Faerie Tale Friday · YA Book Review

Faerie Tale Friday: Twelve Dancing Princesses by K.M. Shea (Timeless Fairy Tales #10)

The Book:

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Book Title: Twelve Dancing Princess

Book Author: K.M. Shea

Page Count: 288

Publishing Date: January 19th, 2018

Publisher: Self Published

Date Read: February 9th, 2018

Synopsis:  Quinn is a loyal soldier of Farset, willing to risk her life on behalf of her country and squad. So, when a fellow soldier volunteers for a dangerous mission, Quinn joins him. Their assignment is to investigate the nightly disappearance of the twelve royal princesses, a mystery none have solved as those who attempt it vanish. But when she follows the girls, Quinn uncovers the truth: the princesses are cursed, and they’re not alone.

Emerys, the sarcastic and brash King of the Elves, has lost all hope. His people have been prisoners in their own forest for years, and night after night an unbreakable curse forces them to dance and celebrate against their will. But everything changes when Quinn saves Emerys’ life and the pair form an unlikely friendship. Together, they just might be able to free the princesses and the elves.

However, those who cursed the elves will do anything to keep them restrained. And if Quinn breaks the spell, she may pay for it with her life.

Will she succeed? Or will Emerys and the elves be lost…forever?

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The Original Faerie Tale:

“The original story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses is tough to pin down, mostly because there’s so many variants. There’s the most well known version–the Brothers Grimm version which was published in 1812–however, there are also French, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Slovakian, Scottish, and Icelandic versions as well. Each story is a little different, but they typically share one of two story structures, which are best showcased in the German version and the French version.

The German version–which is perhaps the more traditional version–follows the adventure of a soldier.

The second most popular variant of the Twelve Dancing Princess story is fairly similar, but instead of a soldier the hero is a gardener’s boy. (As I mentioned at the beginning, the most well known of this particular strain of the 12 dancing princesses is the French version)…”

K.M. Shea


Twelve princesses, each more beautiful than the last, sleep in twelve beds in the same room. Every night, their doors are securely locked by their father. But in the morning, their dancing shoes are found to be worn through as if they had been dancing all night. The king, perplexed, asks his daughters to explain, but they refuse. The king then promises his kingdom and each daughter to any man who can discover the princesses’ midnight secret within three days and three nights, but those who fail within the set time limit will be sentenced to death.

An old soldier returned from war comes to the king’s call after several princes have failed in the attempt. Whilst traveling through a wood he comes upon an old woman, who gives him a enchanted cloak that he can use to observe the king’s unaware daughters and tells him not to eat or drink anything given to him in the evening by any of the princesses and to pretend to be fast asleep until they leave.

The soldier is well received at the palace just as the others had been and indeed, in the evening, the princess royal (the eldest daughter) comes to his chamber and offers him a cup of wine. The soldier, remembering the old woman’s advice, secretly throws it away and begins to snore loudly as if asleep.

The twelve princesses, asured that the soldier is asleep, dress themselves in fine dancing gowns and escape from their room by a trap door in the floor. The soldier, seeing this, dons his magic cloak and follows them. He steps on the gown of the youngest princess, whose cry of alarm to her sisters is rebuffed by the eldest. The passageway leads them to three groves of trees; the first having leaves of silver, the second of gold, and the third of glittering diamonds. The soldier, wishing for a token, breaks off a twig of each as evidence. They walk on until they come upon a great clear lake. Twelve boats, with twelve princes, appear where the twelve princesses are waiting. Each princess gets into one, and the soldier steps into the same boat with the twelfth and youngest princess. The youngest princess complains that the prince is not rowing fast enough, not knowing the soldier is in the boat. On the other side of the lake stands a castle, into which all the princesses go and dance the night away.

The twelve princesses happily dance all night until their shoes are worn through and they are obliged to leave. The strange adventure continues on the second and third nights, and everything happens just as before, except that on the third night the soldier carries away a golden cup as a token of where he has been. When it comes time for him to declare the princesses’ secret, he goes before the king with the three branches and the golden cup, and tells the king about all he has seen. The princesses know that there is no use in denying the truth, and confess. The soldier chooses the first and eldest princess as his bride for he is not a very young man, and is made the King’s heir. The twelve princesses are put under a curse for as many nights as they danced with the princes.


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The Review:

It is official. This one is my new favorite my K.M. Shea! I loved everything about it, and, ELVES!!!

Twelve Dancing Princesses had tons of humor, plenty of emotion, and an addictive story line! It combined beautiful bits of the original tales with Shea’s enchanting writing and originality. I loved how the conflicts of the magic world from the past books came to a head in this one, and how we got to see a more vulnerable side to Angelique, our favorite Enchantress-in-training!

This one showcased Shea’s writing at its finest! It shimmered with her personality. It blossomed with her imagination, and it had the most enjoyable lighthearted banter between her enchanting characters!

I loved Quinn and her fierceness. Her loyalty to her band, her king, and to the elves was incredibly admirable. She was so strong and I really enjoyed watching the change in her personality and love interest.

Emerys was probably my favorite male character out of all the books. He was witty, charming, and hilarious. And, of course he was an incredibly handsome elf!

I also really enjoyed Alastryn! She was so snarky! I loved reading the banter between her and Emerys, and really enjoyed her role in the story and her friendship with Quinn.

And, speaking of banter. This one was full of it! I have not laughed this much since I read Jackaby by William Ritter! It was so refreshing and whimsical to have the humor amidst the magical struggle of the tale.

So, to recap this gush, Twelve Dancing Princesses glittered with humor, love, friendship, dynamic characters, and a strong plot. I could sing the praises all day, but decided to keep it short and to the point. It was my favorite because it not only offered everything I already love about Shea’s writing, but it held that extra light hearted banter, allowed us to delve deeper in to the world of the elves, and showed us a different side of Angelique. It was perfection!


Thank you to the author for sending me this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review, and as part of my Faerie Tale Friday posts.

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Mood Song:

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Instead of using one of Miss Fluff’s faeries today, I decided to post a faerie that I feel best represents our Enchantress-in-training, Angelique. Angelique is strong, brave, kind-hearted, and extremely powerful, and she is a strong symbol of hope, beauty, and love throughout the series!


I found this beauty on pinterest, and though it does not match her description exactly, I felt that it was symbolic of her beauty and passion, and this is how I view my Angelique!

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11 thoughts on “Faerie Tale Friday: Twelve Dancing Princesses by K.M. Shea (Timeless Fairy Tales #10)

  1. Wow, these posts are so thorough! I love how you’ve taken the time to lay everything out so concisely. Side note, could you imagine having 12 daughters!? Just, wow. LOL. Great post! Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love everything in this post! And she is an endless source of inspiration for you it seems Adrienne 😉 Lovely drawing by the way and I love Nightwish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sophie! Honestly, this post almost didn’t happen because I didn’t read the book until right before I posted because I was dizzy from an ear infection, but the minute I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. Her books have a way of lifting my spirits and reminding me why I love to read! And I LOVE Nightwish so much!!


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