Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Release Date: 3/29/2011
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About the Book: Princess Azalea is the oldest of twelve daughters who love to dance. But when their mother suddenly passes away after the birth of their newest sister, the princesses are to go into mourning-which means no dancing. So when they find a secret forest they can escape into and dance the night away, the princesses disappear each night to dance. What they soon discover is that a man named Keeper is trapped in their dancing world and he's trying to lure them and keep them there for deadly reasons.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'll be the first to admit that fantasy is a genre I sometimes have hard time getting into, but I do love me some fairy tale retellings. I think it's because I love discovering how an author will take a familiar story and twist it around and make it something new. In the case of Entwined, Heather Dixon takes the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses and turns it into a lush, romantic mystery.
There were many things I loved about this book. First off, I really liked that while Azalea and her sisters were princesses, they were poor. They weren't spoiled and living a life of luxury. This really stood out to me and I felt it made the characters more real because I could relate to them more-instead of trying to understand their extravagent lifestyle that you sometimes find when royalty is involved.
The cast of characters is rich and developed. Twelve sisters can be hard to keep track of, especially on audio, which is how I read this one. But the author makes each girl unique and gives each girl her own voice and personality. There's also romance to the story-and not just one romance storyline, but three-an extra treat for romance fans! Some of the romance stories are a bit predictable and another is a nice twist to the story that took me by surprise. I liked how at first I wasn't a fan of the character but I grew to like him as the romance developed. All the suitors are sweet and kind in their own way and while there are nice romances to the story, it never overpowers the story. There is plenty of mystery and intrigue with Keeper and his backstory and why he is so intent on the girls dancing.
The King is one of the characters that stood out the most to me and development in his realtionship with the princesses is what made the book really work for me. The King is standoffish at first and not sure how to deal with the loss of his wife and not having to care for twelve daughters. But he works at it and he learns how to be a father and the princesses learn how to be daughters. You don't often see a positive growth of adults in YA and I liked that the King tried his best and learned how to be father. I also liked that the princesses accepted that there was growth that they could mend their relationship with the King instead of brushing him off. This growth between them gave the book a nice sensitive story and made the characters more human, if that makes sense.
This is magical retelling and I loved it on audiobook. The narrator had a nice, lilting voice with just the right amount of mystery. If you're looking for a standout fairy tale retelling with depth to the story, be sure to check out Entwined-in book or audio!
Book Pairings: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu