Author: Suzanne Weyn.
Published: November 22nd 2005.
Publisher: Simon Pulse.
Sort: Part of the “Once upon a time” series.
Under the stars, in a secret world… Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters, loves to slip out of the castle at night and dance in a magical forest. Soon she convinces her sisters to join her. When Sir Ethan notices that his daughters' slippers look tattered every morning, he is certain they've been sneaking out. So he posts a challenge to all the suitors in the kingdom: The first man to discover where his daughters have been is free to marry the one he chooses. Meanwhile a handsome young knight named Bedivere is involved in a challenge of his own: to return the powerful sword, Excalibur, to a mysterious lake. While looking for the lake, Bedivere meets the beautiful Rowena and falls for her. Bedivere knows that accepting Sir Ethan's challenge is the only opportunity for him to be with Rowena forever. But this puts both Bedivere and Rowena in a dangerous situation…one in which they risk their lives for a chance at love.
Rowena lives with her father and eleven sisters in a house surrounded by a high wall. Their mother disappeared when they were young girls. Their father is very protective. He doesn’t want to lose his daughters, so they aren’t allowed to go past the wall. What he doesn’t know is that this wife is still very close, locked away by magic.
One day, Rowena found a hole in the wall and she slips outside. She meets the man she saw in her visions, Bedivere, and they fall in love. When her father discovers that, he doubles the security. Luckily for the girls, there is a secret passage in their room. It leads to a tunnel complex under their house. Every night, they go dancing and their father is desperate;
The man who can find their secret, can marry a princess of his choice. The first man fails, but the second one is Bedivere. He is also on another quest. He was one of the knights from Arthur, but the King died in a fight; he gave him Excalibur. Bedivere must throw the sword into an enchanted lake.
Can he rescue the princesses from an evil magic and can he complete his quest?
There is not much character development and the love is the most instant-love you can get. Bedivere met Rowena in her visions, so I guess they had a special connection. It’s definitely a happily-ever-after-story.
Their mother has been captured and we also see how she is trying to break free from the spell. It must be frustrating to be so close to the people you love, without being able to tell them. I love how these two different stories came together in the end.