The best young adult retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Yakira Goldsberry Author Of Curse of the Midnight King
By Yakira Goldsberry

Who am I?

I’ve been in love with fairytales since childhood when I picked up a collection of fairytales by Hans Christian Anderson. These stories shaped my imagination, so much so that I longed for distant mysterious lands full of magic, wonder, and mystical creatures. Though in a way, I guess I did live a bit of a fairytale, having grown up surrounded by thick woods and open fields, as one of twelve siblings. Now as an adult, I still wish I could escape to distant fantastical lands, but I’ll just have to stick with the ones I find between the pages of books and the ones in my own head! 


I wrote...

Curse of the Midnight King

By Yakira Goldsberry,

Book cover of Curse of the Midnight King

What is my book about?

Can she break the curse in time to save her sisters? She may conquer more than the Midnight King; she may learn to conquer herself.

In this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Cinderella, Faye must sacrifice herself to save her sisters, or risk them being trapped in the Underworld forever, suffering from the curse she helped create. After being separated for three years from her sisters except when she dances with Pathos, the Midnight King, at midnight on a full moon, Faye finally sees a chance to rescue them all. But things are not as easy as they appear. Pathos, the midnight king, is determined to keep her in the Underworld with him.

The books I picked & why

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Princess of the Midnight Ball

By Jessica Day George,

Book cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball

Why this book?

Princess of the Midnight Ball is the very first retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses that I’d ever read, and it heavily influenced my own writing. George’s descriptions of the Underworld fascinated me, and I found it both hilarious and wonderful that the male protagonist knew how to knit. His skills came in handy later on in the story!


The Midnight Show

By Sarah Pennington,

Book cover of The Midnight Show

Why this book?

Set in a fantastical world based on the roaring 20s, Pennington’s take on the tale is very unique! Bastion and Dayo quickly became some of my favorite characters, and I loved all of the intrigue and mystery that surrounded them both. Not to mention the subtle African influences on the world!


Wrought of Silver and Ravens

By E.J. Kitchens,

Book cover of Wrought of Silver and Ravens

Why this book?

At first glance of Silver and Ravens doesn’t really seem to be a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, with its unique characters, and sweeping worldbuilding that took my breath away. It’s an epic fantasy, to be sure, with such depth that I dare say it holds its own as much more than just a retelling of a fairytale. With magic lions and foreign lands and mysterious princesses, it’s a wonderful story in and of itself.


The Thirteenth Princess

By Diane Zahler,

Book cover of The Thirteenth Princess

Why this book?

I loved this take on the classic fairytale, with the addition of the thirteenth princess hidden from the rest of the world and living as a servant. And despite all this, she still fought to save her sisters, taking on the role of the hero of the story instead of the soldier character in the original tale. It’s a fast and fun read, and one of the reasons I fell in love with The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale.


A Time of Mourning and Dancing: The Floramancy Archives - Book One

By Abigail Falanga,

Book cover of A Time of Mourning and Dancing: The Floramancy Archives - Book One

Why this book?

Instead of reinventing the fairytale, A Time of Mourning and Dancing instead brings back that timeless, classic, whimsical feel that comes with the original stories. The book also contains copious amounts of humor that lighten the otherwise dark story, making it both a hilarious and nostalgic read! Mainly I love the unique world that holds the same feeling as C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and as a lover of classics, it’s perfect.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in The Twelve Dancing Princesses, fairy tales, and curses?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about The Twelve Dancing Princesses, fairy tales, and curses.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses Explore 6 books about The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Fairy Tales Explore 184 books about fairy tales
Curses Explore 47 books about curses

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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