In this book by Diane Zahler, Zita is the thirteenth princess, banned from her father the King’s side when her mother dies in childbirth. Zita longs to belong with her twelve elder sisters, but she is content with her place as a palace servant, spending secret moments with her sisters when able.
The princesses are struck by a mysterious illness, and Zita seeks to find out what has happened to them. Luckily, Zita and her friend, Breckin the stable boy, stumble across Babette the witch, who helps them as she is able. Zita and Breckin discover that the Princesses are not really ill but enchanted, doomed to spend their nights dancing in an enchanted land and fading fast from exhaustion. Zita and Breckin enlist the help of Breckin’s brother, Milek, to try to rescue the princesses from their cursed fate.
Another adaptation of the Twelve Dancing Princesses story!! This was was short (very short!) and sweet. I liked the addition of a thirteenth princess, Zita, a fiery redhead. The story was pretty predictable, generally, though the discovery of the “bad guy” was not (to me) immediately obvious. It’s a cute retelling with no big surprises or twists, but fun nonetheless.
This was a pleasant, straightforward tale, earning a 4 / 5.