Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (3 stars)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses featuring a knitting soldier, a few ancient magic users and, obviously, 12 princesses. It read much like the original tale in that everything went by so fast, but it was still a fun, enjoyable read.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Series: Princess #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Published on January 20, 2009
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Final Rating: 3 stars

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 chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

What I liked:
This retelling retained many of the original elements of the story; all the original darkness and magic was present. The villain was fairly creepy (would have loved to see more of his world), and the curse(s) made the king's "solution" to his daughters' dancing plausible.

What I didn't like:
I wished I'd gotten to know the princesses better, besides Rose that is. Because there were so many characters and so many things going on, the plot seemed to fly by. Which sometimes made the characters/story feel surface-level only. I was in the mood for a light read, so this didn't bother me too much ... except when certain characters made stupid, cocky moves that created unnecessary complications and danger. Be a good soldier and pull off the operation smoothly; then those pages can be used for other things, like more character development. :)

While not the best fairy tale retelling I've read, this was a light, fun story and came right at a time when I needed an easy, fantastical read. If you like fairy tale retellings and/or are looking for a light fantasy read, give this one a shot.


  1. I must admit that I love Jessica Day George, so I'll probably read this exactly how you described: when I'm up for a light fun fantasy ;-)

    1. I've seen her name everywhere, but this is actually the first of her books I've read. Good experience and looking forward to the next. :)