- Author: Erin A. Craig
- Series: Standalone
- No. of pages: 403
- Dates read: 25.04.20 – 30.04.20
- Star rating: 5 star and Favourite
Plot: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
This book has restored my love for YA fantasy. Recently, I had been reading a lot of average YA . To me it felt like the same main character struggling with the same problems and I started feeling uninspired. I, subsequently, found myself reading specifically Adult Fantasy so when I picked this book up I was hoping to love it and Miss Craig delivered!!
The 12 Dancing Princesses is my favourite fairy tale of all time. I love the Barbie re-telling but that is the only re-telling I knew so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.
I feel that Craig did a great job of taking the source material and incorporating the original story but elevating it and making it her own. I’m also a sucker for a dark re-telling and while I think it could have been darker I was happy with where it went.
The mystery itself was really well done. So much happened and my thought process would change constantly with every addition added towards the story. I was reading this book at my boyfriend’s house, as we are on lockdown together, and he was shocked by how animated I was reading this book. I was gasping loudly and then telling him my predictions followed by another loud gasp a couple of minutes later. It was a really fun experience reading this book.
I really liked where this story is set with the coastal town and the imagery was written really well whether it was something beautiful like the moments on the beach or the various balls the sisters frequent or even something horrible like the deaths of the sisters. I could picture every scene lovely or not.
Now, I could talk about the things I loved about this book but there were one or two things that I didn’t hate but I noticed.
The main thing that I didn’t care for and this is wholly a personal thing that covers a majority of books I read, is the romance storyline. I am never a massive fan of romance plotlines and this one just didn’t phase me. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. To me, I understood their connection but I wasn’t blown away by it, it felt like any other YA romance.
One last thing was Cassius’ backstory, it wasn’t my favourite. I wasn’t the biggest fan of where it went. To me it felt like an addition added last minute to make his character make sense within the story. It all felt to convenient. I liked Cassius but I think the story could have actually worked without him. All the stuff that he does which is important to the plot I think could have been written easily in a way to make sense without him. To me, he didn’t elevate the story.
Now, you’re probably thinking, why did you give this book 5 stars. Technically, I feel like it would have been 4 stars but as I mentioned earlier my enjoyment of the novel and my full engagement and desire to find out what was going to happen next bumped it to a 5. It’s an enjoyment star.
The next book I will be reading is The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie. I recently read Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah, which is a new author taking over and writing new stories with Hercule Poirot and I gave that book 5 stars. It will be interesting to see what my thoughts are on Christie’s own work compared to the new author’s work.