Thursday, June 02, 2011

Review: Entwined

Heather Dixon
2011; Greenwillow Books; ISBN 978-0-06-200103-0 (hardcover)

Summary:  For the twelve princesses of D'Earthe, the death of their mother is a tragedy.  Their firm, distant father, lost in his grief, immediately sets off for war.  This leaves Azalea, the oldest princess, in charge of her sisters.  She thinks that dancing, the activity that their mother loved so much, is the best way to honor her memory.  The princesses are strictly forbidden to dance, however.  So when they discover a secret passage to a magical dancing pavilion overseen by the mysterious Keeper, the girls leap at the opportunity.  Yet the Keeper is not what he appears to be, and Azalea soon realizes that she will have to save her sisters and herself.  In a world of magic and Swearing on Silver, Azalea will discover the deepest magic of all.

This meaty retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a moving look at grief and love.  The princesses slowly learn to live with their mother's loss, finding new strength within themselves and unexpected support from their father, who works to redeem his past mistakes.  With twelve princesses, it would be easy to lose track of who is who, but Dixon cleverly characterizes the girls, allowing for the older the princess, the more fully realizes her character.  Lush prose never becomes overwrought, although a few anachronistic, out-of-place expressions slip out from time to time.  Fairy tale retellings have always been popular, and Entwined will be warmly welcomed by those who enjoyed the contributions of Jessica Day George and Alex Flinn.

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Girls in the Stacks:

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