Tuesday, 14 February 2012

(Review) Entwined by Heather Dixon

Release date: March 29th 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page count: 480
Genre(s): Young Adult/Romance/Fantasy/Fairy Tales
Buy it: Amazon/Book Depository
Add it on: Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

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.

Synopsis from Goodreads

(Full review with spoilers here)

This was a really sweet book, one I'll definitely try and re-read in the future. It had this charm to it I can't really put my finger on. I felt the start was a little slow, but about a third of the way in, I was really engrossed and found myself either smiling at the sweetness or absorbed in the darker moments of the story. I have never read the original story (The 12 Dancing Princesses). My only knowledge comes from the Barbie movie which I should not have in my dvd collection as a 20 year old, please don't judge me but who knows how accurate that is? Regardless of how faithful or original this retelling is, to me it was like reading a fresh story and I really enjoyed it. I loved the 'fairy tale' of it all, with the magic and the dashing men and the beautiful locations.

Characters wise, there were quite a lot. In the beginning, I admit I got a little confused with all the sisters and how old they were meant to be. They were all lovely though. I've read mixed reactions on Azalea, the lead character, but I liked her for the most part. I think her heart was in the right place and she was very sweet. Special mentions go to Bramble for her great sense of humour and Eve for being a bespectacled book worm like myself :3 Then there's the King who was one of my favourite aspects of the story. I loved watching him go from a cold, distant figure that the sisters (and I) hated to a warm, gentle father trying his best. Just thinking about it now makes me feel all toasty inside. Then there are the love interests! I don't want to spoil who they are (even though they're all pretty obvious as soon as they meet). They were all so so lovely and adorable and I only wished there'd been more scenes with them because they made my heart do little leaps.

One of the downsides to this book I feel is the writing. It was a little too simplistic? I'm not actually a big fan of superfluous description or overly dressed up narration in books, but I think with magical stories like this, it would have fit well. Instead, the writing was very stiff and basic. It was also quite repetitive. Every time I saw 'skirts' or 'crinolines' I sad faced. The combination of this and not enough romance to satisfy my cravings means I give this book a 4/5.

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