Entwined by HEATHER DIXON
Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her 11 sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish (goodreads).
Heather Dixon's debut novel is absolutely darling and I loved it to pieces. With an army of interesting characters and a mysterious plot to boot, Entwined will make all fans of fairy tales and historical fiction swoon at Ms. Dixon's feet.
Azalea is the oldest of 12 sisters living a lavish life of balls and dancing. When tragedy strikes their family, the princesses find themselves in a world of dreary colors without dancing and parties. With a discovery of a staircase that leads to a magical pavilion, the sisters are able to dance their nights away with no one none the wiser, until their host decides that there is a price to pay in exchange for their nightly rituals.
This book is adorable and I never wanted it to end. The plot moved at a perfect pace with equal parts romance, mystery, and characterization. The book begins with Azalea planning her first Christmas Ball in hopes of pleasing her ever-absent father the King. The very next day Azalea and her sisters are dressed in black with absolute no talking of dancing or parties which does not sit will with the girls. I loved this novel because it had a decisive beginning, middle and end and nothing was left out, nor was anything rushed. Dixon took her time setting up the characters, the setting and took her time approaching the conflict.
One of the main reasons I loved this book so much is because of the characters. Azalea and her sisters are absolutely hilarious and have the best interactions. I don't really know how to explain it in a simple review so I'll include a bit of dialogue from the novel:
“Down with tyranny!' Bramble cried. 'Aristocracy! Autocracy! Monocracy! Other ocracy things! You are outnumbered, sir! Surrender!”and:
“You forgot my birthday, too."
The girls looked miserable. The King opened his mouth, then shut it.
"Sir!" whined Lord Teddie. "You forgot my birthday, too!"
Bramble gave a surprised laugh, then slapped her hand over her mouth, as though shocked at letting it out. The tension broke. The girls laughed sheepishly, and Lord Teddie beamed. He probably did not have many ladies think him funny. In fact, he probably got slapped by a lot of them.”
Do you see what I mean? Just charming and hilarious! Each character had such a livelihood that I WANTED this to be made into a movie!
As you read from the example dialogue, Dixon's writing style has completely captured the essence of a fairy-tale with a historical fiction twist. Dixon's writing has such a charm that you'll experience fluffy feelings and stay up until the wee hours in the morning to try to squeeze in just one more chapter.
Entwined is an extremely lovable novel with characters that will stay with you long after you finish the final chapter. Heather Dixon has a ridiculous amount of talent and I hope that she takes a dip in the Young Adult genre again.
I highly recommend this novel for all lovers of fairytales and their retellings.