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Princess of the Midnight Ball

by Jessica Day George

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Twelve Dancing Princesses (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2628011,584 (3.84)101
A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king's gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse.
  1. 30
    Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (Jen7waters)
  2. 10
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Fantastic re-imagining of a traditional fairy tale with an engaging heroine.

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» See also 101 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
At the beginning I was excited: Galen sounded like a great hero. But then there were too many characters. Everyone had to have a name and a back story. Galen wasn't consistent and Rose became something I would have created at age 12. The fantasy was shallow, watercolor-ish in tone, and the explanations came too readily. I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't. It's probably great in paperback for a romantic 10-13 year-old girl. But I was disappointed. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
A soldier dude named Galen saves a kingdom and its princesses from political intrigue and a lord of the univerworld via knitting.
Since I am the protagonist's namesake, I understandably have a soft spot for this book.

The book reads quickly; each chapter takes about five minutes if you savour each word, and it was written to be easily read.

The characters are enjoyable. Everyone is amiable; the villains are amiably evil, or at least the tone of the book is never such that you are actually worried about the good characters not persevering.
The princesses are there to be rescued like the gendered stereotype they are, but they have personalities and skillsets (and in one case, pistol-skill) that will fare them quite well when facing mundane nogoodniks that aren't supernatural powers of darkness. The prominent ones could be fine protagonists themselves should the author wish it.

There's some interesting witch vs. organized religion stuff going on in here for a world that is a fictionalize medieval Earth, interplay of old forces giving way to the "new" Church.

It's a better read and a nicer (in many senses) world than much fantasy, esp. the new darker and edgier fantasy worlds that have taken hold.

Plus, free knitting recipes in the back :D ( )
  NaleagDeco | Dec 13, 2020 |
This was an interesting book. I loved the re-telling of the twelve dancing princesses (a childhood favorite) and thought that the author gave a convincing reason for the sisters to go dancing each night. I however didn't really strongly connect to the two main characters, though perhaps it was because I read it a little to late in life. Still I think that this book will really reach its target audience and it would be one that I would read to my children (if I ever have any). ( )
  Fireformed | Aug 7, 2020 |
Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars and rounded it to 5 stars on Goodreads.

After reading Silver in the Blood I was interested in reading George's other works. I really did enjoy this one. Probably because I read the story as a kid (loved it) and loved the cartoon version of it on Grimm's fairy tales.

George does a good job of taking this fairy tale and also tying it together in the real world at certain parts as well. We follow the former soldier Galen who comes home to find his mother's family after the war. After stopping to help an old woman, he is given some wool and a cape that apparently will make him disappear. Not knowing what he would do with these items he continues onward and eventually meets his family. Coming home, Galen starts to work with his uncle in the king's garden and there meets the eldest, Rose. Through all of this the princesses are found each day with worn out shoes which is leading to questions that could prove dangerous for them and their father.

I really did like how this was done. Galen was a great hero and I liked Rose as well as the other princesses. The backstory which led to this was done very well too. I honestly wish the book had a prequel to it, because I was interested in the magicians who are mentioned in this book too.

George does such a great job with dialogue and action that I wish that Silver in the Blood had been done as well as this book.

The ending had a can you believe it ending to it which was the only reason why I gave this 4.5 stars. I honestly don't know what was going on there since everything felt tacked on. I wish that there had been more information about this character that suddenly reappeared, but no such luck. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Not my favorite of her books, but I am interested in continuing the series. A bit improbable, but still fun enough. ( )
  Wanda-Gambling | May 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Fans of fairy-tale retellings will enjoy this story for its magic, humor, and touch of romance.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal, Beth L. Meister (Apr 1, 2009)
This is a well-realized and fastpaced fantasy-romance that will find favor among fans of fairy tales, feisty heroines, and dashing young men with strength, cunning, and sensitivity.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Heather Booth (Jan 1, 2009)
George takes another fairy tale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and turns it into a rich and engaging novel.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus Reviews (Jan 1, 2009)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jessica Day Georgeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mark, DonnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szakál GertrúdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Because he had once been human, King Under Stone sometimes found himself plagued by human emotions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king's gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse.

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Average: (3.84)
1 1
1.5 1
2 12
2.5 6
3 77
3.5 32
4 162
4.5 18
5 64

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