❮PDF❯ ✯ Entwined ⚣ Author Heather Dixon Wallwork – Uroturk.info
I liked Azalea and her sisters, and by the end I felt for the king as well I hated his treatment of his daughters at the start, but the story attempts to show growth Was it enough I m not sure I liked the love interest and the romance The villain was a good villain The climax got a little spooky.As for a retelling, I felt this was a pretty run of the mill fairytale world The world and magic felt pretty generic It stuck pretty closely to the original tale in a lot of ways, fleshing out descriptions and characters, and adding a backstory and source of conflict.I think if you like close retellings and fairytale worlds, you would enjoy this Potential triggers Pervy old man suitors, view spoiler death of mother hide spoiler Azalea and her eleven sisters are in mourning for their mother Their father, the king, is inexplicably cold toward them, presumably because he s got too much manpain over losing his wife to bother with anyone else s feelings Bereft of their father and mother both, the girls turn to dancing in an attempt to remember happier times, except dancing is forbidden when you re in mourning so their dance teacher is sent away, their endless supply of dance slippers dries up, and all their clothes are dyed black Enter Keeper Keeper maintains a magical forest beneath the castle, in which a grand pavilion stands ready to supply the princesses with music, food, and solitude Of course, the Keeper turns out to be of the moustache twirling variety, and it all goes south from there.There are elements to this story that positively glitter with potential the beautiful underground pavilion with its lush descriptions and sinister host the stories of the dead king s maimed victims lord Teddie in all his awesome glory Unfortunately, these things are all largely ignored in the main plot, or else thrown around like ornamental confetti to dazzle the reader in between increasingly tedious developments Let s start with Azalea She s a listless main character, and watching the story unfold through her eyes is a claustrophobic experience She s stuck in a castle, she s stuck in mourning, she s stuck in a patriarchy, she s stuck in a co dependent family, she s stuck in the role of default parent to her younger siblings I kept waiting for her to break free, but she s so perfectly groomed for her role as princess that by the time we re halfway through the book it s pretty clear she would never dream of suggesting that she could be queen without a husband, or else choose her own husband, or abdicate, or do much of anything Even toward the climax of the book, Azalea s father literally has to take her by the hand and thrust her weapon for her She s just that ridiculously passive All she and her sisters think about is dancing, clothes, and boys They have a private teacher who s supposed to give them lessons every day, but they let him doze at the front of the classroom while they discuss dancing, clothes and boys some Presumably the younger sisters don t even know how to read, but who ll care as long as they can dance As for the sisters, they re mostly the same character a sort of blob of cutesy kids who never make much fuss except for Clover and Bramble Bramble, I feel, would have worked a little better as the protagonist of this story Or, better yet, Lord Teddie Lord Teddie investigating the mystery of the twelve dancing princesses is a book I d read and reread in a heartbeat He s the only sane presence in the whole book, a sort of Bertie Wooster character whose reactions to all the melodrama is spot on and usually hilarious and his attraction to Bramble is believable though I didn t care for the notion that since Bramble was too immature to accept his proposal, her father should accept for her , whereas Clover s boyfriend is a pseudo hebephile creeper and Azalea s is so bland I kept forgetting his name.Clover is a train wreck She s pretty She s sweet She likes corsets so comfy Everyone adores her Aaaaand she goes into rages during which, for example, she massacres a sentient tea set and drowns the feebly struggling remains When her love interest is sent a letter by a woman close to his age, she goes into another fit, tears the letter up, and decides no one s going to marry him but herself She s 13 14 at this point, and the man in question is probably somewhere in his late twenties or early thirties At fifteen, she s embroiled in a secret affair with this man, who s trying to convince her to elope because that s any grown man s rational response to a young teenager throwing herself at him, apparently I suppose we re expected to find this romantic She has no education, she s seen nothing of the world, experienced very little, and she doesn t have any friends outside her own family so, presumably, her gentleman is drawn to her inner sweetness , or whatever justification old men use when they want to marry pliant young girls And no, I don t care if that s the way things were back then It s gross Azalea even briefly reflects on how Clover s basically fallen for the first guy to ever show her an ounce of kindness, but then lets it go, because this isn t the kind of book where girls do anything to resist