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Princess of the Silver Woods

Princess of the Silver Woods

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Princess of the Silver Woods

4/5 (38 évaluations)
319 pages
4 heures
Dec 11, 2012


Red Riding Hood meets Robin Hood in the third and final book in New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George's enchanting Twelve Dancing Princesses series.

When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist--wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory.

But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse . . .

Don't miss these other stories from New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George:

The Twelve Dancing Princesses series
Princess of the Midnight Ball
Princess of Glass
Princess of the Silver Woods

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Silver in the Blood

The Rose Legacy series
The Rose Legacy

Tuesdays at the Castle series
Tuesdays at the Castle
Wednesdays in the Tower
Thursdays with the Crown
Fridays with the Wizards
Saturdays at Sea

Dragon Slippers series
Dragon Slippers
Dragon Flight
Dragon Spear
Dec 11, 2012

À propos de l'auteur

JESSICA DAY GEORGE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tuesdays at the Castle series, the Twelve Dancing Princesses series, and the Dragon Slippers trilogy. Originally from Idaho, she studied at Brigham Young University and worked as a librarian and bookseller before turning to writing full-time. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their three young children. www.jessicadaygeorge.com @jessdaygeorge

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Princess of the Silver Woods - Jessica Day George

Princess of the Silver Woods

Jessica Day George



































Petunia’s Fingerless Gloves

Rose’s Baby Blanket



About the Author

Also by Jessica Day George

For Amy Jameson, friend and agent


You promised us brides!

I grow weary of your whining, Kestilan, said the King Under Stone. The king, who had once been Rionin, third-born son of Wolfram von Aue, gripped the arms of his throne, and the black stone made a thin cracking noise.

Do you see? Kestilan pointed to the throne, though no fracture was visible. Our home crumbles around us! Something must be done!

Do you think I merely sit here night after night and gloat over my kingdom? The King Under Stone’s chill voice would have done their father proud. I am not blind. The king gestured at the ballroom with a broad sweep of his long arm.

The marble floor had lost its sheen and there were shallow dips worn into it from a hundred thousand dances. The gilt was peeling from the mirror frames, and the velvet upholstery had faded from black and purple to gray and lavender.

Blathen murmured something, and the king’s head turned sharply. What was that, dear brother?

At first Blathen looked as though he would demur, but then he squared his shoulders. Our father ruled for centuries, yet the palace was ever new, he said again.

The King Under Stone nodded. Very true. And you think that it decays now because I am not as strong as our father.

None of his brothers moved or spoke, afraid to agree or disagree with this statement. Whatever his strength in comparison to their father’s, the new king could still kill any of them as easily as breathe.

The King Under Stone got to his feet, smiling as his brothers moved away. They stepped down off the dais, making him appear taller though they were all the same height. He took the opportunity to loom over them, and his smile became even more terrifying.

I assure you this is not the case, he said. The truth of the matter is that the Kingdom Under Stone is dying because it was meant to contain our father, and our father is gone.

So we can leave? Tirolian’s voice was rich with relief.

The king paused for a while, mulling over how best to tell his remaining brothers the news. Not yet, he admitted. The kingdom is dying, he went on at last. Dying with us trapped inside. Like a birdcage smashed beneath a stone. The door to the cage is still locked and there is no way for us to fly out. His smile became even more terrifying as he saw his words sink in.

Then what do we do? Blathen folded his arms across his chest. I am not going to sit here and let the stone crush me.

Of course not, the king said. We need only to collect a few things to enable our escape.

And what do we need? Blathen was still frowning, not convinced that his older brother had the answer.

Just what Kestilan has asked for, the King Under Stone said, sitting back on his throne. "Just what our father wanted for us: brides.

Beautiful brides who can walk in the sun.


Petunia was knitting some fingerless gloves to match her new red velvet cloak when the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods attacked. She dropped one of her needles when she heard the first gunshot, and though she could clearly see the silver needle rolling on the floor of the coach, she didn’t stoop to pick it up. The bandits had surrounded them so quickly and so silently that she froze at the sound of the coachman’s rifle and the sudden halt.

Put the gun down, my good man, called out one of the wolves. All we ask is your coin and any jewels, and you can be on your way.

Sitting across from her, Petunia’s maid, Maria, began to cry.

Petunia pushed back the hood of her cloak, intrigued. No one had ever told her that the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods were young … but the voice clearly belonged to someone near her own age. An educated someone near her own age, unless she was mistaken. She retrieved her knitting needle and then tucked all four needles and the yarn into the basket on the seat beside her, pulling out her pistol as she did so. She checked the bullets, then cocked the weapon.

