AUTHOR: Heather Dixon
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
FANTASY ELEMENT: Magic
PUBLISHED: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)
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.
This is retelling of the fairytale of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses.” The story begins when the girls lose their mother and must endure a full year of mourning. The beginning of this book really seemed kind of flat, but as I read on it became more interesting. I wasn’t sure if I could endure reading a year of mourning. But as the mystery unfolded, I couldn’t put it down. (And the pretty cover, kept me picking it back up.)
The overall story is good. I like when there is something to figure out, then when it comes to light and I’m right, I feel rewarded. I like how positive and delightful the narrator’s voice is throughout. It has a notable affect on the entirety of the story. Azalea is dainty and powerful, an enigma. She is commanding yet agreeable. I love her positively trusting nature yet her distrust in her father and their growth in the end.
The old timey language was charming and made it feel like we were back in the middle ages (even though I’ve never been there.) But I was nervous about all the talk of dancing (not being a dancer myself.) I have to say that it was enchanting to hear of their passion for dance. The dances added to the tone of each scene and represented where they were in the current situation.
I’d definitely recommend this book to teens and as early as preteens. It is appropriate for all audiences. Thankfully rated PG, if it were a movie. I am grateful for clean books! Yay! (This one goes on my 10 year old’s “To Read” list.)