Christmas Eve and the night of the Royal Yuletide Ball should have been the beginning of a season of parties and dances for the oldest princess, Azalea. Yet, when tragedy strikes the royal family, the twelve princesses are plunged into a year of mourning for their beloved mother and left with only their distant father. Mourning means a year of black dresses, covered windows, no visitors and, most devastating to the girls, no dancing.
After learning about secret and possibly magic passageways in their palace, Azalea stumbles upon one this takes the princesses to an enchanted land of silver and white. There they meet Keeper who invites them to visit nightly to dance for as long as they wish. This brings much joy to the grieving royal children.
All isn’t as it seems. Keeper harbors secrets that are based deep in the history of the country. The King isn’t as cold and uncaring as his daughters believe. And love can be found in the most unexpected places.
Retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale. I’m a sucker for fairytale rewrites (such as the series created by Terri Windling).
I loved the way the King got around the whole “no visitors” part of mourning rules and made it possible for his daughters to still meet eligible bachelors. Those passages were full of fun.
Too many characters to keep track of. Yes, many of the princesses were not primary characters, but it felt like the author was trying to make each one stand out with individual personalities (other than the youngest, Lily). Perhaps it would have been less distracting if there had been a cast of characters listed at the beginning of the novel.
Dancing is an integral part of the plot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and to be somewhat expected considering the fairy tale that the story is based on. The description of the dances were often detailed, which was great…except I don’t really know much about dance, so felt compelled to gloss over those sections.