The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Twelve Dancing Princesses
О книге

Twelve princesses, each possessing riches, grace, power and dignity. Yet despite the sisters' charmed lives—and despite the handsome men who desire them—they are woefully unfulfilled, frustrated and aching for something more.As a powerful wizardess helps to solve the riddle of their discontent, each princess discovers creative—and naughty—ways to satisfy her passionate cravings and desperate needs.


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Nancy Madore


This book is dedicated to Cindy, Linda and Sharon—three women who provide a never-ending supply of material for a book like this.


LONG AGO, IN THE DAYS OF ROYALS AND WIZARDS, THERE LIVED A KING who had no sons, being instead blessed with twelve healthy daughters. The princesses were much admired throughout the kingdom, for each of them possessed dispositions that were at once curious and content, fun-loving and kind. The king held his daughters above everything else, and all of their activities were of interest to him.

When the princesses grew up, each in her turn took a husband, leaving the castle but none of them going very far, so the king continued to watch over them and fancied he knew all that concerned them.

One day a peculiar rumor reached the king’s ears; a rumor that appeared to be known by everyone but him. It seemed that the whole of his kingdom was speculating over the princesses’ shoes, or more particularly, that it took four kingdoms just to keep them in shoes. What was puzzling about this was that the princesses’ new shoes were always worn to shreds the day after they were purchased. It little mattered how sturdy the material the shoes were made of, or how well put together they were, or even how little worn they had been when the princesses removed them in the evenings. Each and every morning the shoes would be found in tatters. And it seemed that the princesses were more baffled than anyone by this.

Immediately upon hearing of this oddity the king ordered the princesses to appear before him. They confirmed that the rumors he heard were true but could provide no clues as to the cause. The king, who prided himself on his problem-solving abilities, discussed the case with his daughters and their husbands in great detail. Could they have been sleepwalking during the night? Further debate proved that they had not. Could a third party be tampering with the princesses’ shoes? This also proved to be impossible, as they had begun placing their shoes under lock and key. Were the shoes made of defective materials then, that perhaps disintegrated after so much time? On and on the king questioned his daughters but no new light was shed on the mystery.

The king was at first intrigued, as well as bewildered; but over time the mystery began to wear on his sense of logic and order. Each and every evening he would ride out to the homes of all twelve of his daughters to inspect their shoes. In almost every case the shoes were in pristine condition, only to be discovered the following morning thoroughly worn through, as if they had been used for many years, rather than only one single day. And every morning that he found the shoes in this condition, the king became increasingly frustrated and determined. He spent all his time between morning and night looking into the matter, and the poor man could find no peace until he discovered the secret of his daughters’ worn shoes. These events took their toll on the king, and at length, he issued a decree that whoever solved the riddle would be awarded half his kingdom. This was not a challenge for the faint-hearted, however; for in order to discourage insincere applicants the king added the stipulation that anyone attempting to solve the riddle and failing would be put to death.

At first, there were a surprising number of brave men who came forward to accept the challenge, but each and every one failed to successfully solve the riddle and lost their lives in the bargain. During the period of time when proposals to explain this matter of the shoes were flooding in, the princesses opened their eyes each morning with dread, wondering if another innocent man would lose his life. Their carefree, happy childhood seemed a lifetime away. But after a while, the number of men willing to step forward and accept the challenge became fewer and fewer, and the riddle of the princesses’ shoes became merely a topic of conversation—for everyone but the king.

Then one day from a faraway land, there came to this kingdom a wizardess called Harmonia Brist. She had traveled a long way from an unfortunate place, where her powers of perception and healing were not only unappreciated, but actually condemned. She left that place in search of a home where she could prosper from her talents. It was here that she paused in her journey to take food and rest.

The wizardess Brist was not long in the kingdom before the topic of the princesses’ shoes caught her attention. She was immediately intrigued, and listened with great interest to all that the innkeeper and his daughters would tell her about the matter. When she was satisfied that she had heard enough, the wizardess stood up and said, quite calmly, “Kindly instruct me on the directions to the castle, for I would like to explain this riddle to the king.”

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