Audiobook Review: A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses (Beyond the Four Kingdoms #1)

Published September 4th 2017 

Author: Melanie Cellier

Narrator: Esther Wane

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 25 minutes

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.

Lily spends her nights competing in a magical underground realm and her days unraveling the dangers of this new court. Although she needs the help of the Marinese prince, Lily knows she can’t let herself grow too close to him. There’s no time for romance when the duchy is about to fall to the encroaching darkness and the winner of the tournament faces a terrible fate.

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.

A Dance of Silver and Shadow (#1)
A Tale of Beast and Beauty (#2)
A Crown of Snow and Ice (#3)
A Dream of Ebony and White (#4)
A Captive of Wing and Feather (#5)
A Princess of Wind and Wave (#6)

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon (Novel) / Amazon (Box Set)

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links. **

A Dance of Silver and Shadow is the first novel in the Beyond the Four Kingdoms series which takes place after The Four Kingdoms series and is a companion. While it is not necessary to read the other series or even the others in this series, each novel does act as a standalone story, but all the novels relate to each other in a continuous timeline. Like the other series, this one feature retellings or reimaginings of different fairy tales. This one is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. While this is not my first retelling of this fairy tale, I was curious to see Cellier’s take on it.

Back in The Princess Companion, the first novel in the Four Kingdoms series, Alyssa was the companion to 11-year-old twin princesses, Sophie, and Lily of Arcadia. This story follows Lily and the next features Sophie now that they are older. The two sisters and their friend Princess Celine of Lanover travel to the land of Marin. When they arrive, they are entered in the Tourney, which is a competition where the winner marries the cursed prince of Palinar.

Lily and Sophie were fun characters as they had a great connection that was well-explored. So far, the two of them have been together a lot, so this story was a nice opportunity to showcase them as individuals. The magic of the competition forces them to compete where each task begins with a ball and then the twelve contestants must complete a secret task. This tied in nicely with the Twelve Princesses tale while giving it a new twist. Through the competition, Lily meets Jon, the Prince of Marin and they get to know each other.

As this is the first novel in the series, there is a lot of set-ups for the next novels where the readers can get glimpses of the other fairy tales. This did take away a little bit from the main plot, so while I enjoy some hints at the next stories, I would have preferred more focus on the current plot. Since this is one of many books that I’ve read between the two series, my expectations are clear about how the typical tropes will be integrated. If you are the type of reader that does not like this style, such as one of the characters acting as a martyr, love at first sight (in some way), lots of convenient circumstances, etc., then the entire series may not be for you. While I am not a huge fan of most of these, I still love the idea of fairy tales. My only wish is there was slightly more substance to some of the elements. In the other series, some novels did, and others did not, so I know the author is capable. As there is a lot of set-ups for the next novels in the series, I can see potential in the future stories. As Sophie’s story is next followed by Celine’s, I am curious to learn how their love stories will play out.

2 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses (Beyond the Four Kingdoms #1)

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