A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.
Ok, to be honest, the only version I know of the 12 Dancing Princesses besides a picture book, is the Barbie one. This books was a bit of a shock for my childhood dreams of ballerina princesses. I read a summary of the original plotline and I thought this book did pretty good in representing the main parts of the story. The silver trees, the island, the hidden staircase in the room. I think the author did a good job making these things seem believable in this world. I really love fairytale retellings and this one definitely didn’t let me down.
The setting was amazing especially King Under Stone’s island. I loved how it just seemed really surreal and beautiful while maintaining a creepy atmosphere. I could really imagine this mysterious place with black sand and water and the silver trees. It kind of reminded me of Mab’s winter court in The Iron King. Just, you know, less icy and more stony.
Can we just talk about King Under Stone? Can we just talk about him? We’re introduced to him at the very beginning and the vibe I got off him was something along the lines of creepy, desperate man and pedo. I didn’t like him not just because he was the bad guy, but because he was just really creepy and weird. If there was more character development, I think I would have been alright. I have to say, none of the characters were really fleshed out a lot. Galen… all we really got of him was he was kind and liked to knit. Rose was… yeah. I don’t think these characters would stick in my head except King Under Stone because he was just pure creepy.
So if you like fairytale retellings, its worth your time to check this out.
Rating: 3/5 bamboo sticks