every night... you know how it goes.This is supposed to be a 3 star rate but because the author has this certain charm of weaving different fairy tales into one whole story, I gave it an additional star.

  • Krista Wright
    2019-06-28 23:51

    A sweet, charming, and simple fairytale retelling!

  • Katie
    2019-07-05 22:00

    While I wouldn't normally pick up a fantasy/fairytale book (as fantasy isn't my favorite genre), Princess of the Midnight Ball was highly recommended to my by a friend. After reading the book, I am glad I took her advice to get a copy! I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet fairytale! It made for a very easy read and the story plot captivated me. Galen was easy to grow to like as the hero of this tale. I was surprised that most often the story was written from his POV (point of view) and not Princess Rose, but it wasn't a bad surprise---Jessica wove together the entire story wonderfully well. And I enjoyed reading it from a guy's POV. All in all, a delightful fairytale that young teens and adults will both be sure to enjoy. It's a very light, quick, easy read. There is a bit of 'magic' in the book, as the girls go to an 'underworld' of sorts, but the magic wasn't a very heavy part of the book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

  • Rashika (is tired)
    2019-07-05 20:17

    This is going to be a real quick overview since I don't have much time right now but I cannot hold in all my feels for this book. This is a dark re-telling but at the same time it's kind of fluffy. It has that fairy tale feel to it (since well it is a re-telling) so not everything will always line up but somehow this story still charmed me to no ends.The romance could be seen as insta, no doubt, but it didn't bother me. I enjoyed it if only I wished there was a little more development going on but that's what I mean when I say this is kind of fluffy. There are some things that are done in a very fairy-taleish way but it works.I mean with a soldier turned gardner who is to save the day with his epic knitting skills, how can you not help but be charmed? The characters, were so adorable too! Both Rose and Galen are mature but at the same time, they seem innocent too in this childish way that is just so hard to put into words. The secondary characters were SO SO FUN. They made this book so much more funner to read.The plot, I'd say could use a little more polishing but at the end of the day, this was a highly entertaining read and I couldn't help but be charmed.This book in general, as you can conclude from my overview, is somewhat hard for me to describe or explain because it seems almost contradictory. It's dark, no doubt, with it's setting and just the general atmosphere of the book but at the same time, it'll make you smile and giggle and just leave you with a huge smile on your face, the kind you'd get from reading a fluffy book.It's a quick read too so if you're not sure about it, I'd still tell you to give it a shot because you might just end up liking it!With all that said, I have no idea what to rate this book so I am just going to leave it as it is.

  • Colleen Houck
    2019-07-08 21:15

    I loved this retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. I also loved that the hero knitted. So cool. I've knitted a hanger cozy and that's about it, but I remember enjoying the process a lot. The description of the Under Stone kingdom was awesome. I can totally picture it in my head along with the twelve dark princes.

  • Olga Godim
    2019-07-04 00:50

    A retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this charming novel for early teens is also good for a grownup reader. Unlike the original fairy tale, in this story, the princesses don’t want to dance at the Midnight Ball every night but they have no choice: they are under a curse by an evil sorcerer. Moreover, the curse makes it impossible for them to tell anyone or to ask for help. The heroes of this story, the eldest princess, eighteen-year-old Rose, and a former soldier, nineteen-year-old Galen, fall in love, of course, while Galen tries to figure out Rose’s secret and how to help her and her sisters. The plot follows the source pretty closely, but as always with fairy tales, the characters are much better developed.Rose, as the oldest, feels responsible for her younger sisters. She is a delightful girl, beautiful inside and out. She would do anything to break the spell hanging over her sisters’ heads, but there is nothing she can do until Galen comes along. A son of a soldier, Galen grew up with the army. He fought in battles since he was fourteen. At nineteen, he is a veteran. Fortunately, the long war is finally over, and he finds a job as a gardener in the king’s gardens. He is a practical guy, with no illusions but lots of compassion. He is brave. He sees that the princesses suffer and he longs to help. It was a light, uncomplicated book. A little magic, a little teenage affection, and everything clean and sparkling, with no resemblance to anything even remotely related to real life. Even the writer’s attempts to indulge in political machinations are simplified, while she builds her tension and ups the stakes for the protagonists. The only complaint I have is that the author named all twelve princesses, all by different flower names, and I couldn’t distinguish between them, neither names nor ages, no matter how much I tried. Otherwise, it was a book to rest your soul after all the battles and flawed heroes of modern adult fantasy. I must be sliding back into childhood: I’m developing a taste for children’s fantasy, and Ms. George is helping me. I already read a couple of her other books and I’m going to read more. They make me happy.

