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The Princess Curse

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,139 Ratings  ·  540 Reviews
Merrie Haskell’s middle-grade fantasy novel Princess Curse is an imaginative retelling of the fairy tales The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast.

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who cures the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jubilation Lee
Okay guys, you know me. I loathe books that set themselves up for sequels. Or trilogies. Or I WILL JUST WRITE UNTIL I HAVE WRUNG EVERY LAST PENNY OUT OF THE DEEP BROODING VAMPIRE LOVER GENRE.

But this book needs a sequel and there doesn’t appear to be a sequel and my soul is weeping.

Weeping, I tell you.

Because this was a really solid, really enjoyable book! And even though it was this crazed mishmash of stories—The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Hades and Persephone, Beauty and the Beast—everything
Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader)
DNF at page 121, no rating.

Honestly nothing wrong with the book, it just did not work for me.
Initially: I realized today at work that I wouldn't be coming home and reading this today because I finished it last night, and that made me sad. There is no surer sign of a 5-star book for me, so yeah, I friggin loved this.


I feel like I've been talking about this book non-stop for all of 2013. And really...I kind of have. Every now and then there are books that come along that you expect to like, and hope to love, and that is enough. But sometimes, you pick up a book, and you're pretty c
Jul 13, 2015 Susana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes a well writen story
Recommended to Susana by: sometimes I am brilliant like that
4.5 stars... that will turn into a five star rating, once I have the sequel in my hands...

That is not to say that this ends with a cliffhanger. No, the story in this book is mostly properly resolved, especially the part about "The twelve dancing Princesses" retelling.
As for "Beauty and the Beast"?
We only get about two thirds of it, and having loved this story _ and its characters _ of course I want something more.

There's not much I can say without spoiling the story, so I'll just say this:
I love
Small Review
Loved it! Full review to come.

Originally posted at Small Review

*THAT* book

I've been lusting after The Princess Curse ever since it was nothing more than a tiny little blurb with no cover and not much information. And ever since that time, I've had two warring halves living inside me.

One side smugly crossed her arms, stuck her nose in the air, and declared that NOTHING would be as amazing as Jessica Day George's 12 Dancing Princesses retelling.

The other side was a starry-eyed mess praying to the
May 22, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book.
I picked it up expecting yet another slight and amusing riff on the theme of girl-with-21st-century-attitude-stars-in-retelling-of-classic-fairytale-set-in-unspecified-yet-still-annoyingly-historically-inaccurate-medieval-kingdom.

Instead, I was blown away by Merrie Haskell's impeccably realised and researched world - the 15th century principality of Sylvania, (a country so convincing I was quite shocked to discover in the Author's Notes that she made it up!)whose Price - lackin
Rebecca L. Snowe
A delightful and lighthearted read! My favorite line was when Reveka was talking to the old woman in the tower and the woman tells her how peaches will kill a pig dead if he eats to many of them and Reveka's like "I put that advice away in case I ever got a pig someday" I laughed so hard at that, don't know why really, just thought it was harlarious.

My only qualm about this book was it ended to soon/should of had a sequel where Dragos turns into his human form for good and Reveka and him live h
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Jul 18, 2015 Kagama-the Literaturevixen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like a good fairytale retelling and clever girl heroines
Recommended to Kagama-the Literaturevixen by: Susana
Reveka is a 13 year old girl who after being raised since she was very young in a convent has recently been reunited with her soldier father, who is the kings gardener to the Prince of Sylvania. Now they live at the castle and she is an herbalists apprentice.

When she is summoned to the Princess consort to explain why the 12 princesses,her stepdaughters all ended up smelling like cabbage after their bath,she confesses that she sprinkled some herbs in there hoping to break the princesses curse.
Oct 29, 2015 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
This was a fun take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses story, also combining the Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Hades and Persephone. What first caught my attention was the fact the "savior" of the 12 princesses is a 13-year-old girl rather than the traditional older male soldier, although Haskell gives a nod to the original tale with Reveka's father. It's miles more fun because of it and brought to mind some of the reasons I fell in love with fantasy at a young age: there's no way a spunky, ...more
The Princess Curse is a sort of retelling of "The twelve dancing princesses", told from the point of view of Reveka, a young apprentice herbalist. I seem to be reading a lot of versions of this story lately, and this one has enough original elements to stand out.
I always love stories where the main character has a particular area of expertise or a hobby they love that makes them special, and I'm always frustrated when that hobby is only mentioned in passing and doesn't play any important part in
Oct 03, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
What’s with all the books with cliffhanger endings that don’t mention they’re the first in a series? This is the third or fourth book I’ve read in the last year that goes “oh, and, while we’re on the last page, just in case you thought everything was going to be resolved – no, here’s a bombshell!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as a reader, I want to know if I’m signing up for a book or a series. It’s like Gilligan’s Island, only the Skipper and Gilligan knew it wasn’t going to be a ...more
This is an extremely well done mix-up of “Beauty and the Beast” meets “12 Dancing Princesses” which then collides with the Greek tale of Hades and Persephone. Plus, a few more references that sound very familiar, but I can’t put my finger on. (I.e. - Dragos’s hinted at tale.)

