Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend this retelling. I found it to be fairly mediocre at best. There was way too much telling, not nearly enough showing, and the story itself I found weak.
Essentially, The Night Dance is a mash-up of Grimm’s Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale and Arthurian legend. I am a huge fan of Arthurian retellings, and consider myself – if not an expert – certainly well-read in that particular genre. This one was only mildly interesting, occurring during the aftermath of the battle of Camlann, in which Arthur is killed in combat with Mordred. Vivienne and Morgan Le Fay are both characters in this retelling, as is the knight Bedivere (or Bedwyr) who is tasked by a dying Arthur with returning his sword, Excalibur, to the Lady of the Lake.
This is a YA retelling, and falls into a lot of the usual traps of not-very-good YA. There is insta-love between a couple of characters on the strength of a meeting. There is weak characterization. There are girls who are behaving like total idiots. There is mooning over kisses. It was a quick little read.
I often enjoy mash-ups, but this one – rather than using the two legends advantageously – in my opinion used the Arthurian legend to try to cover up weaknesses in plotting and characterization. I don’t give star-ratings because I prefer to just talk about books. But this was the weakest of the four retellings that I read for this project.