  • Erin
    2019-07-09 03:13

    I don’t give four star ratings lightly, especially to young adult retellings of classic fairy tales. The stories are relatively well known and have been reworked and rewritten… the long and the short of it is that they have been done and done to death. Finding a fresh outlook is like finding a needle in a haystack. Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball is that needle. George fleshes out the back story and makes a few small changes to the original telling. The result is an enchantingly fresh and original look at the classic fairy tale. One particularly notable aspect is that the story is told not by one of the princesses but from the perspective of battle weary soldier turned under gardener, Galen Werner. The Twelve Dancing Princesses is very much a girls story. I think shifting focus to the male character really helps the book by adding a sense of balance to an otherwise light and frilly fantasy.One of my favorite things about the book is that George doesn’t waste time giving each girl her moment. Twelve girls is a huge cast for a book with that doesn’t even number 300 pages. In fact, many retellings reduce the number of princesses in order simply the narrative. George opted instead to focus on a few of the princesses, making it easier to relate to her characters while remaining true to the story.The decision to make Galen a proficient knitter was inspired. Traditionally considered the past time of aging matriarchs I found his hobby an ingenious and creative tool by which to feature our hero’s personality. This isn’t the knight in shining armor, poised gallantly atop his noble steed. Again, George broke away from the familiar and fashioned something distinctly unique.Sweet, charming and heartfelt, Princess of the Midnight ball is not to be missed. Recommended to fans of A Curse Dark as Gold.

  • Margaret
    2019-07-04 22:11

    As in Sun and Moon Ice and Snow, George starts with a familiar fairy tale; this time, it's "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". Rose is the eldest princess, cursed along with her eleven sisters (all named after flowers) to dance every night at the ball of the King Under Stone. Galen is an soldier returned from war, now an undergardener with some unusual skills. Now they must work together to free Rose and her sisters from the dreadful bargain made long ago between the King Under Stone and the queen, who died years ago.As in most fairy tale retellings, the author has to add complexity in order to make a short tale into a longer book, and George does a good job with this. She adds political intrigue around the proposed betrothals of the princesses, so that their kingdom is threatened not only by the King Under Stone but by enemy countries above ground. It's tough to make the twelve princesses distinguishable from each other, but she manages at least to give each one or two unique characteristics, and some are more complex than that, notably Rose. And I really loved Galen -- he knits! And it's an important plot point! More than that, he and Rose develop a nice relationship and make it believable that they would end up together at the end, beyond the simple "and the soldier chooses the eldest daughter" solution at the end of the fairy tale. I don't think George is on a level with Robin McKinley or even Shannon Hale as far as fairy tale retellings go, but she has a nice, light touch which I enjoy.

  • Anne Osterlund
    2019-07-08 20:56

    Galen is a soldier, who knits his own socks, has lost his entire family in the Analousian War, and has survived to begin a new life. He follows the tales of his dead mother to find her living sister. And his uncle, who happens to be the head gardener for the king. Thus Galen becomes an undergardener.And privy to the most dramatic mystery in the kingdom.For no one, especially the daughters of the king, can tell where they disappear each night. And why their slippers are always worn through. And why even when they are grievously ill, they are compelled to dance.Jessica Day George’s rendering of the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, is smooth and romantic and a sheer pleasure to read.

  • Victoria
    2019-07-17 00:07

    I'm hesitant to callPrincess of the Midnight Ball a retelling as it's not so much a retelling as it is a telling.I expect any retelling to bring something new to the original story, some new layers, better understanding of the characters, more intricate backgrounds.But this book doesn't bring anything fresh. Princess of the Midnight Ball is your basicThe Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, and it stays pretty close to the original version.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-07-05 18:56


  • Obsidian
    2019-07-19 01:05

    Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars and rounded it to 5 stars on Goodreads.After reading Silver in the Blood I was interested in reading George's other works. I really did enjoy this one. Probably because I read the story as a kid (loved it) and loved the cartoon version of it on Grimm's fairy tales. George does a good job of taking this fairy tale and also tying it together in the real world at certain parts as well. We follow the former soldier Galen who comes home to find his mother's family after the war. After stopping to help an old woman, he is given some wool and a cape that apparently will make him disappear. Not knowing what he would do with these items he continues onward and eventually meets his family. Coming home, Galen starts to work with his uncle in the king's garden and there meets the eldest, Rose. Through all of this the princesses are found each day with worn out shoes which is leading to questions that could prove dangerous for them and their father. I really did like how this was done. Galen was a great hero and I liked Rose as well as the other princesses. The backstory which led to this was done very well too. I honestly wish the book had a prequel to it, because I was interested in the magicians who are mentioned in this book too. George does such a great job with dialogue and action that I wish that Silver in the Blood had been done as well as this book.The ending had a can you believe it ending to it which was the only reason why I gave this 4.5 stars. I honestly don't know what was going on there since everything felt tacked on. I wish that there had been more information about this character that suddenly reappeared, but no such luck.

