I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harper Collins on 2011-03-29
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls. "Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon's debut is both suspenseful and rewarding."—ALA Booklist
Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late. "Readers who enjoy stories of royalty, romance, and magic will delight in Dixon's first novel."—Publishers Weekly
When I had first heard about Entwined by Heather Dixon, I was super excited to request and read it, as it has a gorgeous cover and takes on one of my favorite fairy tales, the Twelve Dancing Princesses. However, this excitement soon turned to trepidation as a few of my blogger buddies had read Entwined and did not love/enjoy it. Plus, it’s really long. As Entwined was one of my books to read before BEA, and me being a freethinker, I picked it up a week or two ago not sure what to expect. Would I love it? Would I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns? WELL, the moral of this long introduction is basically: make up your own mind on books. Just because my friends dislike something doesn’t mean I will dislike something.
Turns out I really loved Entwined. You see, it’s set during Victorian Era, in a country whose name I don’t quite remember. Anyways, the King has 12 daughters, all named in alphabetical order after plants. These 12 daughters love dancing, and different types of dancing. However, tragedy casts a pall over the kingdom when the queen dies. Azalea, main character of Entwined, becomes a bit of a surrogate mother to her 11 sisters. As first in line for the throne though, life is not all sunshine and roses for Azalea. The royal family is royally bankrupt, meaning they eat gruel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can’t spend extravagantly. ALSO, Parliament chooses who Azalea can marry, she doesn’t exactly have free choice in that arena. About 100 or so pages in, we discover the castle is magic and every night the girls disappear into some fairyland where they dance the night away. Dancing, again, is very important to these girls. Doubly so since the king decided to put the whole household in morning for a year, meaning windows draped in black curtains, black clothing, no dancing, no fun, you get the gist.
I found myself enthralled in Entwined. I mean, I’d look up and see that 100 pages had passed. The writing isn’t full of frills, the font is somewhat big. Plus I found the story to be fascinating. I wondered why Bramble was being horrid. I thought Clover was into a certain male character, oh and she totes was. Also, I hate formal dancing in real life. Cannot stand it. I can’t watch Dancing With The Stars because it’s boring. Yet, I love reading about dancing.Â I love reading about reels and waltzes. So, whenever Azalea would teach her sisters some new dance, my attention was rapt. I know that’s weird, but we’ve all got our quirks.
Frankly, I enjoyed Entwined. I thought it was a solid read, yet I can see why other people wouldn’t love it. As they say, there’s no accounting for taste.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Purchase Entwined here.