Oh, Your Highness! Maria was scandalized, but she had the good sense to whisper, at least. Put it away!

"They aren’t taking my jewelry," Petunia said.

She owned only a few pieces—as the youngest of twelve princesses, she was hardly dripping diamonds and pearls. But what little she had was in a cedar jewelry case under Maria’s seat.

They are not getting my mother’s ruby earrings, she said. Nor the necklace that Papa gave me for my sixteenth birthday. I’ve only gotten to wear it twice.

It had a small ruby in the center of a petunia-shaped pendant, and the chain was made to look like petunia leaves. She would shoot anyone who tried to take it. She might regret shooting them later, but she would still shoot.

Hearing a sound just outside one of the coach windows, Petunia trained her pistol on it and braced her wrist with her other hand. She could see figures outside the coach—masked figures in the trees on either side of the road—but none clear enough to shoot in the twilight.

Then a face, the upper half covered by a leather mask made to look like a wolf’s head, poked through the coach window. Petunia carefully adjusted her aim so that the pistol was pointing at the bandit’s left eye.

Give us your—Here now! Put that thing away!

It was the one with the young voice, who sounded as if he were in charge. Petunia didn’t move.

Now, Your Ladyship, the bandit began. No one will get hurt if you just give me your jewels and your money.

Correction, Petunia replied. No one will get hurt if you crawl back to your filthy den and leave us be. If you try to take my jewels, however, you will be very, very dead.

She means it, Maria said, and Petunia was decidedly irritated by the dismay in her maid’s voice. They can all shoot like men. A tragedy waiting to happen, I’ve always said.

Who can all shoot like men? The bandit peered into the coach to see if there was anyone else inside.

The princesses, Maria said, before Petunia could shush her.

Petunia closed her eyes in despair, but only for a moment. She quickly refocused on the bandit, making sure that her aim was still true. She did not want the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods to know she was a princess. They would assume that she was loaded with gold and jewels, and they would not let her go until they had searched every inch of the coach.

The princesses taught me how to shoot, when I was at court, Petunia said hastily. Though I am only the daughter of a lowly earl.

Only a lowly earl’s daughter, is it? the bandit snarled. What a pity.

Petunia refused to be fazed by the bandit’s sudden anger. He was no doubt hoping for better quarry, but that was hardly her fault. She inched the pistol forward until it was almost touching his nose.

I can hardly miss from this distance, she told him coldly. Call off your men!

The bandit had gray eyes, as gray as the dyed leather of his mask, which gave him a cold, wintry look. Petunia almost made a remark that wolves were supposed to have yellow eyes, but she didn’t think he would find it particularly amusing. It was more something Poppy would do, anyway. She concentrated instead on her hands, which were about to start shaking from the strain of holding the pistol still for so long.

Finally the bandit stepped back. Come now, lads, it seems that this young lady is only the daughter of a lowly earl, he called.

There were hoots of derision from the rest of the bandits.

She can hardly have anything worth stealing, now can she? their leader continued in his bitter, amused voice.

Is she pretty? asked one extremely large man, stepping into Petunia’s line of sight.

She promptly transferred her aim to him.

Not bad, countered the leader. "For an earl’s daughter."

Faugh! There was the sound of spitting. The only earl I’ve ever known was uglier than the backside of a donkey!

The bandits seemed to find this the height of hilarity.

Drive on, drive on, Petunia chanted under her breath.Why won’t you just drive on?

None of the bandits that she could see were paying attention to their coach anymore. Was the coachman having the vapors? Maria appeared to be doing so, but Petunia couldn’t spare her much attention. Petunia released the hammer of her pistol and rapped on the roof of the coach with the butt, signaling for the driver to pick up the reins and move.

The coach moved. Not, however, in quite the way Petunia had in mind.

The noise of her pistol on the roof apparently scared the guard sitting on top of the coach, and he fired his rifle at one of the bandits. The bandit fired back, startling the horses. They bolted, dragging the coach behind them. There were shouts, and more shots fired, and the sudden lurching motion of the coach threw Maria off her seat and into Petunia’s lap. Petunia dropped her pistol, and her knitting basket fell to the floor, the contents spilling out and entangling her and Maria in red wool.

There was a scream from the roof of the coach, and then a thud on the road as the guard fell off. Maria, still on the floor of the coach, was now praying loudly.

Petunia tried to stick her head out of the window to see what had become of the guard, but she was thrown sideways, landing on top of Maria. The horses screamed, the coachman cursed, and they came to a halt with the coach tilted so far to the right that Petunia would have fallen out the window had it not been filled with earth and grass from a roadside bank, upon which they had apparently stuck fast.

