- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 830 (What's this?)
- Series: Twelve Dancing Princesses
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599904551
- ISBN-13: 978-1599904559
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 289 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Princess of the Midnight Ball (Twelve Dancing Princesses) Paperback – April 27, 2010
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About the Author
Jessica Day George is the author of Sun and Moon,
Ice and Snow, Dragon Slippers, and its
sequel, Dragon Flight. Originally from Idaho, she
studied at Brigham Young University and lived in Delaware and New Jersey
before settling down in Salt Lake City, Utah. She had been a movie
store clerk, librarian, bookseller, and school office lady before she
got her big break. Jessica lives with her husband, their young son, and a
five-pound Maltese named Pippin in a house that needs to be vacuumed
much too often.
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Galen has all the best aspects of a fantasy hero, though sometimes his humour seems a touch too modern and out of place for his life and his circumstances. The princesses are well developed, especially Rose, the eldest, who must be surrogate mother and protector of her sisters since their mother’s death. Romantic tension between Galen and Rose builds over time and multiple encounters, rather than magic love at first sight.
The story is mostly well-paced - it drags only in one place, where Galen is patrolling the palace grounds despite it being very obvious from previous guarding attempts that the princesses aren’t sneaking out via the grounds.
The fairy tale aspects are lovely. Chilling in all the right places, especially when it comes to the sneaky deals that fey creatures make. Even tiny details, like the barely-mentioned hints of the Queen using objects like brooches, lace or combs to create forests, boats, etc. straight out of Baba Yaga tales.
I would read more in this series.
The hero of the story is Galen, a young man returning home from a long bitter war, to a kingdom where twelve beautiful Princesses wear out dancing shoes every night but no one ever sees them leave their bedchamber. Many Princes of other realms try to learn their secret but they fail and later succumb to accidents. Galen gets a job as an under gardener, who really admires Rose, the oldest Princess. In despair the King allows him to try to unravel the secret. Galen is wise and through his kindness has a few tricks bestowed on him.
I want to read the next book and I'm passing this one off to my 12 year old granddaughter.
There are twelve princesses, all named after flowers (one of my favorite things about the story) and they go dancing every night at midnight. They are called down by a curse, against their will. They are tired all the time, the King only knows that every morning their dancing slippers are worn and the girls are exhausted. He cannot figure out how they get out of their room when it is under guard. He sends out a call to all men, a challenge, to discover the secret behind the girls worn out slippers and as a reward... his eldest daughter. One solider can break the curse, the one true love of Rose.
Loved it! It was very compelling from start to finish. I loved the story, the romance, the mystery, and the evil. It was everything I look for in a fairytale and it was beautifully written. It was a very fast paced read for me and I didn't want to put it down.
I very much enjoyed the setting of the book. I find historical fiction to be captivating if it is done right and this one was. I felt that I was back in the time and setting of this book. The story was told with all the elements needed for a historical fiction without confusing me or losing me within the etiquette and speech of the time. I feel that this story would have not been as wonderful if done in a modern setting and that the setting gave the story so much more beauty. The Romance, the courting, the rules, the damsel in distress all needed the historical setting.
Speaking of damsel in distress, Rose was one but she was also strong and brave. I loved Rose's character. She knew what needed to be done and she cared so much for her sisters. She would do anything for them. Selfless when she wanted so much more. I really loved all the princesses. Yes they wined and a couple of times I felt like shaking some sense into them but my patience came from knowing that they didn't know any other way to act. I did get quite upset at the king at times. He seemed to be clueless about so many things. In the end... he came through... and so did Galen. The real hero of the story, definitely swoon worthy and wonderful. Drool!
An absolutely splendid read. I will for sure carry on the series and will be reviewing the other two books very soon. If you like fairytale retellings you will love this story.