January 14, 2012

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Title: Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Pages: 480
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

From bn.com:  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 late.

 I had passed over this book two or three times before I picked it up to read.  I saw it on the shelves of my local bookstore and decided I didn't need to read it.  A week or two later I found out it was $0.99 on nook and almost bought it, but then changed my mind.  That same day I went to the library and saw it sitting on the shelf.  At that point, I figured that maybe the fates were trying to tell me to READ THIS DAMN BOOK.  Who am I to ignore signs like that?  

Our girl Azalea is the eldest of 12 siblings named after flowers.  They all love dancing more than anything else, but have it taken from them after their mother dies and they go into a strict mourning period.  One day a bout of curiosity gets the best of Azalea and she winds up finding an old secret passage in the castle.  This passage leads to a magical forest that is home to the mysterious Keeper and a dance floor where the girls can dance their hearts out without anyone finding out.  Everything has a price, however, and when Azalea decides it's too much to pay she has to figure out a way to keep her family safe and out of Keeper's grasp.

I actually thought this was a bit of an odd choice for a story until I found out that it was based on the Grimm's Fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  Being a sucker for source material, I ran right to the Grimm's version right after I finished Entwined.  I was surprised that only the basic framework of the story was taken from it and everything about where the Princesses go at night was changed.  I really enjoyed how the magical elements weaved their way throughout the story.  I also really liked the revolving door of suitors for the girls.  If you like magic or dancing or pretty dresses, odds are you'll like this one.  I definitely did.

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