This turned out to be a new favorite of mine. I was sucked into reading it because it does have a gorgeous cover design and as per usual I am a sucker...moreThis turned out to be a new favorite of mine. I was sucked into reading it because it does have a gorgeous cover design and as per usual I am a sucker for checking out a book BECAUSE of its cover. I nearly put it down about 80 pages in when little to nothing was happening. Apparently this novel is a retelling of Grimm's fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. I knew nothing of the fairy tale aside from what I googled when I first started reading the novel. That said I think I didn't have as high of expectations as other people had who knew the Grimm tale and was really glad I continued to read it rather than put it down.
I enjoyed the setting and the code of conduct that was required for the time. The corsets, the hooped skirts, the curtsying and the dancing. The proper etiquette for addressing gentleman and the whole courting aspect. I always love novels that give a glimpse of a time past. The mannerisms and the phrases like "dash it all" was great and even introduced a few words I had never even heard of. I looked them up and they all were of the same time period so kudos to the author for having done that bit of research.
The pacing is slow and it gradually builds overtime. For some people that may not work, and usually I would say I am one of those people, however the pacing worked after getting into the novel. The continual night after night of dancing was repetitive and redundant yet I'm not sure how that could be avoided given that was a majority of the events that take place in the tale. How can you really expand on that?? Anyways the novel really focuses on the relationship between the girls and their father the King. The pacing helped to show the divide between them and is gradually overcome.
While there are twelve sisters there is only real development seen with the oldest three. We get to see them fall in love which was nice. The names were a bit silly in my opinion, but even now I can still tell you all twelve as they were alphabetical stair steps in the flower family: Azalea, Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Evening Primrose, Flora, Goldenrod, Hollhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale, and Lily. Bramble was by far one of the funniest because she as so spunky. The gentlemen, although I'm blanking on Azalea's beau I really liked him the best!! He reminded me of a character from an Austen novel. The gentlemen, and there really only three who have a key point in relation to the girls, don't play a huge role to the story but they are likable.
The little bit of magic that is seen in the novel could have been more exciting if it was a bit more developed. I'm still not sure how it all worked and we never see anything actually performed. Things just happen and while I was able to suspend my disbelief and say ok fine that happened I can't explain it. It was just "magical". Thanks to the magic I was happy to see a happy ending when I honestly thought there might not be a happy ending after all.
All in all I'd say the novel turned out to be a new favorite. One I would consider purchasing so that I had it and would be able to read it again one day. It may be awhile before I would read it again, but I would still like to know that I could should I decide to.(less)