Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Entwined by Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2011

Azalea and her 11 sisters are supposed to be in mourning for their mother - complete with darkened windows, black clothing, no visits or fun of any sort especially dancing. With their father, the King, away at war, the girls slip out of their room every night to dance in a magic realm. There they meet Keeper, who seems intriguing but has intentions that aren't exactly honorable. Azalea finds that she must work out Keeper's mystery in order to save her family and their kingdom.

So, I may have mentioned that my favorite fairy tale ever is The Twelve Dancing Princesses. The first time I heard it was during a Pre-K story time at the library and I instantly fell in love with it. I checked it out of the library a lot. Then someone gave me a paperback picture book copy as a birthday present. Once I was able to read well enough on my own, that was my go to book. It was literally falling apart when I finally put it away to expand my reading horizons.

Despite my love for The Twelve Dancing Princesses (or The Worn Out Dancing Shoes/The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces) I'd never read a retelling until recently (for YA Lit class last semester). So when I heard that Entwined was another retelling, I knew that it would go on my wishlist for this year. Maybe my love of the original tale made me biased as I was reading, maybe it made me more critical, but overall I loved Entwined. Were there things that I wasn't fond of? Yes, (all the flower names for the sisters, for example) but the great parts outweighed them in my opinion.

Since Entwined revolves around 12 sisters, I thought it would be fun to give 12 reasons why I enjoyed reading it.

1. The sisters - with so many of them, it was sometimes hard to keep them all straight, but the portrayal of their relationships, squabbles, and interactions felt very genuine.
2. Lord Bradford - he's pretty swoon-worthy. At one point while reading I decided he was unassumingly dashing, because even though everyone else knows how awesome he is, he seems to be oblivious.

3.  The dancing - the way Ms. Dixon describes each dance makes them seem like additional characters in the story.

4. Azalea, the Princess Royale and oldest sister, she's strong and compassionate and looks after and stands up for her sisters. She's also courageous in that she stands up to the King and doesn't let him off the hook for anything. 

5.  There is magic, but only in small quantities. Only certain parts of the castle are magic and even that is considered a myth until Azalea finds the secret passageway. But also, there is the realization that love is its own type of magic.

6. There is character named Mr. Pudding. For some reason, I just love that name!

7. A certain pocket watch and the theme of time: the passage of time, waiting for something/someone you love.

8. Prime Minister Fairweller - despite his sober demeanor and rule abiding ways, he has a bit of a romantic streak.

9.  A mention of treacle tart - in addition to reminding me of Harry Potter, it just shows how it's all the small details that make the house and the magic realm come to life.

10. A certain scene between Azalea and Lord Bradford involving a closet and some spying.

11. Lord Teddy - my favorite of the suitors - he unintentionally delivers comic relief exactly when it's needed, plus he never gives up!

12. Keeper is super creepy as a villain, right from the first sight of him it's very clear that he is evil. I love villains that are unapologetically evil.

If you enjoy reading fairy tale retellings, Entwined should be on your radar. I definitely will be picking up a finished copy at the end of March.

**Source: Book It Forward ARC Tours

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! I remember the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses from when I was really young, and this reminded me of it.
    Brilliant review!


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