Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Entwined


Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Heather Dixon
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Features: The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Source: Purchased
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 fairy tales, and I love fairy tale retellings just as much. Needless to say, I was super excited when I got this book, and I was hoping that the inside of the book would live up to the gorgeous cover on the front. Well it did. Mostly.

Heather Dixon stayed true to the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm (Although I just couldn't fathom how new-born Lily could already dance at such a young age. But that's not that point). Each of the girls shone in her own way, with her own personality. It could get a little confusing, but the more you went along, the more you started admiring Clover and Bramble and the more you wanted to sock Delphinium in the face. Azalea, the eldest, was our heroine. There was something about her personality that I didn't like, which was why I didn't really get into the book as much as I could have. What saved the novel was Dixon's writing, light and humorous, kind of wispy and tendrilly in a way that could pull you in.

This book had its light moments, and its dark moments. Keeper is creepy. There is no other word for it. He gave me shivers, and not the good kind, but the scary kind. Contrasting him is a certain "warm" gentleman that I really wish made more appearances in the novel. Dancing is highlighted in this book, with the Entwine being featured as both a fun, romantic dance and the evil devices of a villainous magician (cue shivers).

All in all, the setting and atmosphere of this story is what really drew me in. The plot wasn't anything new or surprising, but I think Dixon did a fine job making it into her own, as well as not straying from the classic. If you're easily spooked (like me), I recommend not reading this at night, ha. Fantasy fans will definitely enjoy this one.

Postscript: kudos to Heather Dixon for not following the status quo and publishing a fantasy novel that isn't in a series.

First Line:
An hour before Azalea's first ball began, she paced the ballroom flour, tracing her toes in a waltz. She had the opening dance with the King... who danced like a brick.

Random Quotes/Excerpts:
All the girls joined in.
     "I was thirteen last April and it rained on my birthday and I didn't even get to wear anything special-"
     "We turned ten-just two months ago-"
     "I usually get a book for my birthday-but-this year-"
     "You forgot my birthday, too."
     "And mine."
     The girls looked miserable. The King opened his mouth, then shut it.
     "Sir!" whined Lord Teddie. "You forgot my birthday, too!"
     Bramble gave a surprised laugh, then slapped her hand over her mouth, as though shocked at letting it out. The tension broke. The girls laughed sheepishly, and Lord Teddie  beamed. He probably did not have many ladies think him funny. In fact, he probably got slapped by a lot of them.

Azalea knelt on the path and brushed pine needles from the knit shawl. Shaking it and sending a puff of silver dust from it, she folded it, stood quickly-
     And hit her head against something hard and solid.
     "Ow!" she stammered.
     "Oh, forgi-"
     The man's voice cut abruptly. Azalea blanched at the empty mist. No one was there! Behind her, the girls' eyes grew as wide as tea saucers.
     "It's a ghost!" squeaked Flora.
     The girls screamed. They clutched their skirts in both hands and kick footed it to the bridge.

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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