The 1.5 stars I gave this is purely for the ingenuity of mixing "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" with Arthurian mythslegends. Other than that, it's just a bad book. It's badly done. My review might be a little confusing. My notes were a little hard to read so.....
The Lady of the Lake, Vivienne,
put a spell on
fell in love with Sir Ethan and they had six sets of twins, all girls. When the eldest of the sets was 5-6 ish years old, Vivienne left their cottage for a walk and never returned. She managed to get herself trapped in the Lake that was moved underground and put a spell on by Morgan le Fay. Sir Ethan was so afraid that something should happen to his girls that he built up and around the cottage and turned it into a manor and built a wall around it that the girls could never leave the limited grounds. Other than themselves, the girls grew up with no friends or social interaction. There were also no boys around except for the stable boys etc, which could account for the way that some of them meet a guy and *poof* they are in love.
Rowena, the youngest of the girls, being a curious thing yearning for something more, finds herself a way out of the wall and finds her mother's scrying bowl.
Also in the forest, she sees Bedivere and he sees her in a visiondream through use of Rowena's "magical abilities" that are not well thought out. It is never explained well or at all. After seeing Bedivere, this is Rowena, "She had already fallen so deeply and inexplicably in love with him that his death was too terrible to be considered for even a moment."
Bedivere just wants to pull the beautiful girl from his visiondream to his side and kiss her. Yep, he's a real winner.
My reaction to both of these brainless twits:
The scrying bowl mentioned earlier allows Rowena see her mother trapped in the Lake but since she was baby when Vivienne left, Rowena doesn't recognize her. Using Vivienne's mute guidance and all of Eleanore's (the eldest) wits, the 12 girls find a trap door with music emanating from within. They dance their way down to tunnels and caves. But they don't find their mother. Morgan eventually send them suitors that dance them through the night. This whole thing was Morgan's brainchild to get Excalibur which Bedivere has. Don't worry, he's coming.
So the girls return from their night of dancing with their slippers torn and dirty. Ethan is outraged that they went to the OUTDOOR WOODS. He locks them inside their room and it happens again.
Also, at this time, Bedivere, a Knight of the Round Table, is on a quest to get Excalibur to the Lake. He swore that he would do so to Arthur as it was Arthur's dying wishcommand. Bedivere finds his way to the manor but there is no lake. He meets Rowena outside and, literally, less than two (2!) pages later, they are "passionately" kissing one another.
Insta-love. Aarrrggggghhhhhh. *displeased and grumpy* After meeting him once, Rowena's POV thinks, " How would she go on if she could never see him again? She simply could not endure life without the possibility of seeing him. All that mattered now was Bedivere, her love of the North Country." What happened to getting to know one another. They *knew*, if you call it that, one another for less than five minutes. That is not love. That is attraction and infatuation. You have to know someone to truly love them. And, though they seemed to be willing to do anything for one another, there was never any proof that they had forged a unbreakable bond and if they had, how? It was not possible in the way it's written in the book. In addition, in all but ONE (1) scene, Bedivere and Rowena kiss "with desperate passion." It's really annoying.
Ethan sets up the contest where a man will attempt to find out where they are going and how they are accomplishing escaping. The girls put the first man to sleep with a potion. Bedivere is next and Rowena warns him not to drink the potion. And Bedivere conquers and Vivienne is set free and everybody is happy. They kiss, they dance, I don't care. The end. Not recommended. I would suggest Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. It's another retelling of the "12 Dancing Princesses" and far
better. It's awesome.