Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
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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
This book is an engrossing piece of fiction. I am, and always will be, an avid devotee of fairy tales and their retellings. Without spoiling the plot, I will say that it contains all of those elements the best fairy tales have: a blood-chilling villain with magical powers, a sweet, clean romance between the princess and prince charming, beautiful ballgowns, and a thrilling adventure tying all of those elements together.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the fact that it emphasizes the importance of families exercising charity and love towards each member of the family. It shows that when hatred grows in the midst of a family, it always opens a crack for evil from outside to enter in. It also clearly shows that the proper end of romance and courtship is always marriage.
This book was a real joy to read. Sometimes we all need to unwind by enjoying something purely recreational. This is an example, in my view, of just the kind of clean, entertaining fiction suited for that task. We live in such dark, scary times. In the midst of living a Catholic life, it is important to remember to take a suitable amount of time for fun. It helps us recharge and prevents a preoccupation with all of the black news around us. Entwined provided that brief oasis for me, and I am confident that it will do so for many readers.
I adore this book. I suspected very early on that it would become one of my favorite recent reads . . . but, as I kept reading, I realized with a certain amount of giddy joy that it was likely to make my top favorite book list of all time. THAT is a special book indeed.
Enchanting storyline, spellbinding language, and rich and colorful characters that will remain in your heart. While the romance was absolutely beautiful and very "classic" in the quality of its presentation, I also loved the strong emphasis on the importance of family and the intricate dynamics thereof that were developed in such an artful and moving way. Without giving away the plot, there was also a certain depth and profound Truth to the all-encompassing theme that encircled all other sub-themes and dynamics.
Heather Dixon is truly a gifted writer. I only wish that there were a sequel to this novel, as I would love to spend more time with its characters and their world. Highly, highly recommended!