Rose is the eldest of twelve sisters, all cursed to dance for the evil King Under Stone each night, doomed to become the brides of his twelve half-human sons. The curse not only keeps the princesses from speaking of each night's Midnight Ball beneath the earth to anyone, but sets a sleeping spell on all who enter their chambers at night. Frustrated by his daughters' worn-out dancing shoes, the king promises one of his daughters' hand in marriage, and his kingdom, to the prince who can discover his daughters' secret.
Galen is a soldier, just returned from a 12-year war with Analousia. His family dead, he seeks out his uncle, the king's head gardener, for a home and work. From the moment he first sets eyes on Rose in the Queen's Garden, he knows that he will do anything to help her and her sisters.
Princes come and go, all defeated by the curse. But when the frustrated princes begin turning up dead after a series of mysterious accidents (or duels!), and the cries of witchcraft begin, Galen and Rose become desperate for a way to break the curse. With the help of an invisibility cloak, two skeins of yarn, and the help of under-gardener Walter's knowledge of the magical qualities of plants, Galen sets out to do the impossible- but will he be in time?
If you like fairy tales, books by Shannon Hale, or a little magic mixed with your romance, this one's for you! A retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses, Jessica Day George's Princess of the Midnight Ball is a lovely, lyrical story about the power of true love, family, and friendship that enchanted me from the very first page. Check it out @ the library!
(now reading Jenny Valentine's 2nd novel, Broken Soup, which is even better than last year's Morris-nominated Me, the Missing & the Dead)