The characters didn’t blend. The dialogue, while tasting almost too modern, was quick and easy to get sucked into. The writing style didn’t embellish, but felt comfortable in its own skin (if that makes sense) which made the
Oct 11, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses with a few other tales sprinkled in. Reveka a herbalist's apprentice is determined to solve the silly curse of the castle that makes the princesses ruin their dancing slippers nightly. Revka wants the prize money from solving the mystery so that she can buy herself a place in a convent so she can become a herbalist. Revka soon finds that the curse is not as silly as she once thought and is swept into a world she ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Violinknitter rated it it was amazing
I've only just started this book, but I am absolutely loving it.

I have a few pet peeves about fantasy books set in a medieval world. Authors often puts modern attitudes about women's roles (and men's roles) in the mouths of protagonists who could have no concept of such things given the society in which they were raised. Also, novels are often set in a generically medieval frame, where clothing, technology, and politics that existed hundreds of years apart in the real world are presented as if
Aug 23, 2011 Trishnyc rated it really liked it
I picked this up expecting a quick, easy and light read. Instead, I got a surprisingly well thought out and interesting story that pulled together different fairy tales and did it very well.

Thirteen year old Reveka is a herbalist apprentice who has set herself the task of curing the silly curse on the twelve princesses. Every morning, the princesses wake up exhausted, shoes in tatters yet seeming not to have left their room. No one can figure out why this happens and though many have tried to fi
Nancy Kelley
Apr 08, 2013 Nancy Kelley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fantasy
Some books are almost too perfect to review. Nothing you can say about them matches up to how wonderful they were. The Princess Curse is such a book for me.

This is the second telling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses I read in the space of 24 hours. Once again, all the familiar elements are there--princesses dancing every night, a father who offers a reward to whoever solves the mystery, and all who attempt falling asleep. But as in any good fairy tale re-telling, each part is twisted just slight
This creative and original retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" is set in Sylvania, a fictional region of Romania, in the fifteenth century. Thirteen-year-old Reveka has recently arrived at Castle Sylvian, where she is an apprentice to the castle's herbalist. Because her mother died when she was a baby and her father was a soldier, Reveka grew up in a convent until her father retired from the army, and it was there that she was first trained in herbalism. Unlike most girls, Reveka hopes ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Roslyn rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. It's written in language that's evocative and layered, and not least among the things I appreciated about it is that there was no villain. Of course, villains are beautifully conveyed in some of my favourite novels, but I do get tired of villains sometimes and it's a pleasure to read a book where the central conflict doesn't depend on one. Here the conflict centres on the choices that its narrator, Reveka, has to make.

I also like the way the ending doesn't tie everything u
Dec 30, 2011 Nightmist rated it really liked it
To tell you the truth I loved it. It was really amaizing, great plot. It obsorbed me till the end. But I wasnt too fond of the way it ended... Dont get me wrong, it was a good way to end it, I mean normally these kind of books end with "... and they lived happily ever after". or something similar. But I thought it ended too abruptly, many things that were introduced in the book either, just dissapered without explanation or do not finish their story. For example: After Reveka found out that King ...more
Lisa Canfield
Feb 17, 2015 Lisa Canfield rated it it was amazing

It ends like there's gonna be a sequel and HOW DOES SHE BREAK THE CURSE I NEED TO KNOW.


sorry I literally just finished it and I can't coherent very well right now XD This was a great book and I rarely give 5 stars unless I truly loved and enjoyed a book. But you might want to save yourself from the anguish of needing a non-existent-sequel.

*crawls off into corner to coddle book and cry tears*
Jill Furedy
Apr 10, 2012 Jill Furedy rated it it was amazing
This one leapt right to the top of my picks for young readers...of which I am not one. Way too old for this stuff, but I loved it anyway! I had seen this title mentioned a couple of times, and as I love fairy tales and the 12 dancing princesses story was a favorite growing up, I had to read this one. I wasn't expecting what I got. When I opened it to a glossary of Romanian words, I realized there was going to be a lot more to the fairy tale I knew. A little further into the book, I realized thi ...more
I loved it.

