publisher: Greenwillow Books
release date: March 29th, 2011
hardcover, 480 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: ARC from Around the World Tours
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.
Review: This one was a charmer. I love fairy tale retellings, whether they are modernized or told in the old style. This one was true to its fairy tale beginnings so we got all the lush ballrooms and beautiful flowing gowns, gentlemen and ladies with impeccable manners (some of them, at least!) and most of all in this story, the dancing. Dancing is everything to Azalea and her sisters. They dance when they are happy, they dance to lift their spirits, they dance to connect with their mother. It was interesting to try to picture all the dances, sometimes it comes through as enchanting, and sometimes it slowed the story a little.
While Entwined was a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I also saw alot of parallels to Little Women when it came to the four eldest girls: the responsible and caring Azalea (like Meg), the fiery, temperamental Bramble (Jo), the very timid Clover (Beth), and the outspoken and always-thinking-of-the-future Delphinium (Amy). I loved how each of the twelve sisters had their own defined personalities, even though Azalea, Bramble, and Clover were the three we got to know best.
I loved the development of the relationship between the king and the girls. It starts out very rocky and both the girls and the king are dealing with grief in different ways. That puts them at complete odds in a way that is almost cruel to eachother. But soon the kings sets out to try to mend things with his daughters and there were parts of that that very nearly had me in tears because his efforts were so touching.
In all the magic and wonder and dancing in this, parts were genuinely creepy! Some of the scenes down in the hidden pavilion where the girls sneaked off to dance were frightening, with the eerie Keeper and his ghostly dancers.
The writing was very good, kept me wrapped up in the plot and only dipped a few times. One of my quirks with reading is when a description is used repetitively and I found that here: whenever the king was upset he would "suck in his cheeks" and he was upset quite a lot so this phase was on every few pages when the king was involved in the story. But again, that is just my own pet peeve.
All in all, this was a really enjoyable book! Definitely worth a read!
I was unable to find a website for this author---this may be updated in the future!