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Princess of the Silver Woods (Twelve Dancing Princesses) [Paperback]

Jessica Day George
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

13 Feb 2014 Twelve Dancing Princesses

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit may be an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.

The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a new twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

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Princess of the Silver Woods (Twelve Dancing Princesses) + Princess of Glass (Twelve Dancing Princesses) + Princess of the Midnight Ball (Twelve Dancing Princesses)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (13 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619631261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619631267
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults List Pick (PRINCESS OF GLASS)

A Masterlist: 2010 Utah Book Awards pick (YA division) (PRINCESS OF GLASS)

(Awards for the Twelve Dancing Princesses series)

George once again proves adept at spinning her own magical tale. (Booklist, on PRINCESS OF GLASS)

Fans of fairy-tale retellings like Robin McKinley's Beauty or Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted will enjoy this story for its magic, humor, and touch of romance. (SLJ, on PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL)

Book Description

Jessica Day George's retold fairytale series has cast a spell--especially in paperback!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My Review 24 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the third and final book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and I thought that it was a step away from the previous two that were firmly based on fairy and folk tales. There is a central fairy tale that it seems to be based on, and that is that of Little Red Riding Hood, though this I had guessed due to the cover and Petunia's red cloak. Though the story, or nods to the story, of Little Red Riding Hood is apparent throughout the book it does not seem to be the main plot line.

Unlike Princess of Glass, this one can not really be read as a stand alone book as it refers frequently to characters and events in the previous books and is much more linked to the Prince's of the King Under Stone.

Before picking up this book I had read some reviews saying that the character of Petunia was trying to be Poppy to hard (in the way she had been written). I am happy to say that I didn't think that was the case, there were frequent references to what her older sisters would do, but I'm sure that would be the case of anyone with 11 older sisters!!

Like with the other two novels there is a degree of predictability to the plot, the typical fairy tale ending; good wins, true love prevails, and this should make the tale lighthearted all the way through, though this isn't quite the case! There is evil in the book, there is cruelty and plotting, in just the right balance for this to be a fun, not too heavy read!

I'd also like to make a note on the way the author's writing seems to have matured, there were quite a few instances when Petunia (and some of the other Princesses, particularly Poppy) use words such as 'bastard' and other curse words. I think that in some ways this is good, as it does show the maturing of the characters as we;; as their spirit.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  87 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent conclusion to this series of fairy tale retellings 11 Dec 2012
By K. Eckert - Published on
This is the third, and final, book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series by George. It was a well done story and did a great job of wrapping up the series.

Petunia is excited when she receives an invitation to visit a childhood friend in Westfalen. On the way though she encounters the strange two-legged wolves who are bent on distributing the wealth of the nobles to their own people. These two legged wolves end up being more earnest and handsome than dangerous. When Petunia finally arrives at Westfalen she finds that a plot is afoot that involves her old enemy the King Under Stone. It will take Petunia along with all of her sisters and their husbands to put the curse of The King Under Stone to rest once and for all.

This story was blend of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood, with some background reference to Rapunzel as well. I loved how these fairy tales were blended into Petunia's story.

Petunia was an interesting character. She's not as tough as Poppy; in fact she is kind of the baby of the family. But she is determined to make it on her own and is deadly with her pistol when the need arises.

Petunia's prince was a bit more lackluster; he just came off as your typical prince-type to me. Sure he starts off as a bandit, but his personality was much like those of the other princes we have seen in this series.

There isn't as much romance in this book as in the previous two. This book is more about the curse of the King Under Stone and combating it. For this all of Petunia's sisters are back in the story.

Much of the story involves Petunia's sisters and their husbands. It was fun to see a lot more of Rose and Galen. Additionally some of the older mystical characters from the first book are back in the story as well. George does an excellent job of including all of these characters but not making the story confusing.

There was more action in this book than in previous ones and it was well done. The plot involving the Kind Under Stone was nicely resolved.

Overall this was a very satisfying conclusion to this series. Petunia is an interesting character and definitely adds her own flavor to the story. There is less romance in this book, but more action. The story involves all of Petunia's sisters and their husbands as well. This whole series is recommended to those who enjoy princess stories or fairy tale retellings.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent pacing and too much exposition 28 Dec 2012
By M. Roode - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an avid consumer of novel adaptations of fairy tales and having read Jessica Day George's previous two Princess books, I was looking forward to this. Though I feel awkward criticizing her work since I've heard Day George as a guest on the popular podcast Writing Excuses (Google it!), I have to say I was very disappointed by this novel. A few specific problems:

Pacing: A detailed, minute-by-minute account would be followed by a sudden jump to several days later, during which, apparently, characters undertook an entire journey across the country. Don't get me wrong: I don't need redundant detail of every mile covered a la George RR Martin, but a paragraph or two about the weather on the trip, a horse going lame, and a gruff innkeeper would at least make it feel like distance was covered and time passed. Furthermore, if this country is small enough that the characters can get from the border to the capitol city in a DAY, how is it possible that notorious bandits have successfully remained hidden in the forest for a decade? The attempted explanations of this are flimsy.

Exposition: Character provides backstory (usually from the first two books), then someone approaches him to provide additional context (in a very straightforward, dull manner), then he recounts the full story in pretty much the exact same terms to someone else, who then relates the story to yet another person. The reader has to sit through every explanation that one character gives to another, even though we already know it, just to confirm that the information has been passed. Can I get a little less talk and a lot more action?

Dialogue: Ouch. What happened? "Princess of Glass" had much better banter, probably because Poppy was a more compelling princess than Petunia. In fact, I think Day George was pining for Poppy a bit in the writing of this story, because Petunia comments several times in her inner monologue that her behavior "is more like something Poppy would do." Seems like Petunia's personality wasn't very well defined, so she came out more as a watered-down Poppy than as a unique character with her own story to tell.