She extracted herself from Maria, braced herself against the sloping seats, and tried to get the door open. She was short, but surely not too short to reach up and just—

Allow me, Your Highness, said the coachman, flinging open the door from the outside and making Petunia shriek in surprise. Sorry, he said, abashed.

It’s all right, she told him, when she had taken a deep breath.

She grabbed his forearm and allowed herself to be pulled up and out of the door, to sit on the upward side of the coach. The coachman stretched back through the door to pull out Maria, who stopped having hysterics long enough to clamber out with much groaning and panting.

From her vantage point, Petunia could see exactly what had happened: the road curved sharply to the left on its way through the forest. The panicked horses, going much too fast with a heavy coach behind them, had failed to make the turn and smashed into the high bank.

The other outrider was with the horses, soothing them. Petunia could see that one horse was severely injured, and another looked to be favoring a foreleg. She looked back up the road but couldn’t see any sign of the two-legged wolves or the injured man.

Petunia did not know what to do. She was not good with blood, preferring to spend her days gardening in the calm of her father’s hothouses. And as the youngest, she rarely had to make any decisions, her father having very strong ideas about what his daughters could and could not do, and her eleven sisters nosing in on anything that their father didn’t. The most drastic thing Petunia had done in recent memory was to have one of her oldest sister Rose’s old gowns remade into this cloak.

But now what to do? She was supposed to be at the Grand Duchess Volenskaya’s estate by nightfall, but the coach was broken, a man was hurt, and the horses were in no state to continue. Should she and Maria walk back to Bruch? Or should they wait for someone to find them? A shiver ran down her spine. The bandits had surely seen what had happened.

Are there any estates close by? she asked the coachman.

None until we reach the grand duchess’s, Your Highness, he said uneasily.

What about an inn?

I’m afraid not, Your Highness.

He, too, was scanning the forest for the bandits. He climbed down from the coach and went to confer with a guard who was removing the harness of one of the horses. The men talked in low voices for a moment, and then the coachman ran back along the road to the injured man.

Should I go and help him? Petunia called to the guard with the horses.

No, no, Your Highness! The man took an anxious step toward her. You stay right where you are!

Uneasy, Petunia clung to the side of the coach and looked inside for her pistol. It was there at the bottom among the tangle of her knitting basket. She felt an itching between her shoulder blades and knew the bandits were watching her from the trees.

Allow me, Your Highness.

One of the guards climbed inside and fetched the entire mess out, and Petunia distracted Maria from her fits by having the maid help her untangle the yarn and put everything neatly away, the pistol on top within easy reach.

Now, just sit here and let the menfolk take care of matters, Maria chided her.

Petunia tried. But sitting still, she was confronted with a more urgent question than whether to walk on or wait for help. She tried to ignore it, but by the time the coachman had helped the half-fainting guard back to the coach, she could no longer sit still.

If you’ll excuse me, she said, sliding down off the coach.

Princess Petunia! Where are you going? Maria squawked.

Into the bushes, Petunia said as casually as she could, while the coachman and the guards all opened their mouths to protest. I’ll be right back, and I’m armed, she assured them, tilting her basket to display the pistol resting atop her red wool, and then she climbed up the bank and into the underbrush before anyone could accompany her.

She did not need an audience to watch her relieve herself!


Oliver sent his men back to the old hall by various routes, leaving only himself and his brother Simon to peer at the wreckage of the coach they had almost robbed. They took cover high up in one of the trees, on a platform concealed by branches and a few dead winter leaves.

Does this happen a lot? Simon leaned farther over the edge of the platform, and Oliver pulled him back before he fell.

You mean, do we often cause people to crash their coaches? Oliver couldn’t keep the irritation out of his voice. No, we don’t!

I mean, one person points a gun at you and you back off, Simon said.

Oliver spluttered for a moment, insulted. That crazy little girl had a pistol one inch from my right eye, Simon!

She was a little girl? Simon looked like he was going to make a smart remark, but the expression on Oliver’s face stopped him.

I don’t know how old she was, Oliver snapped. But she wasn’t very big, all right?

"So was she small young or small little?" Simon pressed.

Shush, Oliver said.

The truth was, Oliver really didn’t know how old the girl was. Judging by the cut of her gown and her high-piled dark hair, she was in her late teens, but she was barely tall enough to look back at him through the high windows of the coach, and the hands holding the pistol had been just large enough to grip it. She also had the bluest eyes Oliver had ever seen, but that told him nothing.

Nor did he know why he had been so offended at her dismissing her father as being a lowly earl. Earls often held a great deal of land and wealth and enjoyed prime places at court. There was no need for her to be insulting about it, and toward her own father.

