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The Night Dance: A Retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (Once upon a Time) Mass Market Paperback – November 25, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Once upon a Time
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Repackage edition (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416961321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416961321
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Suzanne Weyn has written more than 100 novels for children and young adults and has had her work featured on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books in the Once upon a Time series include The Crimson Thread and The Night Dance among others.  Another contribution to the Pulse line is her Romantic Comedy, South Beach Sizzle. Suzanne lives in Putnam Valley, NY.s

Customer Reviews

The story moves along briskly.
Kevin C. Harold
So if you like fairytales, fairytale retellings and girlish fantasy this is a book you'll love/ It has action, romance and adventure and a villian.
Bianca Vandenbos
This is one of the best book series I have read this month!
Adia Greer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pacey1927 VINE VOICE on December 7, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed each book I've read so far in the "Once Upon A Time" series of reworked fairy tales. I enjoyed "The Night Dance" as well but it wasn't at all what I had hoped for. I have appreciated the new ideas and plot twists in each story and delighted in seeing how each story changed, and (in some cases) improved the fairy tales I knew. The story of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" doesn't completely work when mixed with characters from Arthurian tales of the Knights of the Round Table. "The Night Dance" feels like two disjointed and separate tales being mashed together. The actual book still read quickly and when I wasn't puzzled by what was happening, I enjoyed the sisters and I loved the part where the suitors had to figure out how the sisters were ruining their slippers every night. I love magical stories but I feel like the "Arthur" magic is different in feel from fairy tale magic. Overall the book was enjoyable for what it was but it would have made more sense for the author to have written two different "Once Upon A Time" books....one based on Arthur and the other on Twelve Dancing Princesses.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By never_more on January 25, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all the Once Upon a Time books, this is probably my favorite. I love the setting, and working it into Arthurian legends was a stroke of genius. Any girl who likes cultural legends would dig this story, but especially King Arthur nerds like me. All the characters are vivid, never flat. It is an excellent read, if a quick one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Merin on March 22, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an interesting retelling of the Grimm Brothers' The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which took the original fairy tale and combined it with Arthurian legend, making the boy who figures out the mystery behind the girls' worn out shoes one of Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. In this story, the girls are the daughter of a self-made Count, who met their mother near a lake in the forest. The woman turns out to be Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake, and Arthur's aunt. She's trapped in the lake by Morgan Le Fay, causing Ethan, the husband, to think she left him. This makes him extremely overprotective of his daughters, whom he raises in a walled-in manor house.

I liked how the author switched the viewpoint of the narrator throughout, although it did get kind of clunky in some spots. Rowena (the youngest daughter) and Bevidere (the Knight) were my favorites, though. I've always had a problem with the lack of feeling that the sisters have for the men they end up tricking, causing them to lose their lives, and was glad that Weyn only had two men attempt it. I actually used this fairy tale for one of the stories I told for my Storytelling class in Grad school, and have read many MANY versions of this story in preparation. This was definitely one of the more interesting ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chocolette on June 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Night Dance is an interesting mesh of King Arthur and the fairy tale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses". It was quite interesting to see how the Lady of the Lake was a part of the story. However, maybe because of the short length, it felt quite abrupt in the romantic aspect between the knight and Rowena, the protagonist. How does she fall desperately in love with a man she had never seen before? Also, sometimes it felt like the author was mashing the fairy tale to fit her interpretation - especially when it got to the scene with the trees from the fairy tale. The story would have probably been stronger alone, without the fairy tale interruptions.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was intrigued by the idea of this story, which is a mix of the 12 Dancing Princesses, and some Arthurian lore. The mother of the princesses is actually Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake, and maker of Excalibur. She ends up being trapped in an underground lake by her nemesis, Morgan Le Fay. Vivienne's husband has no clue what happened to his wife, so he locked his daughters away to keep them safe from the world. In comes Bedivere, after Arthur's death, on a quest to find the magical lake and return the sword to its lady. Meanwhile, Rowena, the youngest of the sisters, seems to have her mother's affinity for visions and has begun to see a strange lady trapped in a lake. Morgan le Fay discovers this, and also the whereabouts of the sword, and so creates the magical world where the princesses go to dance to keep them from searching from their mother. Of course, everyone knows the rest, about the worn out slippers and the contest to win a daughter.

So the core idea of the story very much intrigued me. However, the plot developement and the characters fell short. Most of the characters were underdeveloped. With 12 sisters, naturally most of them will be nothing more than a name, and that's fine. However, the two sisters, the eldest and youngest , were the two that were supposed to stand out, and I felt their personalities didn't hold up. Bedivere had some interesting moments, but he was pretty flat too. Morgan was dissapointing as a villian--I hardly felt she was evil, it was just clear she wanted Excalibur. Bedivere and the youngest princess, Rowena, fell instantly and madly in love, and did more kissing than talking. I felt like that was a bit ridiculous. But they were "soul mates," so apparently they didn't have to waste time getting to know each other?
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