I recommend this book for: middle and high school
I confess, my decision to read this one was more than a little influenced by the cover illustration - just look at that glorious dress!
In this retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, the twelve sisters are forced to dance every night for the King Under Stone, a ruler full of dark magic and evil plots. The curse is such that they physically cannot tell anyone what is happening to them or why their shoes wear out so frequently. Galen, a young soldier returning from war, finds employment in the palace garden and a friend in Rose, the eldest princess. Determined to succeed where princes have failed to save the sisters, Galen tries to find out the secret. He does have some things going for him, that the princes do not - for instance, his military training, the trust of the princesses, and the ability to knit with magical yarn.
I enjoyed this one. Galen is not a typical hero, what with his knitting hobby. The King Under Stone is a sinister character, but there are threatening political forces at work here too. If you enjoy Donna Jo Napoli's books (or any fairytale retellings, for that matter), give this one a try!