Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon
Author: Heather Dixon
Genre: Fairy Tale Re-Telling, Young Adult
Publisher: Greenwillow (29th March 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 and dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea might not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
In Entwined Heather Dixon re-tells the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm. Dixon reimagines the story from the point of view of the eldest daughter, Azalea.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses is one of my favourite fairy tales. I can remember reading it as a child and falling in love with it. When I heard that Heather Dixon had written a re-telling of the story I had to get my hands on a copy. I really am glad that I did. The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous. I love the use of the silver foil to create the leaves, and the fact that the cover is made up of greens and yellows.
Entwined was a really good read. I enjoyed the fact that Dixon re-imagined the story from Azalea’s point of view. It was really interesting to see how and why the events of the story happen like they do. I also enjoyed the fact that all the sisters were named for the corresponding letter of the alphabet, so you have – Azalea, Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Eve, etc. The book really focuses on the fortunes of Azalea, Bramble and Clover but the other sisters are important and don’t just disappear into the background, which I thought was good writing on Dixon’s part. There is a definite sense of closeness on the sisters’ part, which I really liked. Dixon also did a good job with writing the King and his relationship with his daughters – I liked the way it evolved, especially as Azalea began to understand him more.
The Keeper is a very creepy character. I think Dixon wrote him brilliantly because whilst there is a definite creep factor to him that increases as the story unfolds, there is something strangely compelling about him. In The Keeper Dixon has created a really interesting and complex character, and it’s really interesting to watch/read events unfold.
If you are a fan of fairy tales and of re-tellings of them then this is definitely a book you should check out. It stays pretty faithful to the original story, but there are enough differences to make it very feel like Dixon’s story.
Becki is the owner and blogger on The Flutterby Room. She has an MA English through the Open University, and she gained her BA (Hons) English with Creative Writing from University College Falmouth. Books have been a huge part of her life for as long as she can remember, and although she is primarily a reader she does occasionally dabble with writing. When not reading (which isn’t that often) Becki can be found cooking, baking or listening to music – and sometimes doing two of the three at once.
The Flutterby Room is on hiatus throughout the month of March 2015.
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