If You Like, Then Read is a feature where we offer reading suggestions based on books you already like. This is the third week we are running it, and we post it once a month.We’re also trying a new format! If you have more suggestions, let us know in the comments!
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
A very original tale featuring a great cast of characters. Even though this is based on a fairytale, and readers will feel that things must end happily, George manages to build up a lot of suspense and doubt. If that doesn’t intrigue you, the hero knits. Fairly well. A follow-up book, Princess of Glass, focuses on a different one of the twelve sisters and draws its inspiration from “Cinderella.” Read reviews from both Krysta and me here.
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Zita is the king’s daughter–his thirteenth daughter–but she works in the castle kitchen as a servant so her father can try to forget she exists, and that her birth caused her mother’s death. Meanwhile, her twelve sisters live upstairs as royalty. When those sisters fall ill, Zita takes it upon herself to save them from the curse that is causing their discomfort. A middle grade retelling that gives readers the comfort of knowing that the good side will win. Read Krysta’s review here.
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
This retelling combines elements from “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” with mythology. It features a very spunky protagonist and a lot of great world building. Be forewarned, however, that it is more a teen than a middle grade book. Many of the princesses are illegitimate children, and there are a couple brief conversations about consummating marriages (nothing graphic, of course). Very imaginative, and quite open for a sequel. Read my review here.
The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman
A contemporary retelling about Rachel Durham, her eleven stepsisters, and their fundamentalist father. His strictness leaves the girls wishing for a way to escape and have fun, and eventually they find a secret passage leading from their bedroom. This is the fourth book in the Fairy Tale Novels series, but it essentially functions as a standalone. Read Krysta’s full review here and an interview with Regina Doman here.
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Azalea, the oldest daughter, is the protagonist of this retelling where all the sisters are named for flowers. The book starts with the girls mourning the death of their mother the queen, when they first discover a passage the leads to world of the Keeper, who invites them to dance. Reviews praise Dixon’s care to give each girl distinguishing characteristics (Clearly this is no retelling where some of the sisters are not even named!) and her ability to keep readers enthralled and awed by the magic. Read Krysta’s review.