From the Library
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From the Library

Book Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Being the eldest of twelve girls is exactly as troublesome as it sounds. Add in being the crown princess, and the pressure is intense. There’s also the fact that their country is barely solvent after a dozen years of war. Plus the tiny detail that Crown Princess Rose and all her younger sisters are under a curse that compels them to dance night after night in the Stygian palace of the wicked King Under Stone.

A soldier since fifteen, Galen Werner is long used to facing death. Now that the war is over, he hopes to settle down with the distant family he has left. After successfully making contact with his relatives, Galen begins working with his uncle in the royal garden.

As Galen slowly becomes closer with the royal family, gossip of the princesses disappearing in the middle of the night to wear out their dancing shoes spreads around the country, forcing the king to offer one of his daughters in marriage to whichever prince uncovers the secret behind the worn shoes.

Rose just wants to protect her sisters and make sure they escape Under Stone with their lives. Galen is no prince, but this is likely a soldier’s job. To banish the curse, they’ll need an invisibility cloak, enchanted knitting needles, and, of course, true love.

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I like this take on the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses. The girls are trapped as dancers through no fault of their own, and the plans the King Under Stone has for them would certainly bring disaster to the sunlit world above. The solution to the curse was interesting as it incorporated elements that had been explained throughout the book in an unexpected way.

Rose is perceptive and intelligent, but I feel like the author set up the framework for her to be awesome without executing it. Rose has to keep track of her sisters, court matters, and stay up half the night dancing — which is physically taxing — in the terrifying court of the evil otherworldly king she’s pretty sure murdered her mother — which is emotionally taxing. That was before her father started inviting conceited, condescending princes for her and her sisters to entertain.

Yet, Galen seemed more dynamic and solution-oriented than Rose. However, I liked Galen’s character a lot. He was smart, polite, brave, and pretty romantic. He gave Rose so many little gifts that he personally made. It was very cute.

Three stars! Recommended for anyone who believes being nice to old ladies on the side of the road can change your fate.

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Jamie Tukpah

Jamie Tukpah

So many books, so little time. Someone needs to invent something to transfer all my stories directly from my brain to my word docs so I have more time to read.