Entwined

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Entwined 
Heather Dixon
GreenWillow

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. 

I’ve had my eye on this book for ages, and when I finally got a hold of a copy, I was ready to dance…an action which has quite a lot to do with the plotline of this lovely fairy tale re-telling, as a matter of fact.

The only thing I didn’t care for in the this book was at times the writing was a bit awkward and difficult to understand, especially near the end at the climax. Also, I really wanted more of the characters. I loved them all, but I just felt like I didn’t get enough time with any of them, except for Azalea, who I probably liked the least.

I wouldn’t say that I found Azalea unlikable, exactly; the other characters just interested me more. I really liked both Bramble and Clover, and wanted to hear more about them. And all three romances were simply- spiffing. Lord Teddie was hilarious and I looked forward to every scene he was in. Prime Minister Fairweller also improved greatly on acquaintance. And though technically I didn’t find Lord Bradford quite as memorable as the other two, I still loved him. Let’s just say the male characters were some of the greatest highlights of the story. :)

One of my favorite aspects of the novel- aside from the three eldest girls’ love interests- was the importance of family. It wasn’t done in a cheap, preachy way, but was really quite beautiful. I adored how I disliked the King at the beginning…and by the end I truly loved him. It was so sweet! And the sisters’ relationship was really believable and enjoyable- I could tell that the author herself had come from a large family simply by the way Azalea’s was portrayed in the book.

Overall, Entwined has probably made the list of my favorite fairy-tale retellings. I’ve read two other novels based on the story of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”- Juliet Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing and Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball. Though the lovely Wildwood Dancing pretty much belongs in a category all its own due to its originality, I think Entwined was in many ways very much like Princess of the Midnight Ball. Out of the two, I think Midnight Ball was better written and less confusing, but I ended up liking Entwined better because the characters spoke to me more. Entwined wasn’t a smooth, effortlessly written masterpiece, and there were many times I felt like the writing style needed to be a bit more mature and venture into something a bit deeper. However, I still fell in love with the story in spite of it all, and I definitely recommend it to fairy-tale fans.

Rating: 8 1/2

Comments

  1. I have read all the versions you mentioned. I didn't connect Wildwood Dancing with the Twelve Dancing princesses, so I have not compared them in my mind (and do not want to do so), but I read Entwined and liked it and then I read Princess of the Midnight Ball and liked it better, but now I think I prefer Entwined which I think was better written. I do not think clarity makes the writing better necessarily; in the case of Princess of the Midnight Ball, it makes the story more juvenile while Entwined has an aura of mystique. I think the plot of the twelve dancing princesses is my favorite fairytale plot.

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