But there’d been a flicker in her eyes when she’d said it. Perhaps she was downplaying her family’s wealth and position in order to get away from him. The coach had been of good quality and so had the horses, before the crash, and she had a maid and three guards, plus the coachman. Of course, anyone traveling through the woods now had at least two guards with them, not that it stopped Oliver and his men from taking what they liked. Usually.

The combination of the pistol leveled at his eye and the girl’s insistence that she was only an earl’s daughter—though a friend of the royal court—had made Oliver hesitate. They had enough for now; they didn’t really need whatever the girl was hiding in her trunks. There was no harm in letting her go.

But then the horses had startled, and his men had barely had time to get out of the way of the stampede. A stray bullet had narrowly missed Simon, and then the idiot atop the coach had fallen onto the road. It rubbed Oliver’s conscience raw not to help, but Oliver had to remember that he was the villain and it was not his place to assist someone he had almost robbed.

Simon, he was sure, had been hoping to see some grisly injuries, but Oliver had been praying that the girl and her maid wouldn’t come to any harm. He would have stepped forward to help, then; he hadn’t sunk so low as to refuse an injured woman aid.

Not yet, anyway.

What’s she doing? Simon’s voice was hushed.

What now?

Oliver leaned in close to his brother, peering over the edge of the platform. The girl had gotten off the coach and was saying something. Her people didn’t look pleased, but she turned her back on them and went into the woods anyway.

What is she doing? Simon asked again. Is she mad?

As the girl stepped behind a large clump of juniper and flipped her heavy cloak up around her shoulders, Oliver felt the heat rise in his cheeks. He knew exactly what the girl was doing. He clapped a hand over Simon’s eyes.


Shush, you, Oliver hissed.

Get off! Simon tried to pry off his brother’s hand.

You don’t need to watch her … taking a … He suddenly couldn’t think of a polite way to say it.

Simon went still, but he started laughing, and not quietly. Are you serious? I guess sometimes even the high and mighty have to pee in the bushes!

Simon, be quiet!

Oliver had been trying not to watch, but now he checked to make sure that the girl couldn’t hear them. He regretted taking Simon with them. The boy was barely fourteen and completely incapable of staying quiet for more than a pair of minutes. Oliver had started robbing coaches under the guidance of Karl and his father’s other men when he was twelve, but their mother had coddled Simon.

The girl was looking around, but it wasn’t stopping her from doing … what it was she needed to do. Oliver quickly looked away.

When he peeked again, she was gone. He let go of Simon’s face.

I’m not five; you don’t have to cover my eyes like that, Simon griped.

Oliver couldn’t see the girl anywhere. She hadn’t gone back to the coach. The other guards were busy splinting the injured man’s arm, but Oliver could see that the maid was watching the underbrush nervously, beginning to worry about her charge.

Where did she go? Simon strained the upper half of his body over the edge of the platform. Uh-oh, he began, and then he fell.


Oliver grabbed the edge of the platform and leaned over to see where his brother had fallen. Simon had landed badly and was clutching one ankle and moaning. Standing over him, holding a pistol, was the girl. The gleaming blackness of her hair and pistol made a dramatic picture with her red cloak, Oliver noted. Then he drew his own weapon and leaped lightly down to her side.

Give me the pistol, Your Ladyship, he said coolly, holding out his free hand.

Why should I?

She had courage, Oliver would give her that. Her voice didn’t waver at all, and she barely flinched when he cocked his pistol in her ear.

Because one of us is a dangerous criminal, and one of us is not, Oliver said, praying silently that she would give in. And which do you think is more likely to shoot?

With a sigh, the girl released the hammer of her pistol and handed it to Oliver, who stuck it in his belt. He tried not to show his relief, and heartily wished that he and Simon were still wearing their masks.

I’ve faced worse than you, she announced.

I’m sure you have, Oliver said, startled. She certainly didn’t seem afraid of him, which he found flattering and insulting at the same time.

Oliver, my ankle is broken, Simon whimpered.

Your name is Oliver? The princess raised her eyebrows. Not a very wolfish name.

Oliver felt ice sliding through his gut. She had seen their faces and now she knew his name. He was holding a gun to her head, Simon was starting to cry from pain, and he could hear the voice of her coachman, who was starting to wonder where she had gone. This was not how his day was supposed to go.

Move, he said. He pointed with the gun toward the deer path that led back to the old hall. Now.

I beg your pardon?

It had clearly never occurred to her that he would abduct her. That made two of them. Three, actually: Simon had stopped crying and looked equally flabbergasted.

