Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess, #1)” as Want to Read:
Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Princess of the Midnight Ball (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  22,562 ratings  ·  2,900 reviews
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 chain
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Princess of the Midnight Ball, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jeff the Geek No, the fact that I know the Twelve Dancing Princesses story by heart kinda spoiled minor things for me.
Danielle I have been to the pink palace in Münster , in Westphalia, and that's what it reminded me of. …moreI have been to the pink palace in Münster , in Westphalia, and that's what it reminded me of. (less)
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
16th out of 1,672 books — 7,089 voters
The Luxe by Anna GodbersenEnvy by Anna GodbersenRumors by Anna GodbersenSplendor by Anna GodbersenEntwined by Heather Dixon
Dresses To Die For!
10th out of 1,015 books — 1,863 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
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 figh
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!).
Apr 09, 2011 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tadiana ♕Part-Time Dictator♕
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
Aug 13, 2010 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Shannon Hale
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 (D ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Katie by: Faye
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 R
Rashika (is tired)
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 b
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, ...more
Anne Osterlund
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 w
Olga Godim
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 Gale
Steve Smith
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.
A delightful retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses with charming and interesting characters and the true meaning of love.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
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 f
This is a great re-telling of the 12 dancing princesses with true love, mystery, knitting, and a really good bad guy. I already like Jessica Day George and my favorite novel of hers has been "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow," but I think this book is my new favorite. Ordinarily I have a hard time with 12 dancing princess stories because it is hard to keep track of that many characters that are very similar by nature, all pretty girls, princesses, etc., but this story does a very good job of giving ev ...more
The title lets us know that we are in for a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses. Jessica Day George provides back story, the girls mother, desperate for an heir, makes a deal with the evil King Under Stone, who was banished by 12 magicians eons ago. She will dance with him periodically for a favor. The wily King entraps Queen Maude, she dies and her daughters are doomed to pay her debt nightly to the King and his pallid sons. Enter good hearted, wise (yet still young, handsome, strong and luc ...more
I really loved this book! I'd only heard good reviews about it, so when I read met my expectations of being great. I wanted to keep reading. The storyline was appealing and the characters were well done. I loved the sisters relationships with one another as well, it was perfect. I could totally see myself as a sister and joining in on the teasing yet caring atmosphere. It was a bit hard though to keep track of them all. But when there's twelve of anything in a book, it's going to be hard ...more
This is my favorite retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Jessica Day George stays true to the original fairy tale and explains parts that have never made sense to me before. For instance, why did the silly girls go down the magical stairs in the first place? Did they want to stay up all night ruining their shoes and worrying their parents? What compelled them to keep visiting the underground island? I loved Princess of the Midnight Ball! Go Jessica!

*A side note... my husband saw the book at t
Marynea Collina Bautista
Classic fairy-tale retellings have proven to be one of my favourites, and even if I am not entirely familiar with the original tale, Princess of the Midnight Ball certainly have been interesting for me. It was dark, but not once diminishing the classical dream-like aura that wheels around the story. I suppose that's how it always is whenever I hear the words "princesses" or "kingdoms" or whatever.

The characters were wonderful to get to know, especially the secondary characters! I thought they n
Delightful and enchanting. I really enjoyed it. There is not a lot of development of the characters in the story but if there was it would probably not appeal to the younger crowd it was written for. Its been a long time since I've read the original fairy tale but I think it remained true to the story. I would definitely recommend this to young people of all ages.
This is a retelling of the fairy-tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". The author keeps all of the traditional elements - the twelve princesses, their dancing shoes worn out every night, the offer of his choice of princess and eventual kingship to the man who can solve the mystery, the princes who all fail in the task, and the old soldier who - having helped an old lady on the road - is given the tools to succeed.

There is, of course, more to this version than those basic elements. The reasons fo
Perfection. A wonderful story with wonderful characters, traditional with great twists.
Sierra Abrams
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.
The lesson I learned from this book: Twelve dancing princesses is about ten too many for any serious character development.

This book is nice. It's pleasant. If you've never heard the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, the plot could be interesting. If you have heard it, this book has nothing new to say to you. It's just the fairy tale, extended and fleshed out. I'd love to see what it could have been in different hands, say those of Donna Jo Napoli.

The hero is a sweet boy who knits. The her
Oh. My. Heck.

I don't even have words for how much I love this book!

First off, the plot was unbelievably original -- how she managed that while at the same time echoing a fairytale is beyond me. She added twists and turns to the plot of a (somewhat boring) fairytale, (in my opinion) and I thought it was unpredictable. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

Second, most books I read don't leave me asking any questions. This book did. My brain was at war with itself trying to figure out what may or ma
Eh. It may be that I've been spoiled by the Hale-Levine brand of girl power princess books, but this really didn't deliver. There's a lot of consumptive heroine crap - seriously, Rose is at one point flushed and lovely with her illness or something ridiculous - I have had pneumonia and you do NOT look lovely. Towards the end you start thinking that the princesses might actually DO something instead of standing around trembling, but then the dude steps in, tells them their plan is stupid, and sav ...more
Emma (Miss Print)
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.

Galen returns from war and ends up working in the gardens of the palace where his fate is tied to helping the twelve princesses. No one knows why every three days, their shoes are worn out and need to be replaced. In fact it is because at midnight every night, all the princesses are forced to dance for the King under Stone.

I enjoyed the castle setting and the magical elements of the story. I found Galen to be a likeable hero, who was humble and smart. Princess Rose was alright but I didn't feel
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Golden
  • The Princess and the Hound (The Hound Saga, #1)
  • Spirited
  • The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)
  • The Thirteenth Princess
  • Violet Eyes (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • The Amaranth Enchantment
  • The Princess Curse
  • My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1)
  • Toads and Diamonds
  • Out of the Wild (Into the Wild, #2)
  • The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales
  • Cloaked in Red
Jessica Day George likes chocolate, knitting, books, travel, movies, dragons, horses, dogs, and her family. These are all things to keep in mind if you ever meet her. For instance, you could bring her chocolate to make the meeting go more smoothly. You could also talk about how adorable her children are, even if you have never seen them. You could discuss dog breeds (she had a Maltese named Pippin ...more
More about Jessica Day George...

Other Books in the Series

The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy (3 books)
  • Princess of Glass (Princess #2)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)
Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1) Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow Princess of Glass (Princess #2) Dragon Flight (Dragon Slippers, #2) Dragon Spear (Dragon Slippers, #3)

Share This Book

“Galen Werner, you may choose one of my daughters to be your bride, and when I die, you shall sit beside her as co-ruler of Westfallin."
"Your Majesty.... I - I don't know - "
Rose felt her knees shaking. Did he not love her after all?
"Psst, Galen?" Pansy tugged on his arm. Galen leaned down. "If Rose doesn't want you," the little girl whispered loudly, "you can marry me."
Galen laughed shakily. "Thanks, Pansy."
"Oh, Rose! Don't just stand there like a lump," Poppy said, poking her in the back. "If he's too embarrased, you should be the one to say something."
"Poppy!" Daisy looked scandalized. "It's not Rose's place to - "
Under cover of their squabbling, Rose took Galen's hand and moved closer to him. "Do you want to marry me?" she whispered in a much quieter tone than Pansy had used.
"Yes," he said.
"If neither of you is going to speak up," King Gregor said, "I shall simply have to decide it for myself!"
"Father," Rose protested, "that won't be necessary!"
"I choose Rose," Galen blurted out at the same time.
"There. Done. Easy." King Gregor clapped his hands.”
“No need, no, need. Life is already too short to find it.” 91 likes
More quotes…