Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Entwined, by Heather Dixon

From Goodreads:
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.


Entwined is absolutely breathtaking - beautifully written and deliciously told, it has everything a good story should.  Romance, dancing, magic, a brave heroine, and a devilish villain.  Dixon wove an intricate fairytale of mystery and intrigue coupled with sisterly camaraderie and ancient secrets.
I was hooked on the very first page and quickly drawn into the story.  Azalea is the oldest daughter of her father, the King.  As such, whomever she marries will become the next King.  It made for an interesting twist to the love story.

After her mother passes away, the palace is draped in mourning.  Confined to the indoors and black clothing, Azalea and her eleven sisters seek refuge in dancing late at night in a magic pavilion beneath their bedroom.  The only catch is Keeper, the dashing gentleman that grants their access to the pavilion each night. 

Keeper was a fantastic villain.  He was handsome, mysterious, and completely terrifying.  He was so utterly creepy.  It doesn't take long for his charm facade to fall away and for his true horrific nature to appear.  But by the time it does, Azalea and her sisters are already entangled in his web.

There were underlying currents to the story that I enjoyed.  Throughout the book, Azalea and her sisters feel that their father, the King, is distant and cold.  In turn, they distance themselves from him.  As the plot progresses, the girls learn to forgive their father for his shortcomings and to love him openly.  The King also learns how to handle his grief and repair the damage that was done after the Queen died. 

A word about the love story:  I was absolutely in love with Azalea's heartthrob from his first appearance.   I hate reading books where the girl is desperate and always falls for the guy that is the meanest to her.  I was extremely pleased in the man that Dixon created for Azalea.  He was perfect for the story, and perfect for the princess.

This book was original, beautiful, and funny.  It was a fantastic escape from reality into a beautiful world of dancing princesses, handsome gentlemen, and a magic palace.  

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)

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