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.

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The books I picked & why

Princess of the Midnight Ball

By Jessica Day George,

Book cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball

Why did I love 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!

By Jessica Day George,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Princess of the Midnight Ball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rose is one of twelve princesses forced to dance through the night in an underground palace. The key to breaking the spell lies in magic knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and-of course-true love. Inspired by "The Twelve Dancing Princesses,"this novel is as captivating as it is fresh. Enchanted readers are sure to clamor for the new companion, Princess of Glass, also publishing this season.


The Midnight Show

By Sarah Pennington,

Book cover of The Midnight Show

Why did I love 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!

By Sarah Pennington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Midnight Show as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This mystery is the case of his dreams — and her nightmares.By day, Dayo Temitrope is a swinging singer, an up-and-coming star with a shining career ahead of her. By night, she’s . . . well, she’s not sure, but whatever she does leaves her every morning with sore feet and worn-out shoes. And after six months, she’s had enough.Enter Bastian Dennell, a private investigator just trying to get by. When Dayo hires him to find out where she goes at night, he’s sure it’s his big break: his chance to establish himself and get the funds to pay off…


Book cover of Wrought of Silver and Ravens

Why did I love 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.

By E.J. Kitchens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wrought of Silver and Ravens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lonely young man with more than one secret to keep gets swept into a world of danger, curses, and found family in this thrilling clean fantasy retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses."

Princess Thea of Giliosthay is a Realm Walker. Betrayed by a trusted guard, her rare gift of enchantment is used to curse her brother and trap herself and her six sisters into a nightly dance with dragons in a secret Realm. The Realm's prince has the ability to take and twist her magic for his own purposes, and Thea fears what those might be. For when one…


The Thirteenth Princess

By Diane Zahler,

Book cover of The Thirteenth Princess

Why did I love 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.

By Diane Zahler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thirteenth Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My name is Zita,and I am the thirteenth princess.My twelve sisters are legendary, even infaraway kingdoms, but I am sure thatyou have never heard of me.

Zita is not just any servant—she’s the thirteenth daughterof a king who wanted only sons. When all her royal sisters fallmysteriously ill, the only clue is their strangely worn and tatteredshoes. Something sinister is afoot—and Zita must find the sourceof the enchantment and break the curse, or the twelve princesseswill surely dance to their deaths.


Book cover of A Time of Mourning and Dancing

Why did I love 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.

By Abigail Falanga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Time of Mourning and Dancing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once, Toph knew his place in the world.
As a respected captain in a victorious army, he had triumph and promotion to look forward to. But crippling injury stole his future and war stole his friend. Belonging nowhere and with nothing left to lose, Toph accepts a challenge that could end his life: discover a secret the princesses will do anything to hide.

Vicia is a princess, but powerless and in mourning.
Her beloved brothers were killed in a war she’s beginning to question. Ever since, she and her eleven sisters have become mere treasure for her stepfather the king…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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

9,000+ 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.

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