Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.
Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.
A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, The Thirteenth Princess tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses—and the young girl determined to save them all.
This was a random find from my library because when I picked it up and saw it was a fairy tale I thought, "I love retellings of fairy tales. I love fairy tales. Especially retellings with a twist." So, here you have The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but this story is all about the thirteenth princess that is made a servant girl because her father can't stand the sight of her.
You probably need to be familiar with some form of this fairy tale to really enjoy this book, but I liked how it was about Zita and her discoveries about who she is and who she is supposed to become. I will mention how I was slightly bothered how everyone and their dog knew that she was a princess, and she didn't until she was loads older. Really? That many people can keep a secret?
It's definitely written for a younger audience, or us suckers who enjoy Youth Fiction, but it was well done and entertaining. Definitely something I wouldn't mind seeing in the hands of my children to get lost in and explore.
Title: The Thirteenth Princess
Author: Diane Zahler
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: February 2010