Author: Erin A. Craig
Publication: August 6th 2019 by Delacorte
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
A fairy tale re-telling of 12 Dancing Princesses! OMG! As soon as I read that summary, I was hooked and I was yearning to read this. Never had I thought I would actually get a request approval from NetGalley! That was a complete surprise but I am so thankful they gave me the opportunity to read this!
Summary (From GoodReads):
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
Annaleigh Thaumas – Kind, Strong and Brave – Annaleigh was an interesting character to follow since she loves her family, is very selfless and cares for her sisters. It was great to read from her perspective and see the world through her eyes.
Camille Thaumas – Headstrong, Leader – As the eldest of the group of sisters, Camille does have a huge responsibility placed on her shoulders for upholding the family name for the future generations. She is also the next in line after her father who would eventually take over the estate. It is interesting to watch her struggle with this responsibility especially after her sisters’ passing and how it effects her throughout the novel.
First of all, can we just take a moment to appreciate this gorgeous cover? Its stunning!! 🙂
I think this book is the perfect example as to why I love fairy tale re-tellings so much. It draws the right amount of plot details from the original story but in the end, it offers the readers something new. I especially loved this one from the start due to the amount of mystery and intrigue interlaced throughout the chapters. It keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what is really happening. I also love how the author incorporated a larger story arc over the re-telling.
Before reading this novel, I tried to recollect the details of the original story and I all I could remember is the vague outline of 12 Princesses who would be found every morning with worn out dance shoes. The King urgently requested for anyone’s help to understand the reasoning behind this and it wasn’t until one soldier had found that they were sneaking out in the middle of the night through a magical door to a ball each night.
The author provided a lot of backstory and character depth for the sisters in this version of the fairy tale which made it more enticing to read. I found myself intrigued with the family dynamics and relationships between the sisters. They definitely do not agree on everything and they share different opinions from time to time but they are grounded by their sisterhood and I loved that aspect of the book. You also understand the reasoning behind the sisters’ desires to venture to nightly ball (the main plot point of the original story) and it interesting to see that part of the story unfold since we can understand the character’s decisions which may not have been clear in the original version. I also appreciated the amount of detail the author placed into creating the ambiance of living on an estate by the sea, the sandy beaches, the salty mist in the air, etc. It truly captured the atmosphere and almost made it seem as if you were walking beside the characters.
If I were to split this book into two, I would say the first half is very mysterious where your curiosity grows as a reader regarding the family’s curse and in the second half, the plot moves in a quicker pace where multiple mind games are thrown at you and you are hooked until the very end. The reason I was not able to give this book a full five stars was because it did lack a bit with characterization, there were still some questions I had at the end and there was a case of insta-love but thankfully, it did not bother me too much. Other than that, I thought it was pretty great re-telling and I was entertained throughout the novel. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of dark fairy tale re-tellings and loves the mystery/fantasy genre.
This book is due to release on August 2019! I am definitely looking forward to grab a copy of this 🙂
Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!