Oliver already regretted it, but he didn’t know what else to do. Let her go? And then what? They couldn’t move very fast, not if Simon’s ankle really was broken. She would have ample time to summon her coachman and the uninjured guards. Oliver could not afford to be captured. Too many people were relying on him.

Go, he snarled.

The girl went, stumbling a little over a tree root before she reached the path. When she was a few paces ahead, Oliver stooped down and grabbed Simon’s elbow with his free hand, pulling his brother upright. He got Simon’s arm around his shoulders, and they hobbled after the girl.

They were safely concealed by trees before the maid and the coachman started to look for their charge in earnest, much to Oliver’s relief. Oliver could hear them crashing around in the bushes behind them, but he had Simon and the girl well on their way. Once they got across the stream their tracks would be lost as well.

It was slow going with Simon injured and having to keep the pistol in one hand, threatening the girl. And with every step Oliver knew that he had done something terribly wrong. Robbing coaches that looked like they could spare the gold was vastly different from

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  • (3/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    Sequel to twelve dancing princesses fairy tale. No sex. Okay for younger teens.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (5/5)
    This is the third book in Jessica Day George's Westfalin Princess trilogy, and while it ties the series up quite nicely, I was sad to see it end. Without going into too much details, this book returns us to the same bad guys and (one of the same) location as the first book, though the motivation and situation is modified to fit the events which have happened in between.

    This whole trilogy is steeped in fairy tale lore, with some of the classics retold in a similar, but different, world. The names of the countries in these books will sound very like the European nations we all know, but with definite differences. The three books pull most heavily from the stories of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood. (And as you can guess from the cover, this third book is the red riding hood story.)

    I really like the characters Jessica Day George has developed for this world. Part of me wants to see more in this setting, though these books have been officially called a trilogy and this one does tie up all the loose ends. It's a very satisfying trilogy, all told. It's definitely on the YA side, and though there is romance, it's very clean (as you would expect from both YA novels and the fairy tales that are common for modern audiences).

    One word of caution, though. This is the final book in a trilogy, and while it's technically possible to read it without the other two, I would not recommend it. The second book is almost one you could read without the first, but this one ties up the series arc, and really needs the foundation of the prior books.
  • (4/5)
    I do love a good fairy tale retelling/mash-up and JDG's books are very good. Love the cast of characters she created in the first book, and of course the new addition to this book. Even with so many characters she does a good job keeping it simple and non-confusing by letting just a couple different characters be the 'leads' in each of the books.
  • (4/5)
    Still a good story. I don't like Petunia as much as Poppy, but her adventures are interesting - I do like Oliver, especially when he finally gets the lead out. Petunia is oddly stubborn about the Grand Duchess; not sure what happened to make her quite so certain she's one of the victims. I certainly didn't see anything in this book to make it so; maybe it happened while she was traveling, or maybe it was a spell - not clear. The roses, I'm pretty sure, were a spell - Petunia's not that dumb. The different reactions, when the princesses are Under Stone again, are quite amusing. And a happy ending - well, aside from the bishop. If the new King was right about what they needed, the new sealing may be the end of the matter - hope so!
  • (5/5)
    Full review coming as part of the blog tour.
  • (4/5)
    This is a continuation of the tale of the twelve dancing princesses. The princesses are haunted by nightmares because the chains binding the King Under Stone are weakening. The author weaves the story of Red Riding Hood into this story but it takes some unexpected turns. I was enthralled.
  • (4/5)
    Plot: 4 stars
    Characters: 4 stars
    Style: 3 stars
    Pace: 3 1/2 stars

