Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review- Entwined by Heather Dixon

by Heather Dixon
Available Now
Greenwillow Books

Amazon, Barnes and Noble
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 love the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and this retelling is an enchanting one.  Princess Azalea has made a promise to her dying mother to take care of her sister, at that point in time all ten of them.  Her mother has been sick the whole time she's been pregnant with number eleven, but they don't know if it's a girl or a boy.  However, Christmas Eve, while Azalea is attending her first ball, her youngest sister is born and her mother dies.  Azalea and her sisters are not called to her bedside nor told of her death until Christmas morning when there are no presents.  And it isn't until then that they learn of the early birth of their last sister Lily.   As they greet her with a dance, their father, "Sir" or "the King" as they call him is riding in the woods. To say that they have a distant relationship is putting it mildly.  He leaves the girls for a war, with orders for no dancing, no leaving the castle, wearing all black, the windows covered- a house in mourning.  Can you imagine twelve active little girls from the ages fifteen down to newborn stuck inside a falling down castle with no amusements at all?  Not even a window to look out of or music to listen to?  And Azalea swore to her mother she would take care of the girls.

So, when the castle, which was once ruled by a mad and magical king who had left magic places in it yields a magic place for the girls to dance, what are they to do?  Their father has completely ignored them.  They have been left to mourn their loss on their own and their mother loved to dance.  It seems a fitting tribute to their mother.

I feel sorry for Azalea, the oldest because she takes the weight of every one's grief on herself and makes it her mission to keep them from feeling it.  She makes them make a promise about their secret dancing place that proves dangerous to all of them, but at the time, she thinks she's helping them.  She's walked through the snow and ridden through it to find her father to get him to do his fatherly duties, to no avail.  So she becomes both mother and father to the girls.  She perks them up when they are down and shares in their joy when they feel it. She also promises the oldest girls that they will not have to have arranged marriages as it is likely that Azalea will have her husband chosen by Parliament.  Her mother would have had them marry for love and she's determined that they have that for themselves.

When the King finally returns from war, he is somewhat a changed man and begins trying to make amends for his lack of affection and attention towards the girls.  He has a hard battle to fight.  Twelve little girls who heard him say he couldn't "abide them" aren't very forgiving.  There are suitors that come to call and a secret understanding between one of the sisters and a very unlikely gentleman.  And the biggest secret has to do with the place where the girls go to dance each night.
Azalea again, takes all the blame for that on herself and tries to make it right on her own.  But what's a fairy tale without a few dashing hero's and one very brave heroine??

I read the Kindle version of this book but I'll have to have the hard copy.  First the cover is so pretty and second, it's a beautiful story I will want to read again!  I'm looking forward to more from this author!

Enchanting for all ages!


  1. This is an amazing book. The author of it actually has an art blog, and she not only is an amzing author but also a wonderful artist.

    Great review!

  2. I love the cover of this one. This is the first review I've read for the book and I want to read it even more now. I don't recall hearing of the Twelve Dancing Princesses so it's all new to me.
    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  3. Awww, this one sounds enchanting! although it's YA, is it one you can share with younger readers?

  4. Shelby- Thanks for the info! I had no idea the author was also the artist! I'll have to look at her website and find her art blog. It's such a beautiful cover as well as story!

    Jessica- This came out in March last year. The Twelve Dancing Princesses hasn't been made into a Disney Movie yet so it's stayed in the background. But as a child we had the most gorgeous fairy tale books with beautiful pictures in them and that's what I read through elementary school. I'm not sure but it's origins may be French. The original story is great, but this one is so wonderful too!

    Linds- Younger than YA, mm, there are some scary parts in it where younger than 12 might get scared. It's also 480 pages long!


  5. I'm looking forward to more from Heather Dixon, too. I didn't love the MC, but I loved the rest of the story. I really liked the third sister and her quiet romance. It was very sweet. :) I'm glad you liked this!

  6. This book was absolutely amazing! I don't even have words to describe how many emotions I had during this book. Amazing story line and character development!
    suggested Beef Jerky is Good Food


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