Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review of Entwined by Heather Dixon

Entwined
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.

The moment I saw the cover of Entwined I knew that I had to read it. The gorgeous dress, the garden and the castle give off a this-is-the-ultimate-magical-fairy-tale feel. It turned out to be an okay read. Unfortunately, I spent a good deal of this novel thinking of how it dragged onwards. I will say right now that I read an ARC, so the final version could vary slightly from what I read.

Entwined is based off of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses and focuses on the oldest sister, Azalea. The story takes place in the year after the death of the princesses’s mother and is about the chaos that ensues when they use dancing, an activity forbidden during mourning, as an escape. I loved the world and setting Dixon created, but wasn’t as fanatical about how she developed her characters.

At the beginning of the novel, the way Dixon described the girls made them all unappealing as characters to me. They all seemed so virtuous and well-behaved, especially Azalea, and Dixon’s descriptions of them often rubbed me the wrong way. Her writing also had a tendency to get redundant, which is a particular pet peeve of mine. Other times I would read a sentence and be like, “Wait, why did she spend forever on that other thing and barely mention this?” I wish that the story had been more condensed overall, because I felt that it took a while to get to the action of the story.

I have to say, though, I think Dixon got something right: the romance. At first it felt like a light undertone beneath the real story, yet by the end it was both nicely incorporated and compelling. It definitely made me chuckle at unexpected points and had me smiling as I turned the final pages.

If you’re a huge fan of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, it’s probably worth it for you to pick up Entwined and see how you like it. Otherwise, this might be a fairy tale retelling to let pass you by. However, ever reviewer has a different opinion, so I've included links to some other reviews down below so you can get a variety of perspectives.

Squeaky Books

YA Bibliophile

Supernatural Snark

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.

3 comments:

  1. I just started this and I have high hopes for it because I adore fairy tale retellings. I have however seen other reviews mentioning its length and how it could have been shortened; I think I will probably agree with that.

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  2. I thought that there were some flaws in this one, but overall, I really enjoyed it. Fairy tale retellings are some of my absolute favorite books to read, and often, the most important element to a retelling for me personally is how it *feels*. And this one felt just exactly like a fairy tale should feel. It wasn't perfect, but it felt exactly right, so I'd have to say that I'm definitely a fan.

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  3. The things that bothered you are the same things that bother me in a book. I have been hearing nice things about this book and I love fairy tale re-tellings. I'm not sure if I'll pick this up or not yet.

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