Release Date: Out now!
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
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.
Azalea is the oldest of eleven sisters and she has everything she could possibly ask for - she lives in a magical castle, she has many male suitors, she gets to wear gorgeous gowns and she can dance to her heart's content at beautiful and extravagant balls. But with her mother suddenly dying from giving birth to her twelfth child, Azalea and her sisters are left in the hands of their cold, distant father whom barely acknowledges them. With the king, the sister's father, locking down the kingdom to grieve and mourn for their loss, the princesses barely have the chance to be happy and dance again. But once the king sets off to war, the sisters secretly enter another realm where they can dance the night away which then leads them to meet a young man named 'Keeper' and he is the one person who is about to change the world they know . . . forever.
I mostly picked up this book because it was based on the Brothers Grimm's The Twelve Dancing Princess fairytale which happens to be a dear favourite of mine as a child, but it's very rare to come by it - being retold - in a young adult book, so ENTWINED definitely had peaked my interest since its release. While fairytale adaptations in books can be a hit or miss for some readers, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well the author, Heather Dixon, tackled this fairytale and I thought she did a fantastic job of it, adding not only her own take on the tale but also offering up a dark-creepy-twist which was a highlight.
With magical visuals being awesome and fantastically displayed throughout the novel, but personally for me the best part of the storyline were the characters. Each one of the sisters had their own distinctive personalities and they offered up great entertainment in all of the actions they had done. But the shining star was of course our leading and strong-willed heroine, Azalea, whom was the bravest, the most compassionate and the most selfless of all the girls, and since she was the oldest it was her responsibility to take charge and be the motherly figure for her family which I loved her for. While I loved the romantic love interests set-up for Azalea's character and how sweet the romantic scenes were, but the reason why I'm not giving this book a higher star rating was due to the lack of romance presented in the book. Whether it was depth-wise or the lack of romantic scenes, I still hoped there would be more development for the romances but it was still so innocent and sweet. And the guy Azalea ends up falling for . . . I totally approve!
Overall, Heather Dixon's ENTWINED was a great book that contained plenty of action and twists to keep its readers engaged from the beginning to end. Like me, if you love a good old classic fairytale retelling in your young adult books, then I would highly recommend you giving this book a go because I'm sure you're going to love it just as much as I did!