Book Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

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.

Book Review: Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon
Published by Harper Collins on 2011-03-29
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.  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.

Other Reviews:

The Book Pixie
All About {N}
Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing

Purchase Entwined here.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Yay! April! I’m so glad you liked this book! Your review makes me all happy and smiley! 🙂

  2. I was unsure about Entwined after seeing less than positive reviews but like you, I ended up really liking it. I was a bit amazed at its length but it moved at a pretty good pace and I love the romance for the three eldest.

    • i really love this book, i saw it in my school library and the cover just popped out at me. i read all sorts of books from fiction to non-fiction fary tails and history. this book just captured my inmagination and i fell in love. this fairytale bring me to a whoel new part of my imagination, with dancing, and magic. i loved this book,

  3. I have been wanting to read this for quite a while now! I am glad that you ended up really enjoying it!

  4. I really enjoyed Entwined, too! I loved the setting and the sisters. Glad to hear you liked the book, too! =)

  5. I think the cover is lovely, I’m usually not a fan of Victorian era novels. But this looks interesting.

  6. Here from the Comment Exchange:D
    I really love the cover of this book, I see it around a lot, so I cant wait to get my paws on my own copy!:D
    good review, lisa.

  7. Like you I had seen mixed reviews of this title. Your review however makes me more willing to read this. The cover is gorgeous, and I have found myself picking it up more than once, but those other reviews left me with some reservations. From your description, it reminds me a log of Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. Have you read that one? If so, are they similar? Thank you for the review, you gave me a lot to think about.

  8. Oh, I’m so glad that you liked it! I don’t think I’ve actually read many negative reviews so I haven’t heard the other side of the story but I’m really excited to read this one! I enjoyed Princess of the Midnight Ball and I really like the original story. Thanks for the review!

  9. I am so glad you liked this- I just picked it up today from the library, and I too had read mixed reviews… but now I’m looking forward to it!

  10. This book has been in my wishlist for a while. I think I wasn’t that excited to read it because of the lukewarm reviews but it’s good to know that you enjoyed reading this. I’m always interested in reading fairy tale retellings. Although I might wait for this to come out in paperback before I get it.

  11. This review was so entertaining to read! I love the names of the characters in this book. I want to check this one out now!

  12. I wasn’t planning to read this one but after reading your review I might give it a try if I can get it from the library. I liked Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. To me, that is the best adaptation of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I thought Princess of the Midnight Ball was okay. When I heard of this one I thought it sounded too much like Princess of the Midnight Ball so I’d decided not to read it. Your review makes it sound more unique though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. I’m so glad I saw your review — I, too, have seen mixed reviews of this and was on the fence — but now I’m re-excited again. It seems so interesting and unique!

  14. I’m one of those who really didn’t like it. I much prefer the retelling of Grimm’s story by Jessica Day George. Princess of the Midnight Ball.

    • I haven’t read that one yet, but it seems like everyone loves Jessica Day George. Have you read Wildwood Dancing? That’s one version I love, and is my favorite so far!

  15. Oh, it sounds even better than I expected it to be. And what a lovely cover.
    Also, it’s funny that you don’t like to watch formal dancing yet love to read about it; I’m a bit of the same, too! Sometimes in movies, I like it too because they’ll cute the scene of make it interesting somehow. But formal dancing by itself? Bleh.

  16. Carcondis says

    I bought this book after reading this review and I really liked it!