Title: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author: Jessica Day George
Page Count: 276 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale
50 words or less: Two pacts made with evil. An honorable soldier returned from war. Magic. A terrible secret. More dancing than you can shake a stick at. Adventure. Intrigue. Witchcraft? A truly delicious happily ever after, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
One of the trends in young adult books now that I'm really starting to get into is the retelling and reworking of fairy tales and giving them a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. I've already read and enjoyed quite a few of the books out there that are actually about Faerie and the folks that live there, but Princess of the Midnight Ball is another creature entirely.
The basis for the book is the story of the same name that was originally published by the Brothers Grimm. Many aspects of the original story are present in this version as well, and Wikipedia has a nice summary of the story if you're interested in that version. The author here adds a distinct historical feel to the setting and time of the story and also adds in elements such as the concern of the church over the princesses' nocturnal adventures being caused by witchcraft, the issues of rebuilding a country after a long, bloody and expensive war, and, of course, magical issues and monstrous bad guys.
The characters in the book are well done, with enough detail to be believable and realistic but not so much that the story gets bogged down with endless back story. Galen is a realistic hero who does indeed save the day and get the girl, but he's also thoughtful and clever, and he knits! As a side note, the author includes a neat little note on knitting at the end and also two knitting patterns which look like fun. The princesses were all cheerful and beautiful, of course, but each one had her own personality which was nice to see. The romance between Galen and Rose, the oldest princess, was sweet and innocent, and this book would definitely be appropriate for readers of all ages.
This book was the perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday morning. Are the answers to the world's problems hidden within its pages? Nope, but sometimes an adventurous tale where good wins over evil and they all lived happily ever after is just what the doctor ordered.
Overall Grade: A
Welcome to WBiT!
Hi everyone! This blog is updated occasionally as the need to talk about awesome books strikes me. Check back to see if there's anything new- or use the subscription options and never miss a post! See you around in 2013!