Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)
Source: Publisher and Audiobook
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.
Entwined is a romantic and lighter retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and while charming and intriguing it could have taken a bit more polish to refine this novel and make it truly shine.
Let it be known that I truly adored this book and it's main protagonist Azalea and her many memorable sisters; Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Eve, Flora, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale and Lily. They all had distinct personalities that made them distinguishable in the story, which is a plus. Azelea and her sisters loved to dance the routines they learned from their beloved mother, then all is halted when their mother dies and they must go into mourning for a year. Yet, when the girls need their father the most he becomes distant and leaves the palace with strict instructions that the mourning protocol be followed to the letter. This leaves Azelea and her sisters are saddened beyond words for dancing is their only source of comfort, something that brings them fond memories of their mother and now it is banned. Then with a bit of magic and longing the girls encounter a secret passageway and find a world of possibilities before them and "The Keeper". Soon Azelea and her sisters are dancing their nights away but all of this forbidden delight comes at a cost and the truth behind it is wickedly terrifying.
For the most part it was a pleasure to witness and become a part of this magical world that Azelea and her sisters inhabited. I adored the the family aspect of this read and reveled in the unexpected romances that gave my heart a bit of warmth not to mention the times I gripped my book whenever the mysterious Keeper became increasingly evil, but there were times that I would find myself drifting, lost in the storyline that seemed to have an overabundance of words. That fact is one of the crucial reasons that I struggled with reading this story. Imagine going to dinner and being forced to eat appetizer after appetizer when all you wanted was the main course then when you get to it you can only take a few bites because you are stuffed, that is how I can best described how I feel. If I had to read another time that our protagonist dug her nails into the palms of her hands to keep from unleashing her temper I think I would have lost it. So, now that I have gotten that out of my system I can move on.
It is not my intent to discourage others from reading this tale of magic infused with bits of romance and a good dose of scary because it is a good read that only needed a bit of magic tightening up to be truly spectacular.