A few conferences and workshops later, I have developed an awe for Utah's Young Adult authors. At least the ones I've met, and especially the ones I've read! Because these writers are A.MAZ.ING, I decided that I'd dedicate my summer reading to these talented individuals by delving into their works.
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.
While I am not a big fantasy fan, I wish I were because there are TONZ of great fantasy novels are out there. I do think Jessica's are my kind of fantasy, however, because I love fairy tales, and some of her books retell fairy tale in a refreshing way. Princess is one of those.
The twelve dancing princesses lie at the heart of this story, but an ex-soldier turned gardner is the hero who outwits the evil king from below. Jessica not only weaves in her knowledge of Norwegian tales and legends, she also tucks in details from her love of handicrafts: sewing, knitting, crocheting, tatting, fabrics, yarns, threads, etc. Jessica tucks in a fun surprise, when we learn our gardening hero also knits, and as readers might guess, this knowledge and talent helps him save the day!
This book is pure enough for the middle grade readers - chaste romance, minimal violence.
I can't wait to read Sun, Moon, Ice and Snow, but it must wait until I've visited stories by other authors from Utah. My next mini-review will be Emily Wing Smith's novel The Way He Lived.