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Princess of the Midnight Ball    by Jessica Day George order for
Princess of the Midnight Ball
by Jessica Day George
Order:  USA  Can
Bloomsbury, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Galen spent most of his life in the army. Even as a child, he, his sister and mother followed his father's troops. His mother washed the blood out of uniforms and cared for the injured. She died from lung disease, his sister from an accident, and his father lost his life to an Analousian bullet.

The story begins when nineteen-year-old Galen returns from the war. His kindness to a crone he meets on the road results in her giving him an invisibility cape and two balls of yarn in black and white. The black is coarse and strong like an iron chain, and the white is soft and warm, but strong in its own way.

Although he tries to refuse her gifts, the crone insists. You will need that and more when you are in the castle, she says. Galen doesn't understand the gifts or how the crone came to know his name.

Galen later becomes the undergardener at a palace with twelve princesses. In order to fulfill a contract made by their dear dead mother, the princesses are required to dance nightly for the King Under Stone, who is an evil sorcerer. Galen falls in love with the oldest princess. When she becomes ill, Galen must stand up to the cruel sorcerer and face even more evil in the world above the ground.

Princess of the Midnight Ball is full of magic and suspense. George gives this writing remake of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale a fresh look with just the right amount of romance for young readers.

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