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Entwined Kindle Edition
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Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls. "Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon's debut is both suspenseful and rewarding."—ALA Booklist
Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. 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. "Readers who enjoy stories of royalty, romance, and magic will delight in Dixon's first novel."—Publishers Weekly
Supports the Common Core State Standards
- ASIN : B004CFA9X2
- Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (March 29, 2011)
- Publication date : March 29, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 2170 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 485 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #229,659 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2012
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Top reviews from the United States
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The girls' mother dies only a short while after.
Now, in mourning, the girls are not allowed outside, they cannot visit with anyone except on R.B. (royal business), and they cannot dance. But dancing is their way of life - it is what their mother taught them to do, what keeps them going and joyful through the day. They must dance.'
When the girls discover a secret tunnel that leads to a breautiful, magical pavilion, they are invited to dance there every night by the Keeper, a dark, gorgeous, and silky smooth young man who seems to have an eye for Azalea. But when things start to get out of hand (the girls learn that the Keeper likes to keep things), family ties are strengthened, and romance buds, the girls must find their way out of a trap that could very well lose their lives - and the lives of those most precious to them - to an terrible cursed gentleman who wants nothing but revenge.
My thoughts -
'Ohhhhhh sigh...happy happy sigh. I was hooked from the very beginning. The massive amount of character, the darling relationships between the sisters, the perfect fairy tale world - it made my heart flutter. Even when there wasn't a lot of action or mystery, it was still undeniably interesting and fascinating. Everything about this world inspired me and made me want to live there, even if just for a time. It became my favorite castle, my favorite fantasy country (the landscaping Heather Dixon did was magical!), and my favorite magical underground pavilion.
Seriously, this world is perfect. It's exactly what I, personally, feel should be every fairy tale (even though that's impossible). I've had this vision of the perfect fairy tale world - what it should look, feel, smell like - and I've waited a long time to to read a fairy tale that's like it. This one hits the bull's eye. Completely and utterly. It had just the right amount of creepy, lovely, feminine, adventure, mystery, beauty, silver, glass, black, colors, dancing, romance, personality, and magic. I'm so impressed!
Character notes -
I loved all of the sisters, each and every one of them. Each one had her own lovely something to add to the story: a cute lisp, an adorable stutter, beautiful long hair, a love for reading, a brash vocabulary, or a desire to serve. And they all love to dance, which bonds them together.
Azalea was a beautiful example of an elder sister who loves her sisters more than herself and will do everything she can to help/protect/serve them. Bramble is a personal favorite, just because of her "colorful" word choices. She always uses words that don't quite sound princess-y, but they are perfect for her wild personality. Her relationship with Delphinium made me laugh - they reminded me of Jo and Amy March from Little Women, respectively. The practical girl with the straightforward way of speaking, compared to the romantic girl who is always dramatic - it's a duo that I'll never get tired of. All the rest of the girls were just as wonderful but....as there are twelve of them...I shouldn't get into it. I could probably write individual books about them, they all have so much to offer! ;)
Now on to the gentlemen. There were a lot of male characters presented in this story, which I loved. They were all so unique! The King was a great character because of the conflict he brought to the story. Minister Fairweller was awesome; he may not be a favorite of the characters but I, personally, loved him. Lord Teddie... OH! He had me rolling on the floor laughing for minutes on end - and that's NOT an exaggeration! I would laugh out loud, snort, snicker, and just giggle hysterically. He had the funniest vocabulary!! And for anyone who has read/seen Little Dorrit - he totally reminded me of Edmund Sparkler!! Mr. Keeper is, without a doubt, one of my favorite antagonists. He was so smooth and richly handsome - but I never really knew if he was good or bad. He had me chilled to the bone and then doubting my own feelings about him. Wow.
And, last but most certainly not least.... Mr. Bradford. Lord Bradford. Captain Bradford. I love him. Forget all those super sleek and beautiful and dashing men - Mr. Bradford made me grin from ear to ear in happiness, and shortly into the book he had me wishing I was Azalea. His ruffled hair, stiff collar, and quiet selflessness all had me wishing he'd appear out of the book and fall for me! (Unfortunately, these things never do happen...)
Story notes -
This story had me on my toes the entire time. I read at a minimum one hundred pages a day and had the book with me at all times. I wished for more, more, more! The twists and turns and the originality of it (all the while keeping really close to the Grimms' story) were almost too good to be true. Like I said above about waiting for a book to have that certain feel about - it was just...so perfect. There were no breaks in the story line, the writing flowed gracefully from beginning to end, and there was always something new to chew on. There were a few scenes that really stood out to me (the masque ball, the broken ornaments, the mirrors, the funny scenes with the girls asking the men on R.B. obnoxious questions), but honestly, every scene was phenomenal. Really. :D
One word to sum it up (final thoughts) -
I'm going to do something I've never done before - take from the title. Entwining. This book pulled me in with graceful fingers and let me go with a lasting impression - something I'll never forget. I want my children to one day read this gorgeous version of this fairytale because it is just so wonderful! (And just so you all know - someday, I want to show my husband the Soul's Curtsy. That scene melted my heart!)
