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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: Entwined

Entwined (ARC) by Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pub. Date: March 29th, 2011
Pages: 480
Age Level: 12+
Source: For review from publisher

Synopsis via Goodreads
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.

I would like to start this review by saying that, while I know what it is about, I have not read The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm, the story that Entwined is a retelling of. Therefor, do not expect any comparisons or analysis of how this story worked as a retelling. I will be judging Entwined solely upon itself and its individual merit.

Though I didn't connect with her immediately, Azalea turned out to be a lovely, well-balanced and developed heroine. What I grew to love about her was that while she was a strong protagonist, it wasn't in a kick-ass, in-your-face kind of manner. No, her strength was more subtle and, to me, particularly obvious in the ways that she took care of her sisters and stood up to the King. I admired that, while Azalea did have her occasional 'damsel in distress' moments, she had her heroic times as well. There was a determination and slight bit of spunk about her that contributed admirably to her personality. She also had her flaws, one being impulsiveness, which I felt made her more relatable and realistic.

There were some very distinct and well-crafted supporting characters as well. First is Bramble, the second to oldest of the twelve princesses. She's full of fire, attitude, and can be a handful but I felt she added a much appreciated humor to Entwined and I found myself loving her character. The King starts off petulant and stubborn but I really felt he grew and developed throughout out the book and, by the end, he was much more the role of the loving father than the strict King. And true, I felt the princesses did sometimes make things a touch more difficult than absolutely necessary when it came to him. Then there is Mr. Bradford, whom I really liked, but would have preferred to have seen more of as I don't feel like I was able to get a significant sense of his character. Last but far from least is Keeper. He's mysterious, devilishly handsome, and brought just the right amount of darkness to the plot. Though I knew his secret ahead of time, he still continued to intrigue and captivate me. There was just something so deliciously dangerous about him. *swoon*

Entwined is an enchanting, shimmering blend of fantasy, romance, and historical elements. Even when it was slow in the beginning, and in a few places throughout, it never failed to be compelling or enjoyable. At close to five-hundred pages, I was surprised by how quickly I was able to read Entwined. Though a bit predictable, for the most part, I didn't mind. The Palace and Silver Forest made for a most magical and intoxicating setting that came up out of the pages and wrapped itself around me before snatching me further into the book.

Dixon has a beautiful writing style that I could easily get lost in, flowing smoothly from one page to the next. With luminous and vivid descriptions, she brought me that much deeper into Azalea's life and world. In general, I liked the third-person narrative and thought it worked wonderfully. However, as per usual, it caused me to take a little longer forming a close bond with Entwined and its characters.

Okay so I pretty much knew, before I even started Entwined, that it would have a happy ending, which it did. Considering this is a fairy tale, I was fine with that. Here's, however, what I absolutely loved about the ending. After all was said and done, several of the characters had contributed to saving day and it was this collaborative effort of heroism that really made this ending for me.

All in all, Entwined is a gorgeously crafted, rich, and ever so slightly dark fairy tale that truly engaged my senses. I believe anyone who is a fan of this genre will devour and love this story. I strongly recommend Entwined and can see myself possibly reading it again later on. I'll be looking forward to Dixon releasing another book in the future.

Characters: A-
Writing: B+
Plot: B
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B+

Cover: B+

Buy Entwined now: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository

A big thanks to HauntedOrchid and ArtsyBookishGal for helping me restore this review after I lost it on the night of April 28th. I lost previous comments though. So if you had previously commented on this review, let me know because I have your comments in my archives and can give it to you to repost want.


Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

You are very welcome! I'm glad that ENTWINED has been restored and fear that The Keeper may have been behind the review's devilish disappearance.

I finally broke down and ordered ENTWINED from Amazon. It's coming soon. I can't wait.

I'll be honest...the first thing I felt in love with was the cover. Ah...

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I don't remember commenting on this before, so I'll go ahead and comment now.

I have never read The Twelve Dancing Princesses either, but I've been hearing some great things about Entwined. I haven't read too many fairy-tale retellings, so I think I'll have to give this one a shot. If I enjoy it, maybe I'll be more likely to go out of my comfort zone and read more things like it. I've seen this one around a bit, but the synopsis never really caught my attention. Your review is making me reconsider though, so thanks :)

Lesley said...

I've ordered it from Amazon, I can't wait to read it. I enjoyed your review.

My keeper shelf

Ashley said...

I can't believe you aren't familiar with the original tale!! It's been my favorite fairy tale for as long as I can remember! :)

Fairy tale retellings are some of my most favorite books to read and I thought this one was absolutely magical! Wonderful review.

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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