Entwined by Heather Dixon
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.
Here’s the scoop:
Entwined is a completely engrossing, totally enchanting young adult fairy tale. It’s based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm. I, personally, was not altogether familiar with this tale, other than the Barbie DVD version, which I love (hey, I have two daughters and after a watching the same Disney and Barbie movies again and again, I begin to do things like ponder the swoonworthiness of the male romantic leads. It happens). Still, this version of the story is much better.
Azalea is the eldest of the King’s twelve daughters. As such, she bears the burden of marrying a man who will one day succeed the King. Her mother has taught her to believe in love,magic and the romance of dancing. She serves as a buffer between the girls and their cold, distant father until her death on Christmas Eve. From that point forward, the family is relegated to a yearlong mourning period that requires them to wear only black, cover the windows from all outside light, to stay indoors and to refrain from dancing. Every item tied to their mother is locked away because of the pain it causes the King. As the girls grieve, they’re pained also by the loss of dancing, something their mother loved and taught them well. They feel it is their last link to her.
But the world in which Azalea and her sisters live is magical. They’ve been raised on stories of spells cast on their castle by an evil former king–magic that has now been removed. And they’ve heard that there are still enchanted passageways in the castle. In fact, they find one of these passageways and venture through it. It leads to a beautiful pavilion filled with food and music and dancing. The handsome, mysterious man who guards it, known only as The Keeper, invites them to dance for him each night. The girls happily accept, returning regularly, despite the King’s constant questions about why their dancing shoes are always worn. And as time presses forward, The Keeper, who is both enticing and frightening, seems to want something in return for their passage to his world.
This is such a wonderful novel. It’s set in a time period where there were elegant balls and ladies in gowns being courted by gentlemen who treat them like fine china. The writing is rich and the story itself is magical and full of romance and humor. The sisters are each unique and they share a bond of love both with each other and with their dear mother that translates beautifully onto the page. The romance (actually romances) were perfectly done, while not detracting from the main story and the delicate balance of love and tenderness essential to the father/daughter relationship.
Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 This is a good read, especially if you like fairy tales.