Entwined by Heather Dixon

Who: Heather Dixon
What: Entwined
Where: Harperteen
When: March 29th, 2011
Why: Retelling
How: For Review

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that
everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled
with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands.
He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And 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

This is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which if you didn't know, is definitely one of my favorite fairy tales of all time. And I hadn't found one that really evoked the sweet but essentially dark story that it really has until I read Entwined. Even with an entourage of characters like the 12 Dancing Princesses has to have, each sister (my favorite being Bramble and Clover) had their own personalities. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who got so annoyed by Delphinium! I didn't get lost and confused in the cast. I loved the concept of all the magic that was subtlety woven into the story through the magic tea set and the hidden doorways. Until the Keeper arrives, people know magic is there but it's so light and subtle that it didn't take over the story.

Azalea was a headstrong and relatable main character that I enjoyed reading about. Taking on the responsibility of mother after her own mother dies was something she had to live with, and she took it very seriously. Her sister's meant the world to her and even if it was against the rules, she was willing to do things to make them happy. But sometimes, she slipped. Sometimes she made mistakes and made them upset and thought about herself. The balance made her a good character, and I'm glad that while I admire her for her sense of family, she also cares about herself.

Keeper was a creeper. He was an excellent villain, and I loved his back story when it came time to explain things. Even though I knew he was evil (this is a retelling, after all. So I knew the general gist of how this was going to go down), I didn't fell like I was reading the same story over again. Keeper was suave, charming, and really made the girls happy. All the love interests (because each eldest girl: Azalea, Bramble, and Clover find love) was again subtle and just enough to want them together but not enough to overpower the family-love in the story.

Happy Reading!


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