Monday, November 10, 2014

Princess of the Midnight Ball (Twelve Dancing Princesses #1) by Jessica Day George

Galen—a poor soldier—meets an old woman along the road to the palace. Because of his kindness, she gives him an invisibility cloak and two balls of magic yarn. Galen continues on to the palace and gains employment as a gardener there. As he works in the gardens, Galen becomes acquainted with the king's twelve daughters, especially the eldest princess. Soon Galen sees firsthand the king’s dilemma of the princesses’ ruined shoes and their ailing health. The king proclaims that the man who can solve the princesses’ mystery can marry one of his daughters and co-rule the kingdom. Galen uses his magical gifts to discover not only the cause of princesses’ ruined shoes, but to also find out who is behind the princesses nightly disappearance.

George takes the well-known fairy tale a step further by adding complex aspects to the story, like a demon underworld. But George stresses how dancing each night, with no sleep, would threaten the princesses’ well-being. The princesses’ health becomes the driving reason the king is desperate for a resolution to the mystery, not the cost of repairing shoes. Along with the engaging read, George adds a knitting twist to the story, with knitting patterns included at the end of the book. Readers who enjoy such books as the Books of Bayern series or Ella Enchanted will also enjoy this series. The next book, which follows a different sister, is Princess of Glass.

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