    Of the three in this set, so far at least, I like this one best. It only has one moment of severe plot-convenient stupidity, and the rest is actually not too predictable for once. Well, I mean, it is, but not as badly as the others, so that's progress. Despite the Red Ridinghood trappings, Petunia is no hapless maiden, and the wolf is far safer than the grandmother.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 stars. I liked it but I didn't think it was as good as the first one.
  • (4/5)
    the ending when they escape really confused me.
  • (4/5)
    When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit may be an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse.The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a new twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.
  • (3/5)
    When Princess Petunia is accidentally kidnapped by one of the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods, she assumes that this is the worst that can happen on her trip to visit the elderly Grand Duchess. But upon arriving at the Grand Duchess' estate, she discovers that things are lurking in the shadows that may drag her and her sisters back into the Kingdom Under Stone.The third book in the trilogy (beginning with Princess of the Midnight Ball), follows the youngest of the twelve dancing princesses as she has adventures all her own. While George riffs on Little Red Riding Hood in the novel, this is not a strict re-telling of that tale but instead a continuation of the larger narrative begun in the first novel. I enjoyed Petunia as a character with her strength of character and different perspective on the curse she and her sisters suffered from when she was much younger. Oliver, the alternate perspective in the novel, is also quite charming. There were some small flaws in the narrative (characters knowing things they shouldn't, etc.) that a good editor should have caught that bumped this down a rating. Otherwise, an excellent conclusion to the trilogy.
  • (4/5)
    while I loved this, I didn't think it as strong as the first two. I didn't feel like we really knew Petunia as a character. (I kept switching her with Pansy and getting confused.). she could have been such a fantastic character, and she started out that way with the knitting, and gun toting, but then she somehow washed out. I was mildly disappointed. by the Under-Stone too, The King Under Stone was such a good villain and Roinin, the new Under Stone, seems petulant in comparison. there isn't a clear fairy tale tie in with Princess of the Silver Woods either. apparently it is supposed to be both Robin Hood (Oliver) and Red Riding Hood (Petunia) but the attempt doesn't work. it seems contrived and forced. unlike Princess of Glass you DO need to read the previous novels or you won't have any idea what's going on.
    all that being said, I still enjoyed this. I like Jessica Day George's writing and her stories. even when they fall flat, like this one, she's still a master storyteller.
  • (4/5)
    Petunia is the youngest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, the sisters who had been doomed to dance their nights away in the Kingdom Under Stone until their curse was broken. Now the sisters are free of the spell (though many are sill averse to dancing!). Petunia, however, was still a child when the curse was broken. As she travels through the forest to visit the estate of the Grand Duchess, she is hoping for a little excitement. When a group of rogues known as the Wolves of the Westfalian Woods waylay her coach, however, she may get more excitement than she had anticipated! Nor are her adventures with the Wolves (led by one handsome and surprisingly gentlemanly young man named Oliver) all that happens to Petunia on her visit . . . because the King Under Stone and his brothers are still looking for brides from the daylight world, and he may have found a way to entrap the princesses into visiting his realm once again.Though this looks like a Red Riding Hood retelling, I thought the Red Riding Hood-esque elements felt a little forced, particularly toward the end of the book. This is more a revisiting of the Dancing Princesses story from the first book in the series -- and while the Dancing Princesses fairy tale is one of my very favorites, I was hoping for something a little fresher. I think this book might have worked better for me if I had reread the first two volumes before jumping into this one, since many of the main characters from those books return in this one. That's not to say that it's not a charming book or a worthwhile read -- I'd just recommend starting at the beginning of the series.
  • (2/5)
    This is a review for the third and final novel in the series about Twelve Dancing Princesses, but what I say here about Princess of the Silver Woods holds true for all of the books. I so wanted to love these - I had heard great things and excitedly requested this as an ARC, even without reading the first two. Sadly, I was confused, bored, uninvolved from the very start, so I DNF'd 50 pages in. A week or so later, the first two went on sale for ebooks for less than $2 each. I thought I would give it another try - this time with the benefit of reading the series in order. I read the first two... and it wasn't pretty. They aren't the worst books I've ever read, but I am hard-pressed to remember a series as lackluster and unengaging as this was for me. Each novel tackles a different fairytale, and occasionally Day George would create a new twist or idea that worked well for her books. I liked the spin on Red Riding Hood meets Robin Hood, but it's hard to recall a lot about these novels. What didn't work well, ever, were her characters. Galen, Rose, Poppy, Christian, and here in book three, Petunia and Oliver all come across as wooden and flat for the duration. Their actions are contrived, their dialogue laughable or vague, their magic and abilities too convenient or too unexplained.I wanted to like them, but their trials, tribulations and eventual coupledom were all too expected and very predictable.Also working against the books is the worldbuilding. Or rather, the lack of any substantial effort to create a real, vibrant setting for these characters to operate upon. The