Cindy's Reviews > Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
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's review
Jun 30, 09

bookshelves: fantasy
Recommended for: Sunny
Read in June, 2009

I really give this one 3 stars for the writing, 4 stars for the story. Having loved Jessica Day George's first book (Dragon Slippers), I've been REALLY disappointed by her fairy tale retellings. One of the reviews on this book compared her to Robin McKinley, the queen of fairytale retellings. I can't imagine a less accurate comparison... George has none of McKinley's beautiful prose or elegant writing style. Her dialogue is often stilted (example: "Look, Reiner, it's dear Renata's boy, come home from the war!") and her transitions can at times be really confusing. On the whole, the writing, pacing, and style are just choppy and could use a lot more revision.

The story, however, was delightful. I've always been fascinated by the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which leaves a lot of questions, and this retelling cleared them up nicely. Here's the weird thing though - early in high school, I wrote about 50 pages on a novel I called "Dancers" - a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. In my story, the soldier's name was Galen - a name I was sure I'd made up. (Other than that, I don't think there were any similarities.) So this book does leave me with a vague feeling that my high school self somehow got plagiarized. But it's all good.

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