The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

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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.


About Diane Zahler

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Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess and A True Princess. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband and dog in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape. You can visit her online at
Published January 15, 2010 by HarperCollins. 272 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Thirteenth Princess

Kirkus Reviews

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This sweetly written reimagining of “The 12 Dancing Princesses” is for younger readers than the richer and darker Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George (2009).

Jan 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Thirteenth Princess


Let’s hope Zahler considers retelling other often-overlooked tales for new generations of fairy tale fans.

Jan 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Thirteenth Princess

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