I have a confession, I always wanted to have twins. Then I actually became a mother. When we moved into our current house at one point in time we had five sets of twins in our neighborhood (there must be something in the water) and I started to count my lucky stars that the three I have came one at a time.
A Dance of Silver and Shadow (just came out Sept. 4th) and A Tale of Beauty and the Beast (comes out Nov. 30th) are part of Melanie Cellier‘s Beyond the Four Kingdoms series. These two novels center around heroines who are twins that share a special gift.
“When Princess Liliana and her twin sister set sail for new lands, Lily hopes to find adventure and romance. But the people of Marin live under the shadow of a curse–one powerful enough to destroy entire kingdoms. To protect them all, Lily and eleven other princesses are forced to participate in a mysterious and secret tournament.
But Lily and her twin have a secret advantage. And Lily grows increasingly determined to use their magical bond to defeat the tournament, save the princesses, and free Marin. Except she might have to sacrifice true love to do it.
In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, there’s a lot more at stake than worn out dancing slippers.”
This book is the first in the Beyond the Four Kingdoms series, but the characters are loosely connected to Melanie’s other books which are part of the Four Kingdom Series. I would recommend reading that series first, but it’s not technically necessary, just do it to enjoy the genius of them. For genius they are.
Not only has Melanie done her fairy tale research but she gives each one her own personal twist so that they become unique. Intriguing enough that you feel like you’re reading them for the first time wondering what’s going to happen next; yet not so unique that you can’t appreciate the oh so clever details that tie it to it’s classic roots.
In each book I find myself appreciating how she pulls in even some of the lesser known specifics of these beloved tales. I particularly loved her use of the silver trees and the sleeping potion in this retelling of the twelve dancing princesses.
The novels are characteristically young adult fiction and have that wonderful find yourself and and what good you can do in the world kind of feel. Her writing style is also more than that, I find it to be captivating for many ages not just young adult. I am anxious to read her Beauty and The Beast retelling and see what she does with such a popular classic. –N.C.
*no obvious religious themes or elements