the status quo Whoever gets the dreamiest richest husband wins and the prize is probably dreary descriptions of dancing and swooning and weeping.Stylistically, I felt like the writer was trying very hard to be Ysabeau Wilce, which, unfortunately, only works for Ysabeau Wilce As a result, the lovely quirky bits and the sometimes absolutely brilliant descriptions loved the liquid pearls in the underground forest soon gave way to Azalea spending an indecent amount of time crying out her lines Exclamation points abound There s crying, weeping, whinging, gasping, crying, tantrums it s exhausting and degrading for everyone involved By the time the Big Confrontation finally happens, the character s behaviour resembles nothing so much as the flailing of an old timey silent film star, pounding her dainty fists ineffectually at the bad guy s chest until her dad and assorted boyfriends show up to save the womenfolk At this point, I threw up a little in my mouth. Just When Azalea Should Feel That Everything Is Before Her Beautiful Gowns, Dashing Suitors, Balls Filled With Dancing It S Taken Away All Of It And Azalea Is Trapped The Keeper Understands He S Trapped, Too, Held For Centuries Within The Walls Of The Palace So He Extends An InvitationEvery 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 Beware, this is a fangirly review, so there might be some slight spoilers about Entwined was a fairytale from beginning to end Enchanting, humorous, charming, and sweet Beauty swirled through every page And though there were pockets of intense darkness, this book, overall, was a swoon worthy tale with heartfelt lessons and giggles and loveliness I was grinning like a fool as I read the final pages torn between the desire to laugh or sob This book, my friends, THIS BOOK My second time reading it, and I simply adored it.Azalea is the eldest princess older sister to eleven unique and endearing sisters who a lot of the time sometimes get out of hand Unexpectedly, they are thrust into a mourning period, and forbidden to dance But they need to dance And are willing to embrace strange situations in order to do what they love.The characters The storyline The relationships The dancing The mannerism Everything Entwined is brilliant, in the sweetest of ways It s actually a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which happens to be one of my favorite fairytales And such a retelling The best one I ve ever read for this particular tale, indeed I think it was set in a Victorian like era, which was delightful The men wore top hats that s one fact that stood out to me, hehe It was fun And there were all these other lovely details that pointed to the Victorian era as well, I believe Absolutely scrumptious, historically wise except for some modern day phrases that popped up once or twice.And, as it s based off The Twelve Dancing Princesses, there s lots of dancing So many different dances touched on I loved it I absolutely loved it I like dancing around, and watching all manners of dancing, from folk dance to ballet So it was very fun to learn about different dances and watch as the sisters learned new steps and all that wondrous stuff One of my favorite aspects of Entwined Perfectly beautiful The sisters Azalea, the oldest, is our main character The two right under her, Bramble and Clover, had bits of their stories told as well, though the story was never told from their POV As for the rest, some are mentioned than others, but they re all usually there, clustered behind Azalea, eyes bright and smiles mischievous sweet grins Lily, the baby, is often gnawing on someone s pant leg hehe I love her I love that there s so many sisters, and that they re all named after flowers alphabetically , and their feminine ways and distinct womanliness, and that Azalea s kind of like their mother hen except when they don t want to listen to her , and they tease and look out for each other in such a sisterly way, and they make up big schemes together sometimes much to Azalea s chagrin I m simply delighted with the non stereotypical characters of Entwined Azalea is not the typical hard, tough, kick butt heroine She s motherly She s sweet She s proper and ladylike She hurts when her father is indifferent toward the sisters She s protective She s emotional She appreciates getting rescued when in need though she s mortified at how much of a disaster she looks each time In short, she s kind of like me, and I love her hugs Azalea I understand her I connect with her She s feminine She s a lady sigh How refreshing to have a woman character that insists on acting like a woman Mr Bradford, the King, Lord Teddie, Minister Fairweller I LOVED THEM They are definitely not the strikingly strong, devastatingly handsome heroes with silver tongues that make the women swoon In fact, they re rather the opposite Clumsy, rumpled, and a bit awkward Sometimes they don t know how to show a girl that they truly care about her But they end up being completely lovable, unique, and real Mr Bradford is my favorite He is so sweet Thoughtful Compassionate He leads, in a quiet way His crooked cravat and rumpled hair are even endearing grins What a fine young man He s perfect in an imperfect way, and I love that