October 08, 2011
Entwined by Heather Dixon
The beautiful cover drew me to this book. It looked enchanting and indeed, the premise of the story is enchanting. But despite this, I wasn't quite taken with this rendition of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale (although I've never read or before now, heard of the original). It was a ok story, probably very popular with its intended audience of young adults. But for me it was lacking something and even a bit boring at times.
Azalea is the eldest of her sisters (whose names go sequentially down the alphabet and are all plants). She loves to dance, as do the other girls, but her dancing days seem fit to be over after their mother dies and their father, the King, institutes a year of mourning. The mourning period in Azalea's world means no fun and no colors for the entire time. Since they can't dance in the open to feel closer to their mother, she stumbles across a magical portal left open in the castle and only revealed by silver. Here a wonderful silver forest and dancing floor is kept by the handsome mysterious man known as the Keeper. At first he enchants the sisters, but as time goes on, Azalea discovers their is a menacing side about him. Between that worry and the other of finding a husband to be the next King, Azalea doesn't have much time for mourning.
There were an awful lot of princesses in this book. But only a few were described and had their own distinct personalities. And these were mainly the three older sisters. But even their descriptions were lackluster. I did like Bramble. I thought she was the best of the characters and the most interesting. Azalea was only so-so for me. She could have been better improved upon with her inner feelings as opposed to her sense of obligation. The Keeper was deliciously menacing and I enjoyed the darker aspects that he brought to the novel. One character that did make me frown a bit was the King; his personality changed without rhyme or reason and was a bit too drastic.
I know that the main premise behind the sisters in this is that they love dancing. But I got very wearied of the dancing after awhile. I do commend the author for making so much detail for it; but at times, I just didn't care and would have rather read more of the romance or about the trouble in the castle. I was also confused about how a King and his household could be as poor as they are and would have loved to have the reasoning behind this described more as it is an intriguing notion. The story itself was interesting, just too slow moving and sometimes the detail was irrelevant or too much and disrupted the flow of the story.
As said before, I only thought this book average. I'm sure that those who are fans of dance would probably like it better than I did. As it is, I might consider reading more by Dixon, but won't rush out to do it.