Sunday, January 16, 2011
ARC Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon
Author: Heather Dixon
Book #: 1
Release Date: March 29th 2011
Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
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.
In this revamped version of Twelve Dancing Princesses, Azalea and her sisters battle a magical and non-magical world. They find a hidden forest in their bedroom, where they dance at night during the year of mourning after their mother dies. The princesses had grown up dancing everyday with their mother, the Queen, but during mourning, dance is not permitted in the castle. When they find the forest with the handsome Keeper to take care of them, they are thrilled, but it soon takes an awful turn into a world they can't control and can't escape.
Azalea, the oldest Princess, must take care of her sisters and finds the forest. She takes the responsibility of her eleven siblings when the King is grief stricken and refuses to take time off from the war to grieve properly. Azalea battles with many conflicts throughout the book: whether to take her sisters to the magical forest every night, whether she should patch things up with her father, what to when it turns out the magic isn't all good, and what to do when she starts to fall in love. As the reader, I really enjoyed seeing her life through her eyes. She was a kind, loving, smart character who grew on me throughout the book. I enjoyed reading her thoughts about dancing, why it made her so calm and relaxed, why dancing was enough for her to risk her life. I loved the way that Azalea saw her sisters. She was very protective of them and wanted to keep them safe, but also let them be happy.
The King was hard to like in the beginning of the novel. When he yelled and locked himself away, I had to remind myself that he was grieving after the loss of his wife. Other than Azalea, his daughters were amusing and all had extremely different personalities. One of my favourite main elements of the novel was that the first letter in the names of each princess were the first twelve letters of the alphabet in the order of when they were born.
Mr. Bradford. He is my favourite male character in this novel. Although he wasn't in many of the scenes, he was a sweet, kind person. I enjoyed the cute, courting type of romance that was displayed, not just by Azalea and her love interests, but her sisters also.
As for the overall plot, I enjoyed it. The cross between a dark, twisted tale and the sweet story of family and terrible loss was fantastic. I love paranormal/fantasy and historical novels, and I think this one was a great blend of the two. I would like to give this book a rating of three and a half masks.