The Thirteenth Princess – Diane Zahler

Summary:  When she is nearly twelve, kitchen servant, Zita, learns that she is really the thirteenth and youngest Princess of the kingdom.  Her father banished her from her royal life after her birth killed the Queen.  Befriending her sisters, Zita realizes that they are under an enchantment that is slowly wearing them down and may soon even kill them!  Determined to help, Zita, along with her friends Breckin, Milek, and Babette, sets out to follow the Princesses and destroy the magic that is slowly taking away their lives.  *Based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses*

Recommended?  I really enjoyed this rewrite of an old fairy tale.  Having Zita be a thirteenth princess, raised as a servant, gives her access to both parts of her world.  The reader gets to see the glamour of the Princesses’ lives, as well as what goes on behind the scenes in the castle.  Zita is spunky and resourceful and loyal to her family.  She is a talented baker, good at magic, and a good friend.  The author gives a new spin to the enchantment by having the Princesses’ nurse turn out to be an evil enchantress trying to bewitch the King.  Well done, entertaining, and with only kissing, not too old for the intended audience.  -Jessica

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