Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review for Princess of the Midnight Ball

Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn… Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

I've never read a retelling of a fairy tale before, but I can tell this was well done.

The world building is phenomenal. It's set an a Norwegian country, called Westfalin. Other countries are Spania, and another is Roma (which is where the evil bishop is from, by the way).

However, the characters leave something to be desired. I felt no connection to them at all. Who did the narrating, by the way? It was Galen most of the time, but occasionally Rose would do a chapter--or a paragraph.
Minion What?
I don't know what to think about Princess of the Midnight Ball's portrayal of the Catholic Church.
On one hand, Bishop Schelker is awesome. On the other hand, Bishop Angier (and his assistant) is a lair and a jerk. He put Westfalin under an interdict, which I had never heard of before. Excommunication, I knew. But an interdict? Thankfully, the book explained it. An interdict is when the Church says that no sacraments can be done for a certain period of time. Has one ever been ordered in history? Probably not.

Will I read the other books in the series? Most likely.

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  1. Hey, hon, there have been interdicts before. At least 3 or 4 times. The lack of sacrament doesn't reflect on the heads of the people, but on the ruler. It's a punishment on the ruler, or on the pope if he instates it unjustly. There have been bad popes before (never ones who preached fallible doctrine though) but I do agree with you. In this day and age, it's not a good idea to bring up past evils of the clergy. We must be united.

    And by the way, it's me, Mina, but I'm using my middle name now.

    1. Okay. :) Nice blog, by the way!

      I know there are some bad clergy, it's just that's what's usually portrayed in books (or movies). So, there's never been an interdict on a country before?

    2. Yes, mostly on England, but in that case, if someone then can't get to Mass or dies without Extreme Unction, they're fine, but the weight of the sin lies on the head of the ruler and he must make amends. At least that's what I think!

    3. Oh gosh, England. Why am I not surprised? xD That sounds exactly like something that would happen to them. They have quite a history.