Genre: YA, Fairy Tale Retelling
Book 2 for 100+ in 2009
I have always been a lover of fairy tales. One of my favorites from childhood has always been the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses. So, I was excited when this book caught my eye during a recent trip to Barnes and Noble.
The story begins as Galen, a lifelong soldier despite his youth,
is returning home after the completion of a war which has lasted 12 long years. Orphaned and alone, he seeks out his Aunt and Uncle. Galen's uncle is employed as the royal family gardner, and offers the hard working youth a position in the family firm. It is in the gardens that Galen first meets Princess Rose, the eldest of 12 royal princesses, and finds himself swept up in an unexpected adventure as he tries to free Rose and her sisters from a powerful curse.
There are many things to like about this book. Galen, the hero, is a charming character, and not just because he is an accomplished knitter. I was rooting for him to succeed after the first few pages. I found Galen's history particularly interesting. The author also did a nice job of including many of the details from the original fairy tale that I know and love. The story flows along quickly, and there really never is a lull in the action. Young adults will likely appreciate this retelling as it provides a handsome and dashing, yet kind and sensitive hero, and some wholesome romance. The character of Princess Rose is also no fainting blossom waiting to be rescued. She and her sisters all seem to be doing their best to save themselves.
I did find the writing at times a bit disjointed. At some points, I found myself noticing particular sentences that didn't seem to flow very well. For example the author described a character as, "he was so very much not happy." I'm not usually such a picky reader, as I prefer to lose myself in the story, but at times the authors voice seemed a bit unrefined. All that being said however, I found this a very pleasant read, and one that I would recommend for fans of fairy tale retellings.