So I finished my first book of my 52 in 52 last Friday, but I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to say about the book. I don’t necessarily want to review the book, just lay down my thoughts about the story. So here I go 🙂
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Entwined is a retelling of the fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I’ve read a few different takes on the fairytale as well as the actual fairytale itself, so I was interested in seeing how this particular version would be told. The story begins with a description of the dance, “The Entwined,” which I found a very creative touch to the story. The idea of the dance, which later shows up in the story, is also a great foreshadowing of some of the events that Azalea (the main character) ends up in. Also, I loved the back story on the house and former king. The enchanted castle was a great setting choice and the back story helped the reader understand why some of the magical things existed–my favorite being the charmed sugar-cube tongs.
Azalea was a good main character for this story. She was a strong older sister, but also compassionate and still young in some ways which allowed the reader to understand some of her choices. Her relationship with all the other characters really added to the humanization of the fairytale. The reader gets to see a loving mom, a caring and responsible older sister, and a loving, but at times harsh father. The three different suitors that appear in the book are also interesting. Although I was under the impression that all three might possibly be suitors for Azalea, I quickly figured out who the actual suitor was suppose to be.
The only problem I seemed to have with the novel was some storyline issues involving the sisters. In the beginning of the novel there are only 11 girls. But soon into the novel, a twelfth one arrives. My issues begins when the sisters bring the newborn of only a few months down dancing with them. Some of the actions involving the youngest sister seemed a little far-fetched for my liking.
Other than that particular problem, I found the novel enjoyable to read. It only took me a day and into the night to finish it. I liked the added darkness of the novel involving the antagonist as well as the darker feelings seen in the father and the natural setting. Not to go all English-major on you all, but I just finished taking an 18th-century British Lit course and we learned about Edmund Burke’s Sublime and Beautiful as well as the Gothic novel–all of which I see working within this novel. It definitely was a nice little read and I encourage you to pick it up for a try if you are interested in the fairytale retelling or a novel with some old time supernatural elements. It was a creative and definitely seemed a more darker take on the story and I enjoyed it!