On top of all this, I was finding glaring editing mistakes just pages into the book (mostly POV errors), so the whole venture feels rushed to me. I wouldn't say to avoid the book, but lowering expectations a bit is probably a good idea if you've read the first two.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun and exciting 1 April 2013
By Kathryn Cooper Writes - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This story took place 9 years after the end of book 1, Princess of the Midnight Ball. The youngest of the 12 sisters, Petunia, had been 7 years old. Now she's 16 and venturing out in the world. Petunia was fun to get to know. She wasn't always the loudest in a group like Poppy (love her), but she definitely had spunk. The best part of the book was when Petunia met Oliver a "wolf," so funny.

I loved hearing Oliver's POV. He was sweet, caring, a good leader, and loyal. He really was a favorite of mine. The bad guys are back with a vengeance, but the girls are not going to be taken back to the King Under Stone world without a fight.

Exciting, funny, and romantic! Princess of the Silver Woods was the perfect end to a great series.

Content Ratings:
sexual: very mild
language: mild
violence: mild
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you're feeling nostalgic 26 Jan 2013
By Merle - Published on
While not without its charms or enjoyability, Princess of the Silver Woods doesn't quite live up to Princess of the Midnight Ball. It's the sort of book you need to be in a certain mood for. If you're looking for one with depth and complexity in the characters and villains, this is most definitely not it. But if you want something that'll make you nostalgic for the older works of Patricia C. Wrede, this is your book.

It was nice to catch up with the characters from the previous two books, and I liked the focus on Petunia, the youngest daughter. She started off great, pulling out a pistol on the bandits trying to rob her and unflinchingly confronting them. But then as the book went on, her continued ignorance of things that were right in front of her face got incredibly annoying.

When it's finally revealed who the "grandmother" was and what she wanted, Petunia's shock made me roll my eyes. It was right there all along and, unfortunately, the writing wasn't subtle enough to make it a surprise. You knew the grandmother was going to be a villain. The fact that Petunia didn't, even after she kept getting hit in the head with clues and being outright told by several people, was irritating to read about. There's naivete and innocence and wanting to believe the best in people, and then there's just outright stupidity for the sake of plot.

Unfortunately that is one of the weaker points of the novel. The characters are very simple: You have your good guys and then you have your bad guys. The villains are basically there just to move the plot along, and save for a few, the sisters tended to blend together. The ones who aren't really main characters are given token traits to differentiate them, but that's it. This tends to be a problem in retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, I find; the sisters just run together after a certain point. George does better than most, but it still isn't perfect.

I did, however, like the mentions of how some of the sisters didn't really recover from their time spent in the Kingdom Under Stone. It was a nice realistic touch, even if it was sad to see how bad off they were at times. It was great to see them sort of overcome that in the end, and I wish this touch of depth would have been added to everyone else in the cast as well.

The romance is pretty basic. They both fall in love after talking to each other only twice, and while I was originally a little iffy since he does (accidentally) abduct her, it ended up being sweet enough. It's very fairy tale, and I can see how she and Oliver work well together.

The book does suffer from some repetition and some exposition issues, but I didn't mind it too terribly much. It could have been delivered in a better way, but I liked reading about how things have progressed and changed in the ten years since the last book. At times it felt a little aimless, like we were trying to pass the time until the next plot point showed up, but thankfully that didn't last long.

Overall it's far from a bad book. It has its charms and it's an enjoyable read, perfect for when you want a lighter book in between heavy tomes. It's enjoyable because it's nostalgic for old school young adult fantasy, mainly, but it does have its own good points. It's a fitting end to the series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting End 28 Dec 2013
By RayGun - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was an amazing end to the Princess trilogy... I loved how it went back to the beginning, with the world of King Under Stone coming back to haunt them... how everything begins to tie in and make sense... And as you can see by her cloak that it's taking on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood... and believe me I don't know how George does it but she sees the world in an amazing way and this retelling is like nothing I've ever read before... and I've read my fair share of fairy tales... she mixes in all the bits and pieces to give you this incredible adventure that will turn everything you've ever thought of the big bad wolf and a little old grandma right on it's head... and Petunia is such a great character, she's the runt of the bunch it seems but she's as strong willed and tough as the rest of them... even if all her sisters still think of her as that little 6 year old girl dancing the night away... I loved Oliver and how he's done all he can for his people and trying to fight to do the right thing even if it means he may be deemed a criminal by the King... I will say some of the princesses got a little irritating and it's like after all they've been through you'd think they'd be a bit stronger... which some of them are and so I guess it's all showing their different personalities and how everyone handles things differently... but Jonquil was a bit much in that department... a little of a downer that I kind of hated every scene she was mentioned in... if not for her this might have been a 5 star book... but luckily for the most part it's all Petunia and Oliver...

This may be a bit spoilerish but another thing that kept this from being a 5 star book for me is that it really made you feel sorry for the King Under Stones sons... in the first book King Under Stone is straight evil and you don't really feel sorry for him or even those princes that were killed in the battle to take him down... but this book spent a lot of time learning more about them and even showed Petunia feeling sorry for them and talking about how this had always been a part of her life and she never really felt scared of them... it gives them more dimension and a more human side when you see that they just hate being trapped in a sunless world... I almost had hoped that in the end they might have gotten something to perhaps bring them even the slightest bit of happiness... at least the one Petunia was supposed to marry because he did in his way almost seem to care... until the very end and all and I just don't see why George did spend so much time cultivating that if it was all going to come to naught...
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