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Princess of the Midnight Ball

(The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  32,893 ratings  ·  3,646 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 chai
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Abby Vincere Yup, it's a perfectly wholesome book. Some sensitive readers may find the "king under stone" a little scary, but that's about it. …moreYup, it's a perfectly wholesome book. Some sensitive readers may find the "king under stone" a little scary, but that's about it. (less)
Anthea yes, each of the main characters are sisters. There is an overarching plot, so the books should be read in this order: 'Princess of the Midnight Ball'…moreyes, each of the main characters are sisters. There is an overarching plot, so the books should be read in this order: 'Princess of the Midnight Ball' first, 'Princess of Glass' second, and 'Princess of the Silver Woods' last.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  32,893 ratings  ·  3,646 reviews

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Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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. ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The malevolent King Under Stone cuts not one deal, but two, with the queen of the country of Westfalin: first, that she will be able to have children; second, that Westfalin will be victorious in its battles against other countries. In return, the human queen agrees to spend one night per week dancing with the King Under Stone in his underground kingdom. But the once-human king has an agenda, and supernatural beings have a way of twisting their a
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Bren Let the sea enamor you
He smiled his cold smile. "Keeping one's hands clean – maintaining one's innocence. Is that not the human way?”
― Jessica Day George, Princess of the Midnight Ball


I gave it a three even though I did not read to the end. My issue is I had thought it would be a darker little tale then it was.

So I had an interest in this story. I read two books about it. This and one called Entwined.

My issue with this one is it is really slow moving and felt very YA. Plus, I read a good deal in and nothing much
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!). ...more
The Ionian continent has been devastated by the ten-year war between the kingdoms of Westfalin and Analousia, which ended with Westfalin barely victorious, famine, a depressed economy, and thousands upon untold thousands of deaths.

Galen is a young veteran who lost his father, mother, and little sister during the war. He finds employment at the royal residence in Westfalin’s capitol, one of many men tending the late Queen’s massive, impractical flower garden. There he meets the twelve princesses,
enqi ☁️✨ (hiatus due to college)
princess of the midnight ball is a classic take on the well-known fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses , but decidedly much darker. this version of the story involves an ancient curse passed down to the princesses from their foolish mother and the mysterious deaths of the several princes who try to solve the mystery. its plot, however, doesn't really veer into unexpected territory, which meant that it was mostly just a very fleshed out version of the original fairy tale, albeit with so ...more
Era ➶
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is beautiful.
*bows* That's all I have to say.
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
“And all because of some shoes,” Galen murmured as they hurried away.
“What?” Ulrike had to trot to keep up with him.
“This all began because of their shoes being worn out night after night,” he said. He had fallen into an easy quick-march pace. He put an arm around his cousin’s waist to help her along.
“If someone could just figure out what they do every night.”

Princess of the Midnight Ball is a retelling of the old favourite fairy-tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and it is just lovely…LO
Rachel E. Carter
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-paperback
Felt just like the fairytales I grew up on. Maybe not my favorite book as far as YA or romance, but it was still spellbinding from first page to last, there's just something special about the storytelling that made me feel as if I were reliving the old illustrated collection I grew up on. I would get this book for anyone that loves fairytales in a heartbeat. ...more
Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Katerina  Kondrenko
5 out of 10

ревью на русском/review in russian

Pianochocolate – Waltz
Cassidy Ladden – Shine
Yuriko Nakamura – Flower

Well, I don’t know what to say. I thought it would be a true retelling for young adult auditory but this is an extended version of the old Grimm’s tale for middle-grade people or even children.

The plot is more than close to the original story about twelve princesses.

The book is good but the idea and its execution were shamelessly stolen. Okay, it's a retelling
May 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"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."

^^^ meeeeee

This series means so much to me, tbh. I don't hesitate to say it changed my life in a lot of ways. It introduced me to fairytale retellings, it revitalized my love of writing, it inspired me in all the best ways and stuck with me forever. To this day I'm still always a little surprised with 12DP retellings don't involve a gardener. xD

There's ju
Like many re-reads of former favorites, I found it slower than I remembered. But still an old favorite that left me determined to learn how to knit...if only to make myself Rose's shall. (I never did get past a doll's scarf, though.) ...more
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
Paige  Bookdragon

“What young girl wouldn’t love to dance away her nights in this splendid castle in the arms of a handsome suitor?”

I was hooked with the blurb of this book because I used to watch Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (don't judge, asshole).

Princess of the Midnight Ball is a fun read. I enjoyed reading it because on a scale from 1-10, the fluffiness level of this book would be 7.5.Don't expect this to be an epic read because it's not. This book is just perfect if you want to read something br
Emma lovey
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this version of an old favorite fairy tale. The author made me care about the plight of the princesses as they danced nightly to fulfill the promise their mother made to the evil Under Stone. Along came our clever hero. Even though I knew the tale Jessica George skillfully wove in new characters and plot twists that kept me intrigued. I am sure to read the next book in this series sometime soon.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finally finished this! My reading routine has been muddled up of late and so this took way longer to finish than it would have under normal circumstances. I thought it was great, a really enjoyable read. I have fun reading this rendition of the 12 Dancing Princesses! There is much to love about this story; the writing, the characters, the flow. Highly recommended! Thank you Jessica Day George.
Aug 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy-tale. It turned out really cute.

Twelve princesses, named after flowers, have dancing shoes that are mysteriously worn out every morning. It’s part of a curse, and they are unable to tell what’s happening because of the curse. Gaylen, a young war veteran, is kind and humble and perfect. And he can knit. Gaylen and the oldest princess start crushing on each other, and of course it’s up to him to break the curse (with the girls’ help).

The w
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A pretty darn good fairy tale retelling. I quite liked Galen as the soldier who knits!

Olga Godim
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
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
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
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
A truly delightful retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale that follows a soldier who is returning from war and is caught up in the intrigue of where the princesses go each night and how to help them. There is gardening. There is knitting. There is snappy dialogue and unforgettable characters. And, oh yeah, this book is dedicated to me, so there is that as well.
Colleen Houck
I loved this retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. I also loved that the hero knitted. So cool. I've knitted a hanger cozy and that's about it, but I remember enjoying the process a lot. The description of the Under Stone kingdom was awesome. I can totally picture it in my head along with the twelve dark princes. ...more
Historical Fiction
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don’t give four star ratings lightly, especially to young adult retellings of classic fairy tales. The stories are relatively well known and have been reworked and rewritten… the long and the short of it is that they have been done and done to death. Finding a fresh outlook is like finding a needle in a haystack. Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball is that needle. George fleshes out the back story and makes a few small changes to the original telling. The result is an enchanting ...more
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
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A Million More Pages: 1 - Princess of the Midnight Ball (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy): May 7 27 21 May 11, 2015 08:08PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Feb 13, 2015 08:49AM  
Best Book EVER!!! 53 110 Jan 17, 2015 04:25PM  

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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

Other books in the series

The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy (3 books)
  • Princess of Glass (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #2)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods ( The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #3)

News & Interviews

There's something so special about each class of debut YA authors; after all, young adult fiction is all about the hopefulness of new...
44 likes · 4 comments
“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.” 96 likes
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