Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: 12 and up
Buy This Book: Amazon
I received Entwine a few weeks ago from my book club, and marveled at its beautiful, enchanting, and fantastical cover. I am always drawn by anything that I deem 'fairytale-ish' or 'fantasy-ish', and Entwined no doubt seemed to fit both descriptions. However, as I picked up the book and scanned the first two pages, I found the writing tasteless and dry. I set it down and decided to wait a week before deciding whether to pick it up again.
A week later, Entwined is sitting on my bed, and staring at me with a frown. I'm contemplating whether or not I should return it, and then I decide that a book with a cover that beautiful should at least get a try of fifty pages. And so I start it again, and soon, minutes later, I am getting close to my fifty. But I can't stop! The writing is wonderful, the pace smooth and unwrinkled, and the characters absolutely delightful!
Entwined is a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. Azalea, our main protagonist, has a beautiful mother with 11 younger beautiful sisters. But when her mother falls ill and passes away, the once happy and cheerful castle is put into Mourning, the year in which Azalea and her sisters must spend the time inside, wear black clothes, and no dancing whatsoever. Azalea and her sisters, who love dancing more than anything else, are hung over with grief-but then Azalea discovers a secret passage under the princess' room. Underneath is a magical world with silver trees and a magnificent pavilion that allows them to dance the night away. And the man who is the caretaker of this wonderful world, Keeper, invites them to come back every night and dance again and again. But when Keeper slowly starts to entwine them all, Azalea must find a way to escape his clutches-or remain his for eternity.
Entwined was beautiful and almost indescribable. It's romance was delicious, and it's characters warm and inviting. I enjoyed Heather Dixon's style of writing, and the humanity found in her words. Though Entwined does not call for a sequel, I will be eagerly waiting for her next work, and ready to devour that one as well. You can call Entwine one of the best books I have read in a long time.