Jessica Day George, in my opinion, nailed it once again with her novel Princess Of The Midnight Ball.
First off the cover is georgeous! Now, let's get to the heart of the matter. It is a Young Adult novel. (I have been reading a lot of those lately, but it seems that when I find one, another gets recommended. I kind of get stuck in a genre for a while.)
The story is a retelling of the fairy tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. We begin with the story being told by a young man named Galen who is returning from a 12 year war. Along the way he meets an old woman who, because of his kindness, gives him some gifts to help him once he is in the palace. He thinks the old woman must be very confused because he has no family of consequence and can't imagine how or why he would ever be inside the palace.
We follow him along his adventure as he seeks out his only living relatives and a way to earn a living. His only skills are knitting (I laughed at first, but he had to take care of himself during the war and learned the skill to keep himself in socks and hats) and soldiering, since he had grown up the son of a soldier and spent most of his life in the war. I won't say any more because I don't want to give it all away, but I will say that once again the author's words paint a beautiful picture. The story is not a masterpiece by any means, just a well thought out story and the perfect length to escape on a lazy afternoon.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!