Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Princess Curse” as Want to Read:
The Princess Curse
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Princess Curse

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  5,077 Ratings  ·  614 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Princess Curse, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Harsha The author said she's considering it. She said she's thinking of a way to write a sequel and still keep it for middle-grade audiences.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus by Allison HawnAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeThe Gathering Darkness by Lisa CollicuttGirl of Nightmares by Kendare BlakeHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
228 books — 205 voters
Wither by Lauren DeStefanoEntwined by Heather DixonSilence by Becca FitzpatrickDie for Me by Amy PlumAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Best Book Covers 2011
733 books — 3,137 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Rachel Reads Ravenously
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
Small Review
Reread 12/2017

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
Jul 05, 2015 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
May 22, 2012 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
Oda Renate
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the beginning of it but half way through I got bored.
It was a decent book but not much to fangirl much for me about.
Rebecca L. Snowe
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 13, 2015 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 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval
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
Aug 23, 2011 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
Lisa Pickle
Feb 17, 2015 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*
Oct 03, 2012 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
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
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
I was not expecting such a masterful weaving of two wonderful tales, The Princess Curse took me completely by surprise. A lovely conglomeration of historical fiction, Eastern European folklore, and fairy tales that we all know and love with a wonderful lead to boot. Loved this so much.
Nancy Kelley
Mar 31, 2013 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 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
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
Sep 06, 2011 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
Oct 11, 2011 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
Dec 30, 2011 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
Mar 06, 2013 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
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Merrie and I have known each other for a while, and I LOVE her short stories, so when she sold her MG novel The Princess Curse, I was thrilled for her - and also incredibly impatient to read it!

Luckily, I enjoyed it every bit as much as I'd hoped. It's a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" with a strong, smart (non-princess) heroine who has big (but totally plausible and intelligent) dreams and is willing to do whatever she has to to achieve them. I love girls like that, in fiction and
Ashley Tahg
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
there had better be a sequel to this. XD
I have too much joy to formulate a real review at this time. This book is everything I ever wanted.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I'm hesitating between giving this book 4.5 or 5 stars. Hmmmmmmm.....

I have to say that I was not expecting to like that book as much as I did. Holy fuck, this was good! The writing style was very good, the flow of the plot was really nice, and the characters were really interesting to learn about!

The Princess Curse is about Reveka, who is the herbalist's apprentice at the Prince's castle. There's a curse affecting the 12 princesses, and whoever lifts it will be rewarded. Of course, our main cha
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Hmm this was a decent story but the ending wasn’t right. It feels like it’s a setup for a sequel but I’m guessing that will never come. So with the ending as is it feels unfinished. This could’ve easily worked as a standalone with a proper ending if some of the beginning was edited down to add more room for a proper complete ending.
Barb Middleton
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
A student asked me to read this and while I can see why she liked it with the romance and adventure, I know I won't remember it a few months from now. The lack of characters changing internally and missing background knowledge for the setting made parts confusing. My imagined characters kept changing as details slowly leaked out of the storyline. At times not enough information was given and at other times the details were rushed when the author should have zoomed in on an important point. The m ...more
Feb 04, 2012 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
Sep 14, 2011 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
Apr 26, 2011 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What do you think about The Princess Curse? 2 13 Feb 17, 2016 07:33AM  
Netting? 4 28 Feb 06, 2016 05:29AM  
Should this book be in a series? 7 30 Sep 19, 2015 12:16PM  
  • Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible, #2)
  • Princess of the Wild Swans
  • Toads and Diamonds
  • Out of the Wild (Into the Wild, #2)
  • Fortune's Folly
  • Thornspell
  • The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1)
  • Ordinary Magic
  • Winterling (Winterling, #1)
  • Snow in Summer
  • The Spy Princess
  • The Phoenix Dance
  • The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw (The League of Princes, #3)
  • The Swan Kingdom
  • The Runaway Princess (Runaway Princess, #1)
  • The Wizard of Dark Street  (Oona Crate Mystery, #1)
  • Darkbeast (Darkbeast, #1)
  • Straw Into Gold

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • These Vicious Masks
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #1)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Once Dead (The Rho Agenda Inception #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Door Within (The Door Within, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Harmony Black (Harmony Black, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Cloud Atlas
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Galápagos
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Thirteen
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Perfected (Perfected #1)
    $5.99 $0.99
  • Unspoken (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, # 2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Mark of Fire (The Endarian Prophecy #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Tales of the Hidden World
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Star (The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Season of Fire (The Remnants, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
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” 22 likes
More quotes…