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review 2015-09-01 11:54
Brief Thoughts: The Thirteenth Princess
The Thirteenth Princess - Diane Zahler,Yvonne Gilbert

The Thirteenth Princess -- Diane Zahler

-- A Retelling Based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses



I love fairy tale retellings and had been looking forward to reading this book despite the fact that I knew it was targeted more towards Middle Grade or Childrens. I've always had fairly bad luck with Middle Grade and Childrens books, with few exceptions and am always a bit wary when it comes to reading books targeted to those age groups. But being a fairy tale retelling, I had hoped I'd at least enjoy it for that much.

I had a hard time getting into The Thirteenth Princess, however, and while the telling was smooth enough and the progression was standard, the story itself had many elements and a lot of underlying messages and ideals that gave me pause. But mainly, it was the simplistic predictability of the entire story that made this a rather boring, monotonous read.

There were also a lot of moments wherein I didn't quite understand the logic of the characters or even the story's direction:

How is it possible for it to be okay that Zita is known as a princess, but continue living the life of a palace servant? If the king were worried about reputation and dignity, wouldn't it look bad for him to have one of his daughters living the life of the hired help? And what of Zita? I get that she's young and she yearns for her father's love and all, but how is she content to be treated like dirt by her own father, whether or not he's a king? And how is it that she still yearns for his love and makes excuses for the way he treats her?

But all of that doesn't really matter as the book was quite short and easy to read. Even some of my frustrations brought about by king's continued irrational behavior towards all of his daughters and Zita doesn't mean anything.

As far as the rating suggests, it's not like this book was terrible or anything. It was really just Okay and while it isn't something I'd recommend for anyone who likes retellings and it isn't the best retelling I've ever read, it also wasn't a bad book either. Just frustratingly tame, juvenile, and fairly boring.

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text 2015-08-27 03:10
Starting: The Thirteenth Princess
The Thirteenth Princess - Diane Zahler,Yvonne Gilbert

It's like I can't NOT read multiple books simultaneously or something.  Every time I glance at my 'Currently Reading' shelf, I see Elantris sitting all by its lonesome and I think, "Maybe I need to start a new book," even though I know I need to buckle down and finish Elantris before the end of the month for my Reading Assignment Challenge.


But don't get me wrong, Elantris has been an excellent book so far.  It's just so long and so intricate.  And again, I find myself needing to have at least two 'Currently Reading' books on my shelf.


Logic is not my friend sometimes.


So then I stared at my newly refilled book draw jar and decided to give it a whirl.  Of course, my means of using the book draw jar happened to be grabbing a handful of all the e-books I have access to at the moment (color-coded in green folded-over sticky notes), and then going through that handful until I found three that I liked.  THEN I let fate make my choice for me and got The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler.


The other two books I'd whittled down my "book draw" selections to had been Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock and Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  (See a theme going on here?  Apparently I'm trying to get in touch with my princess fairy tale retelling inner middle grade soul or something.)


My reading mood, you know--it dictates, I hop to it.



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text 2014-05-10 14:00
Monthly Key Word Challenge ~ April {Completed}
Where the Path Breaks - Charles de Créspigny
A Clear Blue Sky - Barbara Whitnell
A Certain Slant of Light - Laura Whitcomb
Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb (May 14 2013) - Laura Whitcomb
Never Come Back - David Bell
The Thirteenth Princess - Diane Zahler

Monthly Key Words: Break; Clear; Light; Never; Princess; Star


This was a disappointing month for my Key Word Challenge. My favorite book was The Thirteenth Princess, a retelling of the fairy tale Twelve Dancing Princesses. Zita, the thirteenth princess, was forced to grow up as a servant. She battles sinister forces to save her twelve sisters from dancing themselves to death and proves herself a strong, lovely young girl. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her determination to rise above her circumstances and become a heroine to admire.


Most Angsty Love Story: Where the Path Breaks by Captain Charles de Crespigny ~ 4/8/14


Most Annoying Characters ~ Clear Blue Sky by Barbara Whitnell ~ 4/4/14


Somewhat Disappointing Sequel ~ Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb ~ 4/1/14


Most Obvious Killer ~ Never Come Back by David Bell ~ 4/4/14


Strong Female Princess ~ Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler ~ 4/9/14


Most Disappointing ~ Under a Lucky Star by Diane Farr ~ 4/22/14


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review 2011-04-03 00:00
Thirteenth Princess
The Thirteenth Princess - Diane Zahler This tells the story of Zita, the 13th daughter of the king who wanted only sons. As a baby, she was sent to live with the servants, and was raised there without knowing who she really was. Then she discovers that she's one of the princesses. Read the full review HERE!
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review 2010-11-01 00:00
The Thirteenth Princess (Audio) - Diane Zahler,Jenna Lamia Zita is the 13th princess - her sisters are the more famous 12 Dancing Princesses. Raised as a servant, due to her father's rage at being left a widower with no sons, Zita lives between the royal world and the servants. Her identity is an open secret, and once she learns it, she is able to connect with her sisters. Her love for her family, even her father who has never shown her love, leads her to take action when her sisters start falling ill from a mysterious exhaustion. Her friendship with the stable boy and his soldier brother, as well as a good witch in the forest, helps to tie the pieces of the old story to the new. The characters are believable, or as believable as can be for a fairy tale, and everything comes together as it should. The surprises in this aren't the main plot of the story, since we've already heard it a million times, but in the small touches, in Zita's responses to the world around her, and the relationships that she forms. Recommended for tweens, teens, and anyone who loves fairy tales.
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