Marcia Lynn McClure - Midnight Masquerade

29. Midnight Masquerade by Marcia Lynn McClure (2013)
Length: 175 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Started: 25 August 2013
Finished: 28 August 2013
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 4 August 2013
Why do I have it? I like paranormal romance in the form of fairy tales and Marcia Lynn McClure is a new author for me.

She was tired - oh so very, very tired. Never - not in her entire life - had Evony Elorrietta ever known such total, draining fatigue. Forced into hiding when her aunt, Queen Raina and her mother, Queen Charmaine mysteriously disappear within a week of each other, Evony spirits herself, her brother and her sister away to safety somewhere within her Aunt Raina's kingdom. Under the alias of Edith, the lovely princess has found work as a seamstress for a truly odious and abusive woman, in the hopes that she will somehow discover what has happened to the missing twin queens of the realms of Abawyth and Elawyth.

Several months later, Raina's daughters - six sets of twins - become victims to an incredibly strange malady that proves almost incurable. Night after night, the princesses inexplicably disappear, only to return by dawn, completely exhausted and with only vague memories of what has transpired the night before. The call goes out to the surrounding kingdoms that a champion is needed to rescue the 'Sleepy Princesses of Abawyth' - with the promise that whomever successfully vanquishes the spell, will have one of the princesses' hands in marriage. Many gallant princes have tried, and all have failed in the quest...

Stavos Varonin was not as blind as so many nobles and royals. From the moment he saw the pretty young maid dash across the street - directly into his horse's path - he suspected something about her. The young woman's physical gestures - even the simplest movements of her hands - revealed that the damsel who called herself Edith had not always been destitute. The same was true of the children - of their polished manners and the boy's knowledge of horses; his tendency to be bold and fearless of strangers.

Ah yes, Stavos enjoyed a good mystery. After all, interest in the inexplicable circumstances surrounding the royals of Abawyth was the very thing that had lured him to the kingdom - the enigma of the twelve sleepy princesses of Abawyth. And yet now - now his mind was all the more intrigued. Not only was the obscurity of what caused the profound and baffling drowsiness of Abawyth's princesses laid out before him, but he also found his curiosity piqued over the riddle surrounding the very lovely Evony and her siblings.

As Stavos traveled through the village resting on the outskirts of Abawyth Castle, his mind reeled with possibilities. His musings were drawn back to why he had come to Abawyth in the first place - to solve the conundrum surrounding the twelve beautiful princesses of Abawyth kingdom; to solve the seemingly impenetrable puzzle, thereby winning the hand of one of Abawyth's princesses, as his father, King Letholdus of Ethiarien, had commanded.

I absolutely loved this book! I do enjoy reading fairy tale retellings, and this was no exception. I have heard of the fairy tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses - which is the fairy tale that Midnight Masquerade by Marcia Lynn McClure is based on. While I vaguely remember the plot of it, I couldn't actually tell you the version that I read as a child, if I've ever read one before.

I will say that as a child, I watched 'HBO's Fairytale Theatre' or 'HBO's Storyteller's Theatre' - something like that - which was a children's program that I watched every Saturday morning. I may have seen an episode based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, then. Anyway, I definitely will give Midnight Masquerade by Marcia Lynn McClure an A+! and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.      

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

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