The Thirteenth Princess Diane Zahler
This is a slightly different take on the fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." There were twelve princesses, when the king wanted a boy. When the queen died giving birth to the thirteenth princess, the king demanded that she be removed from his sight and sent to live with the servants. When Zita was 7, she first learned the truth of her parents. After that, she gets to know her sisters, the princesses know Zita is one of them, but must hide their interactions in fear of the king. Shortly after Zita turns twelve, the princesses start falling mysteriously ill, and that's when we enter the familiar realm of the fairy tale. Zita works with her friend the stable boy, his older soldier brother, and a hidden witch to rescue the princesses from dark magic that makes them dance every night.
I did really enjoy this book. I'm a big fan of Twelve Dancing Princesses stories. That said, there was so much else going on to flesh out the book--Zita's friendship with Breckin, her relationship with her sisters and how Zita's relationship with the king is different than that of her sisters, the persistence of magic despite it's banishment... there's so much there, I think it would have been a lovely story with a slightly different, completely original plot.
Zahler's has another fairy tale coming out in February, A True Princess, which is a version of "The Princess and the Pea" that I'm looking forward to!
Book Provided by... my local library
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