Galen is a young soldier returning home from a lengthy war when he comes across an old lady on the side of the road. He shares some of his food with her, and she repays him with an invisibility cloak, and two skeins of yarn. She tells him when he is in the palace, he will have great need, and the cloak and yarn will help him. Confused, Galen takes the items and continues on his way. When he looks back, the old woman has disappeared.
Rose is the eldest of 12 sisters, daughters of King George and the late Queen Maude. Gossip around the kingdom speaks of the 12 princesses disappearing and wearing out a set of dancing shoes every third night. The girls are in fact cursed, and Rose struggles to find a way to end the curse and free herself and her sisters. Circumstances bring Galen and Rose together, and with the help of the mysterious peg-legged gardener Walter, Galen discovers where the sisters disappear to each night, and is determined to find a way to save them.
Princess of the Midnight Ball is a re-telling of a Grimms’s fairy tale, and I have never read the original so I can’t say whether or not this version matches. I can say that I liked this story very much. It was a light and easy read. Galen and Rose were strong characters that were easy to relate to and kept you cheering for them throughout the novel. Parts were predictable, but other parts were surprising and original. I thought the “villains” were intriguing and unexpected. I was able to read this novel in a few hours in the afternoon and it was definitely worth picking up. If you like traditional fairy tales or are a fan of re-tellings, you will like this story!