Synopses & Reviews
A journey through madness and mania.
On the island of Faranor in the kingdom of Windward, twelve princesses dance their shoes to shreds each night. No one knows why. Not the king or queen. Not the knights, lords, or ladies-in-waiting. When the queen blames the royal shoemaker, his apprentice, Phoenix Dance, puts her life at risk to solve the mystery. She braves magic spells, dragons, evil wizards, and the treachery of the princesses themselves. As Phoenix faces these dangers, she finds herself caught in the dangerous dance inside herself – a dance of darkness and light, a dance that presents her with the greatest challenge of her life.
This captivating companion to Aria of the Sea weaves a retelling of Grimm’s fairy tale of the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" with the story of a young woman’s inward journey toward an understanding of a scary, unpredictable part of her own nature.
"The prose is straightforward, yet maintains the fairy-tale essence of the setting. Calhoun has created a strong fantasy novel, complete with a well-rounded heroine suffering from a very real illness." School Library Journal
"Calhoun follows the text with an author's note describing her own experiences with bipolar disorder and how the story developed." KLIATT
"The compelling portrayal of Phoenix as she slowly slips from one emotional extreme to the other gives a memorable edge to the novel. An unusual and readable entry in the growing list of novels based on traditional fairy tales." Booklist
"This is a remarkable book, one to recommend to young people who know someone dealing with this disabling condition or who wish to deepen their understanding of it." Children's Literature
About the Author
Dia Calhoun is the author of Aria of the Sea, Firegold, and White Midnight, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.