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 is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a 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.
I fell in love with the cover of the book. It reminded me of Little Red Riding Hood wandering through the forest, which is one of the fairy tales this book recreates in a new way that and Robin Hood. Princess of the Silver Woods is the third book in the Princess series by Jessica Day George. This particular story centers on Petunia, who is the youngest out of her twelve sisters.
While traveling to visit the Grand Duchess Volenskaya’s estate their coach is seized by the Wolves of Westfalian Woods. Petunia may be young, but she carries a gun on her for protection and uses it to gain her freedom from the bandits…for the moment.
In their kingdom there is a new King Under Stone. When the King’s father used to reign, a curse fell upon the twelve sisters that forced them to dance for King Under Stone each night at the midnight balls.. The sisters were able to free themselves from the curse, but now the son of King Under Stone has taken the throne and is eager to prove that he is just as strong if not more than his father was. He is desperate to save his crumbling kingdom. And he believes he knows the only way to save it.
“The kingdom is dying,” he went on at last. “Dying with us trapped inside. Like a birdcage smashed beneath a stone. The door to the cage is still locked and there is no way for us to fly out.” His smile became even more terrifying as he saw his words sink in. “Then what do we do?” Blathen folded his arms across his chest. “I am not going to sit here and let the stone crush me.” “Of course not,” the king said. “We need only to collect a few things to enable our escape.” “And what do we need?” Blathen was still frowning, not convinced that his older brother had the answer. “Just what Kestilan has asked for,” the King Under Stone said, sitting back on his throne. “Just what our father wanted for us: brides. “Beautiful brides who can walk in the sun.”
-Jessica Day George, Princess of the Silver Woods (Twelve Dancing Princesses)
When Petunia eventually makes it to the Grand Duchess Volenskaya’s estate she realizes that things are not always what they appear to be and danger can come in many forms.
This was a cute story and I had fun reading it. I wasn't sure what to expect since it was a retelling of Robin Hood and Red Riding Hood, but I think Jessica Day George did a good job. I got caught up in a world filled with a rich historical setting, beautiful princesses, bad guys, good guys, and a magical curse. I liked it. Fairytales are always entertaining to read, no matter what age you are.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
** I received this book from Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books/Netgalley in exchange for nothing, but my honest review. Thank you!**
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