Book review: 'Princess of the Silver Woods' is a charming conclusion to the midnight ball series

By Jana Stocks Brown

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 2:00 p.m. MST

"PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS," by Jessica Day George, Bloomsbury, $16.99, 322 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

Two years ago, readers were introduced to 12 princesses destined to dance holes in their slippers in Jessica Day George's "Princess of the Midnight Ball." This month, the three-book series is completed with the release of "Princess of the Silver Woods," a capstone novel combining elements of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the conclusion of the dancing princesses arc.

Salt Lake City author Jessica Day George is well known for her fairy tale retellings and her Dragon Slippers trilogy. Her writing is generally family-friendly and aimed at readers ages 12 and up, combining familiar favorites with a twist and original stories.

In "Princess of the Silver Woods," readers are introduced to Petunia, the youngest of the 12 princesses. In previous books, she was a very young child, but here she is a girl of 16 traveling to visit the grandmotherly Grand Duchess Volenskaya near the outskirts of her father's kingdom.

Along the way, Petunia finds herself kidnapped by a well-meaning, wolf-masked earl and drawn into the tragedy he faces as a victim in the kingdom's most recent war and the magic surrounding the mystery of the dancing princesses.

Upon her safe delivery to the duchess' estate, Petunia has terrible dreams taking her back to the Kingdom Under Stone, and it is not long before she learns her sisters, too, are dreaming and all roads lead under stone and through the silver wood.

This novel is a fun, quick read with a nice twist on the classic fairy tales and a light romance. There are a few details that get a little confused, and sometimes the 12 princesses can seem little more than a bunch of names, but these are minor flaws and don't detract overly from the read. In the end, we learn that not all wolves are bad, not all hunters are good and when you combine courage, faith, sacrifice and love, magic can happen.

If you go ...

What: Jessica Day George book signings

When: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, www.jessicadaygeorge.com

Also ...

When: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, University Crossings Plaza, 330 E. 1300 South, Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book — Fort Union, 111 Fort Union Blvd., Midvale

Web: www.jessicadaygeorge.com

Also ...

When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.

Where: Deseret Book — University Village, 1076 S. 750 East, Orem

Jana Brown is a freelance writer, wife and mother. She is an avid reader who resolves one day to have a full database of all the books in the house. She blogs at cornabys.wordpress.com. Twitter: Cornabys

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