Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Retell Me a Story Book Review: The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

Welcome to another day of Retell Me a Story fun!  In case you've missed out on anything so far, here's the welcome and giveaway post, a guest post from Nikki of BookPairing, a list of new and upcoming retellings, and a guest post from author Diane Zahler.  Check back later today for another excellent guest post!  Up now, a review of a fun fairy tale retelling from Diane Zahler.

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 2010
Pages: 256
Source: Review copy sent by publisher
For: Review

Zita is the thirteenth daughter of the king, but was banished to the servant's quarters after her birth. Her father was so disappointed to have another daughter, he refused to see her. But when her older sisters become sick and no one knows why, Zita is determined to discover what is making them ill and she will follow them even to a place where magic is real and very dangerous.

Things I Liked:
This is a sweet and original retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.  I liked how the first half of the book was focused more on introducing us to Zita her life than the usual story line.  It gave us some nice background information on the family and on her personality before we even got to that familiar story of enchantment.  It had a lot of fun details from the castle on the lake to the stable boy.  This is a nice introduction for tweens and younger girls to fairy tales.  I was also really impressed with how unflinching she was in her ending.  Not everything is happily ever after.

Things I Didn't Like:
Because here was so much introductory material, I got somewhat bored with the first half of the book.  I kept wondering when the exciting stuff would happen.  But, it picked up and proved that it will definitely entertain younger readers.

Reminded me a bit of Tuesdays at the Castle and Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

What are the elements that you absolutely must have in a fairy tale retelling?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I'm disappointed this retelling is a tween book - The Twelve Dancing Princesses was always my favorite and this plot sounds like it would be great as a YA dystopia! :--)

    1. It made for a fun tween read, but I know there are a number YA retellings of the story. But a YA dystopia, now that WOULD be awesome!


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