Thursday, December 15, 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon


March 29, 2011
by Greenwillow Books

Premis: Ganked from Goodreads:
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.

My Review:

This story trips along, no, dances, skips, leaps and crashes, shattering glass everywhere. 472 pages fly by as if there’s only half that many. The fable of the 12 Dancing Princesses is followed closely enough that I looked forward to how the author would make the next connection, but not so closely that it was completely predictable, which is fun-fun-fun. I read with a smile and chuckle and even a snort or two, looking forward to jumping back in whenever I was pulled away.

This book is too fast of a read to allow real spoilers. So, here are my thoughts spoiler-free-ish:

I am not a dancer (*ahem!*) and I don’t get over-excited about which shoes I’m dancing in and definitely not how poufy my skirts are. The dancing and clothing references – for me- were just “cute”, which borderlines irritating. The story is not dependent on this cuteness, but if you like ballroom clothes and moves, this might be near-heaven.

The relationship between the sisters was also “cute” to me, which still borderlines irritating. I see the struggle of incorporating all 12 working with each other against everyone else, so I was forgiving of all the piles of poufs and giggles. But my experience with siblings has less giggles and more disagreements and so the general harmony felt managed to me, forced.  Then again... after seeing Dixon's bio, maybe she knows something I missed? 

Azalea was by far the deepest character. I don’t know why she did a few things she did. I want to pull her aside and have a conversation with her about them. She was so real, I feel I could.

The slippery bridge - seriously, what is up with that bridge?!

My favorite cute aspect of Entwined was the budding romances. I saw enough of various characters both of the sisters and the visiting men that the connections made sense and were endearing. I would have like more for Azalea - actually, I would have liked a little more depth through-out, but I am forgiving of that, too, since 472 pages is healthy, and as I said initially, they trip along so fast.

Even better than cute… is this whole dark side. Dixon leaps right into the deep, black hidden side of the castle. I discovered what was going on right along with Azalea, which was absolutely great. She begins so trusting and grows as a character to be… not-so-trusting. 

The character of the Father King is really great, too. I found him realistic and ever-changing, which added greatly to the story.

The cover is a good representation with the beautiful dress and the castle in the background. Azalea looks to be running through the garden, which is highly appropriate. “Entwined” looked beautiful, too, although with the wall directly ahead of her, there is that hint of getting captured, which… is a good representation. I just love the way that word “Entwined” looks so… innocent.

My Rating:  4 - Pretty Darn Good.   I give a lot of credit for speed, not to mention leaving me hungry for more of this author's books!!

Heather DixonDid you know Heather Dixon blogs?!  Check this out... she's totally fun!!

Heather Dixon grew up in a large family with four brothers and six sisters. She is a storyboard artist as well as a writer, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Viennese waltz is her dance of choice. She is the author of the novel Entwined