Monday, August 29, 2011
Entwined by Heather Dixon
In the half-magical world of Eathesbury, Azalea is the oldest of 12 daughters and heir to her father�s throne. When the sisters� mother dies after a long illness, the siblings find a hidden passageway to an enchanted pavilion under the castle where they can dance all night, secretly breaking the rules of mourning. The mysterious and alluring Keeper makes this possible, but he also seems to have less-than-honorable plans for the girls, especially Azalea. The tale�s atmosphere becomes increasingly dark and brooding as the truth from ages past comes out, and Azalea realizes just what evil they are pitted against. With several unexpected twists, the story, based on the original Grimms� tale �The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes,� plunges toward a harrowing conclusion. This first novel is richly imagined with a gothic feel, and Dixon�s descriptions of the many dances are thrilling. Although the general story line will be familiar to readers of Jessica Day George�s Princess of the Midnight Ball (2009), this romantic fantasy is darker in tone, and the villain resembles the faeries in Nancy Werlin�s Impossible (2008) and O. R. Melling�s The Hunter�s Moon (2005). The story gracefully explores significant themes of grief and loss, mercy and love. Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon�s debut is both suspenseful and rewarding.
This book was beautiful. If I was going to judge a book by its cover, this would be the one to judge. It's cover, font, and layout is gorgeous. And then there is the actual book.
It had the kind of over used idea of the princes being evil. But, just like another of my favorite retelling of this story, the author used the idea so originally that it did not feel like an overused idea.
This story begins with only eleven princesses, and their mother still alive. Then, the twelfth princess is born, and their mother dies. And that's when things go wrong.
I would recommend this story to lovers of fantasy, mystery, romance, adventure, fairy tales, and just a bit of paranormalcy.