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The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess

Written by Diane Zahler

Narrated by Jenna Lamia


The Thirteenth Princess

Written by Diane Zahler

Narrated by Jenna Lamia

ratings:
4.5/5 (16 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 2, 2010
ISBN:
9780061938221
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Zita is not an ordinary servant girl-she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends-Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier-Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot-and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, The Thirteenth Princess tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses-and the young girl determined to save them all.

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 2, 2010
ISBN:
9780061938221
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess, and Princess of the Wild Swans. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape.


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Reviews

What people think about The Thirteenth Princess

4.3
16 ratings / 6 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and I absolutely love the cover illustration. I do have to say that it is a pretty quick read, and there isn't necessarily a great deal of depth to it. But it holds up well, and younger audiences especially should enjoy it.
  • (4/5)
    It's a good book. If you like the twelve dancing princesses I definitely recommend this book. Personally I prefer the twelve dancing princesses but this is a good book any how.
  • (4/5)
    This retelling includes all the elements of the original story, but changes many of them, primarily to give the thirteenth princess a role. I found the story captivating, and I very much liked Zita and Breckin. I was a little surprised by how some of the family relationships worked out, but I was happy with how everything went.
  • (3/5)
    Zita is the king's thirteenth daughter, but has been raised as a servant since she caused the death of her mother in childbirth. When her twelve older siblings begin to fall under an enchanted exhaustion, with no clue as to the cause other than their worn-out dancing slippers, it is up to Zita, with help from her friends Breckin the stable-boy, Milek the soldier, and Babette the witch, to find the cause and save her beloved sisters. This retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" places a heroine rather than a hero at the heart of solving the mystery. However, the larger story is more about Zita's relationship with her father the king. The premise that Zita is raised as a servant in the palace but is still beloved by all of her sisters, who know exactly who she is, is rather improbable but manages to work. None of the twelve sisters are particularly well developed, and the pace of the plot drags at times. A bit of romance adds to the story without overwhelming it. Middle grades readers, especially girls who enjoy retellings of fairy tales, will enjoy this book.
  • (4/5)
    For as long as she can remember, all Zita knew was the life of a servant girl in the castle of the harsh King Aricin. But when she is seven years old, she learns a secret that changes her life forever: she is the youngest daughter of the king, banished to the servant’s quarters after her birth. And over the next four years, she learns the reasons why: her father only wanted sons, and when his wife died giving birth to their thirteenth daughter, he wanted nothing to do with the newborn Zita and sent her off to be cared for and live among the palace servants. But Zita’s twelve older sisters know the truth, and still love her. When they realize that she has learned the truth, they decide to secretly spend time with her, which brings much happiness to Zita’s dreary life.Shortly after Zita’s twelfth birthday, however, strange things begin to happen to the princesses, causing Zita to be deeply worried for her sisters. First, they are unable to speak in the presence of suitors. Then, they begin to become very tired and pale, but show no visible signs of illness. And though they spend all day resting in the palace, their shoes are mysteriously worn through. Zita soon suspects someone may be using magic against the princesses. Aided by her best friend Breckin, a stable boy at the castle, and Babette, a kind witch who lives in the nearby woods, Zita sets out to solve the mystery and save her sisters.The Thirteenth Princess is a delightful middle grade retelling of the story “The Twelve Dancing Princesses," filled with mystery, adventure, magic, and a bit of romance. It is sure to be enjoyed by young girls who love books by Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale, and by anyone who loves fairy tale retellings. Zita is a charming heroine, and readers will cheer her on during her quest to save her sisters. This book is the first by debut author Diane Zahler, and I look forward to reading more from this promising new writer.
  • (4/5)
    This retelling of the fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" is a fun read without a lot of substance. Zita, the thirteenth daughter of a king, is shunned by her father and made to live as a servant in her own house. When her older sisters are enslaved by a mysterious enchantment, Zita, her stable-boy friend Breckin, and a mysterious old lady who lives in the forest work together to discover and overturn the enchantment. The plot drags at times, and the characters are not as well-developed as they could be. Young readers who are addicted to fairy tale retellings will probably enjoy this, though it's not on par with Gail Carson Levine or Robin McKinley's work.