Review of “Princess of the Silver Woods” by Jessica Day George

3 out of 5 stars!

I remember the first time I saw “Princess of the Midnight Ball.”  I couldn’t put it down, I was so into the story — but I lasted through waiting the agony of a few days until I could finish reading it in Borders bookstore.  The intricacy of the storyline, the romance and mystery surrounding all twelve of the dancing princesses, and the crocheting — I fell hard for Jessica Day George’s charming fairy tale retelling on the spot.

When “Princess of Glass” came out years later, I was greeted by a not-so-fantastic love story, but the wicked Cinderella/Fairy Godmother twist was absolutely ingenious and I never forgot it.  Now “Princess of the Silver Woods,” the third and final installment in this “series” of fairy tales, is due to be released on December 11, 2012.

I think I finished reading “Princess of the Silver Woods” in less than three days after I got my ARC from NetGalley.  I love George’s writing style and her vivid imagination, plus I was very curious how she entwined retellings of “Little Red Riding Hood” and the Robin Hood legends in the storyline.  Needless to say, it was pretty spectacular.  Robin Hood is Oliver, a dashing outlaw who is the heir to an earldom.  Little Red Riding Hood is Poppy, the youngest of the twelve dancing princesses.  She’s beautiful, she’s single, she’s a good shot, and surprisingly, she’s also a talented gardener.  Oliver is handsome, cocky, and a good fighter standing for a cause.  However, their romance is not as touching as Rose and Galen’s was, and Oliver’s fascination with Poppy and her history happened too quickly to be credible.  Nevertheless, I was enthralled up to the very end.

I liked how George combined the continuing story of the twelve dancing princesses with the present.  All fairy tale retellings she’s told so far finally meet together like intersecting lines, all reaching a final point.  There are happy endings and sad endings in “Princess of the Silver Woods,” and, of course, there’s lots of magic to behold.  Invisibility, two treacherous villains, and almost a dozen evil half-immortal dark princes on the loose — “Princess of the Silver Woods” glitters all the way through, not even letting you pause to catch your breath.  Wolves and sinister plots, flowers and more knitting — all details are unforgettable.  You get to see the futures of all the characters you’ve come to really like since their introductions in “Princess of the Midnight Ball,” and you have hope for them beyond the ending even though you have to say good-bye.

The author wrote a love story, a fairy tale three times — and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each one and their differences.  “Princess of the Silver Woods” shines very brightly as both a finale and a stand-alone retelling.  Hint: you won’t be disappointed with it.

Natalie Gorna

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