thinly veiled countries that represent a more magical Europe (Breton = Britain, Spania = Spain, Russaka = Russia, so on and so forth) left a lot to be desired in terms of backdrop. It's all too simple and easy across the board - the relationships, the magic, the world itself. I wanted more from Jessica Day George, and what is provided leaves a lot to be desired.At several points in each novel, I would think that these books and characters came across as much more MG than YA in tone and characterization.This series is too simple and predictable to be memorable. I read all three in a four day span, and I doubt I will remember anything about any of them in a week's time. All in all: third verse, same as the first. Too simple, too easy, too predictable, too short to pack a punch. The magic is too vague, or too silly (the whole knitting aspect just makes me laugh, every time), and once again, none of the characters really stood out as remarkable, or even really three-dimensional. This series is just not for me, though I can see why others are drawn to it and enjoy it.
  • (3/5)
    Princess of the Silver Woods (#3) by Jessica Day GeorgePages: 304Release Date: December 11th, 2012Date Read: 2012, Oct. 11th - Nov. 9thReceived: ARC via NetGalleyRating: 3/5 starsRecommended to: 11+SUMMARY -At sixteen, Petunia is the youngest of the twelve children in her royal family: all are girls, and all have had adventures. Petunia is not expecting an adventure of her own, however, when she is attacked in the woods on the way to the Grand Duchess's estate. She thinks she has things under control, but her captor, Oliver, turns out to be more than meets the eye. When she discovers his plight, she decides to help him - and finds herself in a world where wrongs must be righted and old spells must be strengthened, before her whole world falls apart and she loses those she loves most.MY THOUGHTS -I really wanted to love this book like the others - I really did. I went into it hoping and praying. I did enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but it was lacking in many ways. Still ultimately adorable, but not the brilliant fairytale JDG has been known to give.CHARACTER NOTES -Petunia is one spunky girl. For the most part I really enjoyed her, although I wish there had been more development for her. Sometimes she felt like "just another sister", not an MC. In any case, I found her to be charming and adorable and, eventually, a cute match for Oliver........who started out fantastic and swoon-worthy, and who turned into kind of a meh love interest and an okay hero. He just didn't do enough. And when he did stuff it was mostly impulsive and illogical. However, I still enjoyed him, and I'm glad he was a part of the story.Still, even to this day, Galen rocks my world. He and Rose are magnificent, well-defined and utterly charming. I just love them! Especially Galen. He is SUCH a man, from head to toe, and full of bravery, grand ideas, and lots of love. Basically, he's my #1.The villains in this story, to me, were incompetent. As a personal rule, unless it is done VERY well, I HATE when dead and gone villains are brought back into the picture. The King Understone and his brothers are back for this adventure; and while I enjoyed some aspects of this, most of it wasn't done right. It felt like the same old, same old.STORY NOTES -I wish the story had been based around a different antagonist. Something new. The King Understone was new the first time. Princess of Glass had an entirely new scenario. Silver Woods seemed like it had a new premise, but it was like Midnight Ball all over again. For that, I was seriously bummed out.However, I did like: the wolves (I wish there had been more), Grigori, The Grand Duchess... I liked the escapes and the end scenes were marvelous! (Mainly because of Galen... *swoon*) I enjoyed the dynamic the invisibility cloak, the old crone, Walter, and the Bishop brought to the table. Overall, it was a fun story with a little something for everyone.SUMMING IT UP -A cute story! Could have been much better, but worth a read all the same, especially if you're a die-hard JDG fan!For the Parents -Nothing! Refreshingly clean children's book. Recommended 11+
  • (3/5)
    I didn't know Princess of the Silver Woods was actually the third book until I heard about it on another blog, which was a HUGE relief (I know that doesn't right, but just bear with me). I felt like I was missing out on something and it was starting to get really weird. Then I realized that this was the third installation. Well... that explained a lot.And yet, even though I hadn't read the first two books (but I definitely will now) I was completely engaged with this one. Besides, 'Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist'? Did I ever mention that I was a Robin Hood junkie? My self-control flew out the window when I read that in the summary.And in the end, I liked it. It's not a 'Wow! I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!' read. It's pretty much like any fairy-tale. It's got the usual hero/heroine, the evil villain, the damsel in distress, the beautiful castle, magic, and (of course) the happy ending.Characters.Petunia is the youngest of the twelve sisters. She's the sort of princess that wears secondhand clothes and spends her day gardening. But she's adorably fierce for such a small thing, especially when she's pointing a gun at someone's head (Poor Oliver). I really like her attitude throughout the book. She doesn't waver and she doesn't become one of those unbearable protagonists that whines every ten seconds. But compared to her other sisters, Petunia acts like the oldest. Her character dulled a lot because of it.Oliver, the thief/earl, started off as the swoon-worthy 'bad boy' who didn't flinch in the face of death (well, more like a gun), then he turned into the adorable 'good guy' that did the right thing and accepted the consequences... and then he turned into a fool. He didn't take control of the situation, he was a really poor help, and he needed saving more than the princesses did. I got tired of him before I was even halfway through the book.The villains in the story were really weak. It was a disappointment really. They had the potential and they had me captivated in