Friday, August 13, 2010

Princess of the Midnight Ball Review (Jessica Day George)

Princess Rose is the eldest of twelve sisters condemned to dance each night for the wicked King Under Stone in his palace deep within the earth. It is a curse that has haunted the girls since their birth - and only death will set them free.

Then Rose meets Galen, a young soldier-turned-gardener with an eye for adventure and a resolve that matches her own, and freedom suddenly begins to seem a little less impossible. To defeat the king and his dark court, they will need one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all - true love.

I've read a lot of renditions of The Twelve Dancing Princess. Some of them have been good, some of them have been bad. I was expecting this one to be just as moderately-good as the rest. I was very pleasantly surprised. I know I have said this in previous reviews: I tip my hat to authors who can make me fall in love with their characters. Orchid, Poppy, Lily - all twelve princesses I quickly began to regard as my own sisters, the younger ones especially. And Galen is the exact sort of brother I would love to have. I cared about Rose and Galen's fate more than I have cared about characters in a long time.

Aside from the characters, Jessica Day George's setting for the story was brilliant. What I love second to stories based in the actual world? Stories that are based in a world that is heavily based off of our world and a specific time period. In this case, early nineteenth-century Germany. I loved it. I also loved her "spins" on the other countries - Spania (Spain), Roma (presumably Italy, since Rome is, in Italian, called Roma), etcetera. She even went so far as to put the Catholic church into the story, though never addressed it as such. Had it not been for the names of places, I might have thought I was reading one of those "historical fantasy" books. You know - that new genre for writers to take a historical era from the real world and throw in magic.

I was completely swept away by Princess of the Midnight Ball.
I knew how the story would end - goodness, how many times have I read The Twelve Dancing Princesses?? But I still found myself in complete suspense, gasping out loud and biting my nails in concern. And of course, when the end came, I gave a huge sigh of relief and closed the cover with a contented smile. After reading Mira, Mirror, which had a thoroughly unsatisfying ending, this book was perfect.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George will definitely be added to my shelves.

Star Rating: 5/5 (this book was amazing)

Read Hazel West's review here!

Others in This Series:
1)Princess of the Midnight Ball
2)Princess of Glass
3)Princess of the Silver Woods

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