How could I not? Two of my favorite fairytales mixed with one of my favorite myths? This story is part "Twelve Dancing Princesses," mixed with "Beauty and the Beast" with a little Persephone and Hades sprinkled on top. Pure delight. I loved the Romanian flair as well. This is a really fabulous book and the more I think about it, the more I like it. I might even have to move it to the favorites folder.

Reveka (pretty name!) is the herb apprentice. She doesn't have much use for the sil
Ok this tips it, now there is a shelf just for 12 dancing princesses retellings. What amazes me is the huge difference in each tale.
In The Princess Curse there are interesting twists as the story is sympathetic to the underworld King who entraps the princesses who must visit and dance every night. Reveka is a young herbalist trained in convents now living with her dad for the first time, because he has stopped being a soldier and can care for her. They have a prickly relationship because the Ab
Sep 19, 2011 Krystle rated it liked it
By now I must have read four or five variations of this retelling so I’m quite familiar plotwise as to the basic conventions of the story.

This book falls around the middle.

Reveka is a charming, head strong, judgmental, and quick-thinking girl. Something I like. Her whole herbalist dreams are pretty awesome. I love how this story focuses on someone outside of the affected parties but instead of it being a prince come to rescue them, it’s actually a girl in search of a dowry and a victim of her ow
Bluerose's  Heart
Aug 15, 2011 Bluerose's Heart rated it really liked it
The story is told from the point of view of Reveka, a thirteen year old girl. The Princess Curse is a really interesting mix between the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and the myth of Hades and Pershephone. With this story, though, you get an outsider's view of the Dancing Princesses. It's suppose to be somewhat of a mystery through the first half of the book, but if you know the story at all, you'll know what is going on.

The humor in the book seemed to be targeted for a young boy at ti
Very impressive blending of the Grimms' tale of the twelve dancing princesses, the Greek myth of Persephone going into the underworld, and the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Reveka has just entered into service as an herbalist's apprentice in Castle Sylvian, and is determined to break the curse upon Prince Vasile's twelve daughters, whose shoes are in tatters every morning as if they have been dancing all night. I loved the pacing and tone of the beginning of the book, set at Castle Sylvian, a ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Scarlett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Originally posted on my blog here.

I read this book a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Though it is MG, Reveka was an amazing protagonist and I laughed out loud several times at her inner dialogue.

This book did a fabulous job of breathing new life into the Twelve Dancing princesses tale, and really, that isn't if center stage, which I liked a lot. It blends with another familiar-esque story that I won't go into because it will give away part of the mystery, but it was immediately recognizable
Feb 10, 2012 næntsi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Nooooo—I didn't want this book to end! I'm literally in tears that it finally had to. Hoping for a sequel. Or two, or three. But if not, I'll try to convince myself I'm satisfied with just one. The Princess Curse has been the most fun I've had with a book in years. I mean, yes, I loved other books. They were great in their own ways, but it's been tough finding something that's made me laugh and giggle so many times over the course of the story. The thing with Haskell's humor is that it's not the ...more
Wow I can't believe my luck.When I picked this up from vine I didn't have high hopes. I thought this would be a sweet retelling of a classic fairy-tale simple and to the point. I got a book I couldn't put down and a world I was drawn into and a character I admired and loved! Granted I am a lover of fairy-tale retelling.This is much more then one fairy-tale and the book is not even done. It came to a nice conclusion but I need the rest! I don't want to wait! I couldn't believe this was a first ti ...more
Jaime Lee
Oct 06, 2011 Jaime Lee rated it it was amazing
"The Princess Curse" is a wonderful tale that mixes old school fairy tales with mythology and modern wit. The heroine of the story is Reveka, a young apprentice who enters into a kingdom where the 12 princesses of the castle have been cursed by sleeplessness and shoes that are forever wearing through each night. This is a direct parallel to the Grimm fairy tale that is easily recognizable. However, since the mystery of the curse is uncovered from Reveka's perspective, it has a fresh feeling. Mor ...more
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Should this book be in a series? 7 27 Sep 19, 2015 12:16PM  
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Stay in the boat, I told myself, watching them walk up to the pavilion. I'll just stay in the boat. I won't go anywhere near that creature.
But in spite of that wise warning, I climbed out of the boat.
Fine, stretch your legs, I told myself. Just don't follow them.
But of course, I followed them.
You are without question your own worst enemy, I scolded myself, even as I tiptoed after them.”
“Fate is for people who are too lazy to do anything” 18 likes
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