the beginning... but their villainy was short-lived.Plot.The story line isn't original, actually it's very much cliched, but the mix of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Robin Hood, and Red Riding Hood helps overcome that sense of boredom when you read something overused.The writing is splendid. I didn't even have to try to get myself engaged with the story. It's fluid and picturesque and her pacing is thoroughly consistent. There's nothing I can complain about when it comes down to the writing.The scenes are very nice. Yeah, it's the usual sort: forest, castle, lost kingdom, yadda yadda yadda, but it was very beautifully portrayed.Overall.Princess of the Silver Woods is a cute read. It's a fun, adventurous book for those that like fairy tales.It's more like a bedtime story that'll have you fall asleep with a smile on your face rather than squealing at every little noise. I'd give it a PG-rating at most... since Petunia shoots someone in the face in one of her dreams (fierce ain't she?).I highly recommend this one to middle/elementary-grade girls and boys. It's a perfect AR book to read that won't bore them to death.Thank you Bloomsbury for giving me the chance to read this one!
  • (5/5)
    Great third book. Wraps up so much. Totally guilty pleasure reading.....just simply fun!
  • (4/5)
    rlly good book
  • (4/5)
    Princess of the Silver Woods is the final entry in Jessica Day George’s Twelve Dancing Princesses trilogy. In this book the focus is on the youngest of the twelve, Petunia. The story comes full circle as once again the King Under Stone and his henchmen are threatening all the princesses and the girls, their boyfriends and husbands all must work together to find a final solution.Petunia was feisty and fun, Oliver, her love interest, was brave and handsome. Although the opening of the book was connected to Little Red Riding Hood, this aspect of the story was quickly abandoned as it reverted back to the original Twelve Dancing Princesses. Although I will always count the first book as my favorite, I did enjoy this one and felt it was a good way to finish off the trilogy. I felt the author was giving her fans a present with this book as it brought back all the familiar characters and gave us a true “Happy Ever After” ending.I enjoy fairy-tale based fantasy stories and this trilogy hit all the right notes being lightly romantic, charming and pleasing without becoming cloying or overdone. I am happy to have ended one of my many series but I am also a little sorry that each of the 12 princesses didn’t get her own story.
  • (3/5)
    The Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George is the third and final of the Dancing Princess books. I haven't read the previous two. Nominally, Silver Woods is also a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a smattering of the Robin Hood legends.Petunia, the youngest of the nine dancing princesses is the lead in this book. She is kidnapped by Oliver — the Robin Hood of the book. Oliver has a tale of stolen lands and Petunia, as a daughter of the king, can help him set things to rights, if he's telling the truth.Originally told from Petunia's point of view, the book later adds long passages from Oliver's point of view. Although his plight as an earl without lands was certainly compelling, he wasn't strong enough of a personality to hold his end of the story telling. Whenever I came to hone of his parts, I usually ended up skimming so I could get back to Petunia.There's enough hints at the previous two books to help the uninitiated reader piece together how the sisters got to this point in their stories. The finally third of the book wraps in the loose ends of books one and two into a tidy conclusion. For someone not invested in the previous two, it's a bit long winded, but I suspect for fans of the series, it will be more riveting.
  • (4/5)
    This is the third, and final, book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series by George. It was a well done story and did a great job of wrapping up the series. Petunia is excited when she receives an invitation to visit a childhood friend in Westfalen. On the way though she encounters the strange two-legged wolves who are bent on distributing the wealth of the nobles to their own people. These two legged wolves end up being more earnest and handsome than dangerous. When Petunia finally arrives at Westfalen she finds that a plot is afoot that involves her old enemy the King Under Stone. It will take Petunia along with all of her sisters and their husbands to put the curse of The King Under Stone to rest once and for all.This story was blend of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood, with some background reference to Rapunzel as well. I loved how these fairy tales were blended into Petunia’s story. Petunia was an interesting character. She’s not as tough as Poppy; in fact she is kind of the baby of the family. But she is determined to make it on her own and is deadly with her pistol when the need arises.Petunia’s prince was a bit more lackluster; he just came off as your typical prince-type to me. Sure he starts off as a bandit, but his personality was much like those of the other princes we have seen in this series.There isn’t as much romance in this book as in the previous two. This book is more about the curse of the King Under Stone and combating it. For this all of Petunia’s sisters are back in the story.Much of the story involves Petunia’s sisters and their husbands. It was fun to see a lot more of Rose and Galen. Additionally some of the older mystical characters from the first book are back in the story as well. George does an excellent job of including all of these characters but not making the story confusing. There was more action in this book than in previous ones and it was well done. The plot involving the Kind Under Stone was nicely resolved.Overall this was a very satisfying conclusion to this series. Petunia is an interesting character and definitely adds her own flavor to the story. There is less romance in this book, but more action. The story involves all of Petunia’s sisters and their husbands as well. This whole series is recommended to those who enjoy princess stories or fairy tale retellings.