  • Tatiana
    2019-06-20 01:50

    Очень наивная, добрая сказка. Прочитала с огромным удовольствием, даже не смотря на то что никогда не слышала сказки о танцующих принцессах. Может автор выдумала? Черт знает, но мне понравилось! Солдат со спицами просто звезда :D Я всегда улыбалась от уха до уха на эти сценки. Любимой будет когда они пришел во дворец и ждал короля - сел, достал спицы и стал вязать xD Правильно, нечего время зря тратить! :D

  • Steve Smith
    2019-06-28 23:47

    I love all of Jessica's books. They are fantasic reads. Her creative story lines and well developed characters are always a joy. I can never put her books down. I'm always so sad when I finish reading one because I want the next one immediatly. If you haven't read Jessica's books you need to. They are all fantasic.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-29 01:59

    Perfection. A wonderful story with wonderful characters, traditional with great twists.

  • Misty
    2019-07-19 02:07

    I fell head over heels in love with George's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, so when I saw she was doing a retelling of one of my absolute childhood favorites, the 12 Dancing Princesses, my interest was piqued, to say the least.  And when I saw the gorgeous cover attached to the I really need to tell you I bought it?Though I don't love it quite as hardcore as I do Sun and Moon, this one's a definite keeper.  The 12 Dancing Princesses can be a tricky tale to retell because there's just such a huge cast of characters.  The decision has to be made whether to cut some of the sisters (as did Juliet Marillier in the fantastic Wildwood Dancing) or try to find a way to differentiate them.  George went the latter route, and did an admirable job.  Not only did I never have a problem keeping the sisters straight, but she did a fairly good job of making them distinct from one another.  Each is named after a flower (which is not an uncommon tack to take in this tale), which could have added to the confustion, but didn't, and for the most part, each seemed like their own person with fairly consistent personalities.  It was pleasant to read something with such a large cast and not be constantly going, Who?One thing I really have to say for George is that she does a consistently damn fine job of staying very faithful to a tale while fleshing it out and bringing it to life beautifully.  One of the reasons that this story captured and held my heart from a very early age was the whole mysterious and intriguing underworld the sisters went to every night.  I loved how George brought the two worlds, above and below, to life and tied them together.  There was this background, this history and mythology to it that made it rich and her own, while still keeping it the world of my childhood.  This extended to the above-ground world, too, which felt authentic and interesting.But the fact is, a story like this hinges on the romance and the characters - the humble soldier who will win the day, and the princess who will win his heart.  This does not disappoint.  I LOVED Galen and Rose.  I mean, they're not the lass or the bear, but I still loved them quite a bit.  Their courtship was slow and cautious and made sense given the situation.  There was this quiet flirtatiousness to it that was just so cute I wanted to smoosh them together. [And on a side note, I frakking love that Galen knits.  Seriously.  I know some people are like, "wtf? he knits?"  but I really liked that and it made perfect since, as it historically has been very common not only for soldiers to know how to knit, but men in general.]I could have wished to dig a little deeper into the magic all around (the magic Galen does, which was interesting, and I wanted to know more; the magic that Walter does, which was mysterious - part of me liked that it was left unexplained, but part of me still wondered...).  This one also took me a little longer to connect to, but all in all, I'd recommend it fairly highly.  It's sweet and wholesome* and completely enjoyable.*I have been using 'wholesome' way too much lately. If you asked me to describe the types of books I read (or asked one of my friends to...), I never would have thought "wholesome" would make it onto the list...

  • Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
    2019-07-05 21:58

    POTMB was just a fun, relaxing and highly enjoyable read. It was the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving holidays - didn't require a whole lot of analysis, wasn't written in a lofty, convoluted style, and (best of all), the characters were well-rounded but didn't drive me nuts! Hey, I had some weird family for the holidays, I don't think I could've handled weird characters! It was just a feel-good book, you know? Every once in awhile, you just need to get lost in a fairytale.If you can't tell from the title, POTMB is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses story, and it's rather faithful to the original tale - there really are *twelve* (count 'em) princesses who mysteriously wear out their dancing shoes every night. Mystery and intrigue ensue, and a veteran soldier takes it upon himself to solver the hoofer mystery. There's another book that I'd recently read that dealt with the Twelve Dancing Princesses story - Wildwood Dancing - but I guess George's adaptation is more true to the original material. I'd still recommend WD as well, though :) As far as retellings go, this was a very decent adaptation, but I was a teeny-weeny bit underwhelmed by the love story. It's one of those situations where they characters just seem to decide that they're in love, despite having spent no time together and knowing nothing about each other. So it was a little bit of a stretch (for me) that Galen went to as much trouble as he did to solve the princesses' dilemma. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad he did and everything, but I would have liked more character depth. Also, it seemed like a lot of the subplots in this story - particularly the "politics" and international relations between all the countries - were unnecessary. To me they didn't seem to add anything substantial to the overall story and pretty much overcomplicated the book. The attempts to make the plot(s) more weighty ultimately took away from characterization/developing rounded characters. I also thought the country names were a little too cheesy and way too similar-sounding to modern European countries. That's a really nitpicky little thing, I know, but that's just a pet peeve of mine: made-up country names that *really* sound made-up.For what it was - a sweet, fun, fairytale retelling - I thought this book was very well-done. It was a solid story, stayed true to its fairytale inspiration, and had strong, likable characters involved in an exciting, engaging plot. I was not disappointed at all!