Jessica Day George: Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball (Westfalin Princesses #1)
by Jessica Day George
(YA fantasy)

I am a sucker for a good fairy-tale retelling. Jessica Day George’s Princess of Westfalin series is one of these.

Princess of the Midnight Ball tells the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. It’s very well told, and takes the “real” fairy tale and puts it forth as a fantasy story flawlessly. One of the changes that I like to this story is that the princesses aren’t dancing nightly because they want to, but because they’re under a curse. In the usual stories about the Twelve Dancing Princesses, they always seem pretty heartless, dancing happily along knowing that the princes who try to stop them will be killed if they don’t discover the secret.

I will admit that this story has always been a favorite of mine. I grew up loving the Twelve Dancing Princesses as told by Fairy Tale Theatre. It doesn’t always make it into fairy tale collections, but this has been one of my favorite fairy tales for as long as I can remember. (“East of the Sun, West of the Moon” is probably my all-time favorite, but that one gets even less notice than this one.)

Anyway, back to this actual series. All three books have highly enjoyable characters. The princesses, as well as their heroes, are likable. The cover art is exquisite. And there is knitting. If you’re interested, you can even make the various pieces of knitwear described in the books, because Jessica Day George printed the patterns at the end of the books. I have yet to make any of them, but I plan to. The thought amuses me.  🙂


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