Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Book Inspection: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (@JessDayGeorge)

Plot Sketch: Galen was born to his mother and father, a laundress and soldier in the Westfalian army during the war with Analousia. Knowing nothing else, he himself took up a musket at fifteen. He lost both of his parents during the war. So when the war ended, he headed to Bruch to look for his mother's sister, Tante Leisel. On his way, he encountered an old woman by the side of the road. He sat with her and even gave her his scarf and some food to help him out. In return, she gave him a cloak of invisibility and a couple of skeins of wool. When he arrived in Bruch, he found his aunt and uncle, Leisel and Reiner Orm, and they gave him a place to live and a job with his uncle as a caretaker in the King's Folly, as the commoners often referred to the garden that the king kept for his deceased queen. There, Galen met one of the 12 princesses, Princess Rose. He also learned of a mystery in the palace... the twelve princesses' dancing shoes were worn out every three days, but no one knew why. They were locked in their rooms, but still left somehow to dance all night long, or so it was presumed by the amount of wear on the shoes. When the princesses became ill, it became a life-threatening situation and no one could figure out why or where these princesses were dancing. So, the king dispatched for princes from all over Ionia to give them a chance to figure out where the princesses were going. Galen the under-gardener finally gets a chance, and the rest you'll have to read to find out...

Verdict: I Heart It! Even though this is a fairly simple adaptation of the classic fairy tale of the 12 princesses, it is very well written and has a very fluid story. I enjoyed that the princesses were all named after flowers in their mothers' gardens and that the story was told from Galen's perspective. I liked that the imagery was detailed enough to give me a picture, but vague enough that I could envoke my imagination still. Great read, especially for those of us who like princesses and fairy tales. Definitely recommend.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Bruch, Westfalin, Ionia

What is the main character's name?

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
I do like Galen. I think he is clever and I was rooting for him throughout the novel.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
Yeah, no. It's definitely on the girly side.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Nothing. I liked it just the way it was!!

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"Do you care for roses, Princess Rose?" p. 106 It made me laugh.

How many chapters were in the book?
I counted 31, but they are not numbered. There are also knitting patterns in the back and a pronunciation guide, both of which made me smile.


Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Publish Date: January 20, 2009
ISBN-10: 1599903229

Acquire It:

Book Depository
Changing Hands

  • The Inside Joke from Jessica's website explains why she named some of the characters what she did.
  • The knitting patterns are pretty cool too. If only I was a good enough knitter.
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Follow Jessica on Twitter
  • Check out an unofficial book trailer:


NotNessie said...

I want to read this!

Book Snob said...

This book sounds really good. I really like how you put questions in your post and then asnwer them. Really clever. Great post!

~The Book Pixie said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a while now. It sounds like such a terrific read and I can't wait to eventually get my hands on a copy. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the review. :D

Stephanie said...

This sounds like a fun read (plus, I adore the gown on the cover - beautiful)!!

Ladytink_534 said...

I love adaptations! This one sounds really good and I just adore the dress on the cover.

Wrighty said...

Awesome review! I have always adored fairy tales so I think I would really like this one. Beautiful cover!