Princess Rose and her eleven sisters are cursed. Her mother made a bargain with King Understone to conceive. On her death, her daughters take her place. Every third night (no exceptions!), Rose and her sisters must dance until dawn with the king's sons in his underground kingdom. Dancing while ill almost kills the girls. Their father is desperate to help them. HE enlists the help of eligible princes. They fail--they can't discover where the girls go every night. Enter Galen, a mere under-gardener and a former soldier. His affection for Rose spurs him to learn where the princesses go and attempt to break the curse they're under.
What I thought: This was a fantastic retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (or "The Slippers that were Danced to Pieces"). Where the original is simple and even mundane, George's retelling is vivid and complex. she uses her imagination well to flesh out the original. I couldn't put this book down. I liked that all the sisters had flower names. FYI, here they are: Rose, Lily, Jonquil, Lilac, Poppy, Hyacinth, Violet, Iris, Daisy, Orchid, Pansy, and Petunia. Also, if you like the original fairy tale you might also want to read The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn. Read my review here.
(New York: Bloomsbury, 2009)