Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review: The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

The Thirteenth Princess

Diane Zahler

Publication Date: September 9th 2009

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 256

Genre: Fairytale

Zita is not an ordinary servant girl--she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.
Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends--Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier--Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot--and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.
A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, "The Thirteenth Princess" tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses--and the young girl determined to save them all.

I believe I mentioned in another review how the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" is one of the most adapted fairytale in YA/MG history, and well here's another one. What's great is that it seems like every adaptation I read puts their own little twist on it. In the case of The Thirteenth Princess there is, well, thirteen princesses, the last one not raised as a princess and the main character. The story's focus is also not about the fairytale, but instead about the family themselves and the character of Zit, and I really liked that. In fact the fairytale does not even kick in until the second half of the book.

The book made a great comfort read, with me reading a few chapters a night before going to sleep as the prose was light and entertaining, but not overly thought provoking.

It is well written, but I will admit it does not make too  much of an impression as many other books I read do (as I'm reaching for straws for something else to mention about it).

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fairytale adaptations, and those who especially love the Twelve Dancing Princesses, especially with an original spin on it.



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