Sesana's Reviews > Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
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Feb 21, 12

bookshelves: fairy-tales, fantasy, magic, multiple-viewpoints, romance, retellings, young-adult
Read in February, 2012

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) 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.
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Miriam I can mention (if not recommend) a couple other retellings of this tale, if you're looking.


Sesana I'd like that, thanks.


Miriam Sure! There's The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn, which is part of that "Once Upon a Time" series, and The Phoenix Dance which is actually from the point of view of the Princesses' shoe maker. I feel like I read one other one a couple years ago but it's not coming to me right now.

I think there's a version that combines this with the Tinder Box story, too, an older one that I read as kid.


Sesana Thanks!


Heath Entwined by Heather Dixon is based on the twelve dancing princesses, as well.


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