I have only just started blogging and I'm already a bad blogger! I finished this book a couple days ago and told Myself to "go write a book review"... but I guess Myself didn't want to listen. So, here I am. Fashionably late, I hope. :)
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
From reading various reviews I learned that most people greatly enjoyed this book. Adventure, mystery, and romance all spun together in a breathtaking story. My expectation: another fairy-tale retelling with a predictable ending and sappy romance. The reality: an amazing fairy-tale retelling with twists and turns, lovable characters, and a balanced romance. This made me very happy, as you can imagine. I love it when books turn out better than I thought they would be!
The character development with the two MCs was nicely done, and by the end of the book I felt like I personally knew Galen and Rose. One of my favorite things while reading this was how the princesses are portrayed. The youngest ones cry, complain, and blurt out whatever is on their minds - just like any kid you'd meet (especially at my house), and even though the older ones aren't main characters you still get a sense of their personalities. Overall, I think every character was well written and easy to 'get to know'.
Fun little tid-bit I thought was amusing: at the end of the book, before the acknowledgements, there are pattern instructions for two of the things Galen knits in the story (yes, he knits and he's awesome for it). So, if you are a knitter you can knit the same things he did! I am not a knitter, if you were wondering, and the only thing I've tried knitting I never finished. It's still lying in a box at the top of my closet ;)