Mel's Reviews > The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
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's review
May 31, 12

bookshelves: read-2012, wishlist, fairytales
Read from May 26 to 27, 2012

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This story is all about Zira, who finds out that she is the thirteenth princess. She is the one who can save her sisters when the princesses all fall ill. Together with Breckin, Babette en Milek, Zira must try to find a way to break the curse before it is too late.

Zira is raised in the kitchen by Cook, until she finds out that she is no servant girl. In fact, she is the thirteenth princess and that's a nice suprise for her.

Aurelia is the first born child. After that, the King made sure that there was no magic in his Kingdom. The nurse said it could be dangerous for Aurelia. Soon after that, the other sisters arrived: the twin Alanna and Ariadne. Althea, Adena, Asenka. Another twin Amina and Ailima. Akila, Allegra, Asmita and Anisa. The King was done with daughters, he wanted a son. But when his wife dies giving birth to another daughter, he is devastated. He doesn't want the child, so he calls her Zira and she must be raised by the kitchen staff.

That is a horrible thing to do. Even in the end, I never felt any sympathy towards the King. He is harsh for his daughters and he blames Zira for something that isn't her fault. What I did like was the fact that Zira and the princesses are so nice to each other. Zira can sleep in their room every sunday. There is a secret passage between the kitchen and their sleeping room. And sometimes a princess leaves a hidden note for Zira, telling her that they miss her.

Zira feels wonderful and she even makes a new friend. Breckin, a boy who works in the stables. What a sweetheart! He sounds so cute and I liked how their feelings are developing. It's not that the author speaks about never ending love and passion - keep in mind that they are twelve - but it's real. It's the kind of feeling everybody had when you were around that age. Together they find out that there is still a witch in their Kingdom. Her name is Babette and it's a nice old woman. She always bakes cookies and other tasty stuff. Jummy! She comes in handy when the trouble is coming:

Something is terribly wrong. Her sisters are becoming very sick. They are tired all the time; they can't get out of bed anymore. Zira discovers that they are cursed: they must dance every night by going down in the dumbwaiter (the same spot Zira uses every sunday) under the lake. They must dance non-stop and that's why they are so tired. Zira must find a way to break the curse before it is too late. But how? And who is behind the curse?

Oh, how I loved this twist on the original story! It really sticks to the story, but I love the addition of another sister. Zira is such a fun character! She is very nice, but stubborn at the same time. She knows what she wants and she is brave. I like the fact that, even when she finds out that she is a princess, she stays the same.
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