Author: Heather Dixon
Publication Date: 03/29/2011
I adore Grimm's Fairy Tales, full stop. So when I saw that this book was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses I was all over it, although everything about just looking at this book makes you want to pick it up. The cover art is gorgeous and the silver foil leaves and ivy coiling around the front are incredibly striking. Another book with great art direction.
The book starts out with a description of Azalea and her sisters' antics at glimpsing a peek of prior annual balls which really sets the stage for a host of twelve individual personalities. Although Azalea is our narrator, you do get a feel for most of the sisters, and with twelve of them I found myself really impressed by Dixon's ability to have each be unique. By the way, all of the sisters are named for flowers alphabetically from oldest to youngest, by the wish of the King, which I found incredibly amusing and quite apt to describe his character. This year Azalea is of age to attend her first ball: here she meets a curious new guest, some interesting presents under the tree, and receives some terrible news that sets the stage for the rest of the book.
Entwined is really an incredibly sweet and touching retelling. The first 60 or so pages of exposition are a bit slow, but from there the pace really gains speed. After I hit that sort of sweet spot I couldn't put it down. One of my favorite things about it was her ability to write it in an old sort of rather proper English that would seem out of place most everywhere else but fits perfectly and aids the tone of the story. By the end of the book I found myself wanting to learn how to properly dance. No, I'm not kidding - doesn't the Entwine sound like fun?
I will happily and heartily recommend this book to just about anyone who loves a good story - and I read this book outside on a sunny day, but it would be perfect to curl up with on a rainy day, too. And - don't give up on the King! He's my favorite character and he will surprise you!