Reviews for Princess of the Midnight Ball
Booklist Reviews 2009 January #1
The Brothers Grimm tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses is vibrantly retold and set in a fictionalized nineteenth-century Europe. Galen, a soldier (and knitter) returning home from war, encounters an old woman who gives him an invisibility cloak and yarn possessing magical powers. While working as a gardener at the palace, he encounters the princess, Rose, and her 11 younger sisters. Because of a secret bargain their mother made with the evil King Under Stone, the princesses are cursed to dance each night till their shoes are worn ragged. Aided by the good magic held in his yarn, Galen solves the puzzle that has stumped many a prince and earns Rose s love and hand in marriage. Though cursed and in need of rescue, the sisters are feisty and cunning--not passive victims of their fate. Galen s magical knitting patterns will appeal to teens fond of this trendy hobby. This is a well-realized and fast-paced fantasy-romance that will find favor among fans of fairy tales, feisty heroines, and dashing young men with strength, cunning, and sensitivity.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 January #1
As she did so deliciously with 2008's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, George takes another fairy tale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and turns it into a rich and engaging novel. Princess Rose and her 11 sisters must dance each night for the King Under Stone, even when they grow exhausted and ill. They cannot explain their enchantment, cast when their dead mother bargained for both their births and peace for the kingdom of Westfalin. Galen, a young orphaned soldier home from the war against Analousia, has homely skills, including an easy hand at knitting. Watching after Rose from his position as castle gardener, he finds reason to use the strange gifts (a cloak of invisibility and some remarkable yarn) given him by a crone to whom he was kind. Galen, Rose and her sisters are engaging company throughout; near the end the story spirals up in intensity, touching on witchcraft and evil clerics along the way before a satisfyingly exciting conclusion. (Fantasy. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 April
Gr 5-9--After the end of a long war, a young soldier travels to the capital to find his only remaining relatives and a job. Galen obtains work as a palace gardener, where he meets the king's oldest daughter and soon learns of the mystery surrounding Rose and her 11 younger sisters: in spite of being watched every night, they somehow wear out pair after pair of dancing slippers. Readers soon learn that the siblings are paying off their mother's debt to the evil King Under Stone by dancing every night with his sons. Several princes have failed to unravel the mystery. Can Galen, driven by his love for Rose, discover the truth and save the princesses? While readers may be familiar with the fairy tale that's the basis for this story, George creates suspense by showing the princesses' suffering and Galen's determination to help his beloved. He is a sympathetic hero, and his feelings about war and talent for knitting help bring him to life. Rose and her florally named sisters are distinguished by character traits and move beyond stock figures as well. Fans of fairy-tale retellings like Robin McKinley's Beauty (1978) or Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (1979, both HarperCollins) will enjoy this story for its magic, humor, and touch of romance.--Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI [Page 133]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.