Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Summary from book jacket: Princess Rose is the eldest of twelves sisters condemned to dance each night for the wicked King Under Stone in his palace deep within the earth. It is a curse that has haunted the girls since their birth–and only death will set them free.

Then Rose meets Galen, a young soldier-turned-gardener with an eye for adventure and a resolve that matches her own, and freedom suddenly begins to seem a little less impossible. To defeat the king and his dark court, they will need one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all–true love.

Review: I have read and enjoyed George’s previous work: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow; Dragon Flight; and Dragon Slippers. Her work is very much aimed towards young adult readers, and most of her books are entertaining and good to pass an hour or two with. Not exactly deep, thought-provoking fare, but enjoyable to read if you’re looking for something light, with pretty much a guaranteed happy ending.

If you couldn’t tell already from the summary, Princess of the Midnight Ball is a fairytale retelling of the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Princess stuck pretty close to the original story, and improved upon it with a little more background on our soldier-hero and the setting of the story. We also find out why exactly these twelve princesses are forced to dance every night underground.

I think I enjoyed her other fairy tale retelling, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, a lot more.

There’s not really too much to say about this one; it was a good vacation from the heavier epic fantasy I’ve been reading lately.

How did I get this book? My local public library.
Author Wesbsite: Jessica Day George

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Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George

Rating: 6 out of 10
Summary: On the surface, Creel could just be another damsel living in a medieval village; after all, she is a successful seamstress with a massive crush on a prince. However, Creel is not an ordinary dressmaker. She is the one the country of Feravel turns to when a neighboring nation threatens war. She is the one who must negotiate with the king and queen of the dragons to ensure their allegiance. And she is the one who discovers who is really behind the curtain of what will become the second Dragon War (bn.com).

My Thoughts: Sequel to Jessica Day George’s Dragon Slippers. I think this second novel definitely suffered from the “sophomore slump”. I liked reading about all the characters again and finding out what had happened to everyone, but some parts felt a bit too forced for me.

Creel is still an interesting heroine, and her dragon friends are still entertaining. Decent sequel, but not something I’d read again.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: To raise the family out of poverty, Creel’s aunt concocts a plan to sacrifice Creel to a dragon so that a wealthy knight will save and marry her. But Creel has her own plans, and to finance her adventure, she decides to bargain for a piece of the dragon’s gold.

But this dragon hoards shoes, not gold, and Creel is given a beautiful pair of blue slippers, which she soon discovers have special powers. Finding herself victim of an evil princess and in the middle of a war that threatens to destroy everything including her dragon friends, it is up to Creel to outwit the enemy and save the innocents (from bn.com).

Commentary: I ran a search on Jessica Day George after I read and reviewed Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, which I really liked. I checked this one out from the library, and while Dragon Slippers didn’t really get me as much as Sun and Moon did, it was still a fun, adventure novel with a spunky heroine and cool dragon friends. The plot was interesting and kept me guessing, and there was a little bit of a romantic-comedy feel in Creel’s tension with the prince!

Reminded me a little bit of Shannon Hale’s work; good read.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

Commentary: A retelling of the traditional fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon (other versions are Cupid and Psyche, as well as Beauty and the Beast). I thought this was very enjoyable. The plot had a nice smooth flow and our heroine was strong and determined, as all heroines should be. Highly recommended.