Nothing for the parents! This was an extremely clean book!
In this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters are in mourning after the loss of their mother, who died after giving birth to the twelfth princess, Lily. Locked up inside their home and pushed away by their father at a time when they need each other the most, the girls are miserable... until they discover a magic passageway that leads to a land of silver and beauty. The Keeper, the man that is trapped there, extends an invitation to the girls, allowing them to come back every night and dance their troubles away. Such an offer comes at a price and Azalea must find a way to put an end to the Keeper before he hurts her loved ones.
For having such a large cast, you would think it would be easy to start mixing up characters and be unable to remember who is who and who likes what. Wrong! Each and every one of the twelve princesses has their own traits and makes it easier to remember who is who. I certainly never mixed up Jessamine, the princess that rarely speaks, with Ivy, who loves to eat Personally , my favorites were Delphinium and Bramble. Girls with a flair for the dramatic (the right kind, the kind that does not irritate me) are so much fun and yet so hard to find. Well, Bramble is more enthusiastic than dramatic, but it's close enough. I love them both.
The writing flowed so well and more than a few times, it was. It brought to mind the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, which is the absolute best thing it could do because I love that series to death and beyond. Here's one little snippet that made me giggle:
"Is d-dancing allowed?" Clover stammered.
Azalea bit her lip and turned her head away.
"Oooh!" Delphinium lifted a dainty hand to her forehead, closed her eyes, and fell back onto the wood floor. Thum-thump thump.
She lay on the floor, unmoving.
"Oh, get up, Delphi," said Bramble. "When people really faint, they bang their heads up on the floor. It's very unromantic."
There's the strangest similarity between the Keeper, a pretty creepy man I had fun reading about and whose twist I saw coming but OH WELL, and the lead love interests in many currently popular YA paranormal romance books (none of whom shall be named because we know who they are). If I had to compare how certain YA "heroes" act toward their leading ladies and how the Keeper treats Azalea, I would have to say they're almost alike. The difference? The Keeper is the antagonist, not a love interest. What does that say for the state of some of the love interests in YA right now? Not a lot of good, I'll tell you.
Okay, I admit, that was a very cheap shot. I'm full of them today.
Yes, Entwined had a few issues. It develops slowly and the little bits and pieces that are given out at a time might not be enough to keep all readers invested. Heck, I was loving each and every page and even I had trouble keeping my attention on it sometimes! (Okay, maybe that was because I was watching InuYasha while reading much of the novel.) Anyone looking for an actiony book that moves quickly will be pretty disappointed. I should take a star off for it. Will I? No! I am so in love with this lovely, lovely book that it gets its lost star back. It has inspired me to happily squee and as regular friends and readers of mine might now, I AM NOT SO EASILY INSPIRED TO HAPPILY SQUEE OVER BOOKS (unless kittens are involved).
Bonus, but did you know that this author is awesome? Because she is. I found her blog when I was looking to see if she was busy writing away on any other books at this time (and woe, I do not think she is) and she's so funny! Like the little comic strips that show up and how back in March 2011 when her book first came out, she had a giveaway of her book where you entered by coloring in one of three pictures in any medium you wanted and sending it in. I will not lie: I laughed. I laughed when I saw one of the pictures and said, "Oh, that is so Bramble." Fans of fluffy novels so adorable that you start squealing, "This is so effing cute!" (which I have been doing since before I even finished the book) need not look any further. Here is your next read.
Top reviews from other countries
Based on the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Heather Dixon tells the story of Azalea and her eleven sisters. After their mother dies shortly after the birth of twelfth daughter Lily, the palace goes into mourning. The princesses love nothing better than to dance, but dancing is forbidden during mourning! Upon discovering a secret pavilion through a tunnel in the fireplace, the girls go there every night to dance at the Keeper’s pleasure. However, Keeper is a mysterious man and it is not too long until his sinister side shows itself.
Full of everything a good fairy-tale should have (magic, royalty, magic and romance) Entwined certainly exceeded my expectations of it. Although the premise is familiar there are bits that will surprise the reader and the plot is actually quite dark at times. You become absorbed by the many aspects of the girls’ story and their lives.
I loved this book and all it had to offer. However, I can see how this wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It is certainly quite a feminine book and I would think it would be more appealing to those with an interest in fantasy, fairy-tales and romance. That said, I would think it’s worth reading and very rewarding once you reach the end.
As mentioned, I like my fairy tales to have a little more edge to them, and this was the main problem with ENTWINED. I just found it too fluffy. The princesses were too sweet, their world (even in grief) seemed almost too sugar-coated, the action seemed too predictable. Personally, I did not feel connected to the princesses, which meant that I ended up having little interest in what happened to them.
It is a shame. Dixon has not written a poor book, just one that does not appeal to me.
The pictures this paints in your mind as you read it are stunning, the characters ( especially that of the sisters and their relationship to each other ) are simply wonderful!
I read it and loved it and had to get a copy for my mother as well.
Will most certainly read it again and again!