Every time he appears, my heart is happy And he totally is a hero You ll see why wink Lord Teddie is hilarious And silly He makes me giggle And he s wonderful The King I don t even know what to say I ll touch on him again later in this review Minister Fairweller, I knew there was something good about him smiles All the princesses are so funny From fiery Bramble, to baby Lily They dance, and curtsy, and spy, and rebel They cry, and bicker, and plan outlandish escapades.I was so touched by the father daughter relationships explored in this book It s like this journey to love To healing To realization People mess up and make mistakes Fathers do The twelve sisters are hurt and angry They decide to rebel against the King, strict and demanding and indifferent as he is Because he doesn t care about them At first, you re angry with the King too, and feeling for the girls hurt hearts But as the story progresses, a different side is shown I LOVE this journey to healing between a fumbling father and his many daughters It hurt It was hopeful It was tentatively humorous It was tender Beautiful view spoiler I love that the King not only made an effort to win back his younger daughters, who tend to forget and forgive easier but also his eldest daughter, who s about seventeen eighteen years of age It s hard for him, you can tell A widower who s grieving his wife and not sure what to do with twelve spirited daughters who crave his attention and affection Ah Absolutely priceless, this father daughter tale hide spoiler I m not really into retellings I m not I d rather an author tell me an original tale spun from their imagination Sometimes I feel retellings are cheating.However, I quite enjoyed Cinderby Marissa Meyer earlier this year, so I thought I d give Entwined a shot It has one of those generic white girl in a pretty dress YA covers, which I must confess I do think are really gorgeous However in this instance I m not convinced this is the best cover for this book I don t feel it really represents the book, explains what the book is about nor even represents any of the scenes I would even go so far as to say that this cover put me off reading this book sooner because of its generic ness I was terribly excited about this book only a few pages in, but this cover did not elicit the excitement I should have felt.Once I opened the book, I was blown away Just blown away I did not expect this calibre, wit, and execution The characters were simply gorgeous The writing was incredible And the humour I have never laughed out loud so many damn times in a novel that wasn t 1 a comedy or 2 written by a comedian It s just the humour The fluff The witty comebacks and fantastic situations It was just amazing.I have a firm idea how Dixon managed to write twelve sisters so masterfully Apparently she has a lot of siblings herself Although Azalea was our main character, I fell in love with Bramble just as prickly and defensive as her name and adorable little Ivy In fact, my heart leapt whenever Ivy appeared in the pages, and I almost cried when view spoiler she took the food from the dancers, got spooked, and cried to Lea for help hide spoiler Eathesbury is a small, poor kingdom, whose royal family pour their meager funds into keeping up appearances The eleven princesses ranging from sixteen year old heir to the throne Azalea to two year old Kale make do with drafty bedchambers and hand me down clothes But thanks to their dance obsessed mother, they know every possible way to twirl across a ballroom floor The King is preoccupied with war, trade, and other royal business R.B., as the girls call it at the expense of his daughters, not even the one who will inherit his crown Not one of the princesses, not even the little ones, call him Papa The warm and gracious Queen, on the other hand, is always there for the sisters, and they adore her.But alas, Mother succumbs to one of those nameless book diseases, leaving behind a twelfth princess for the other girls to look after Her last act before her death was to secure a promise from Azalea, that the Princess Royale would keep her younger sisters out of danger The King marches off to war with a nearby kingdom before his wife is cold in her grave He has forbidden all forms of merriment during the mourning period, but his daughters know their mother would want them to dance in her memory They ll get in trouble if they re caught dancing on the palace grounds but the pavilion at the heart of the magical garden in the basement surely doesn t count All the girls want to dance and laugh again, but the older ones are also drawn to the guardian of that enchanted place a graceful, black haired youth, who has no name except the title Keeper What exactly does he keep Why does he keep it Can the sisters trust him The answers are decidedly unpleasant Content Advisory Violence A man is fatally shot and bleeds heavily People get their hands broken reference to a historical figure getting hers chopped off People are dragged over floors or struck across the face More under Nightmare Fuel Sex Keeper acts increasingly creepy with Azalea On one occasion he kisses her while she s struggling to break free of him Language If you re Meg March, this book is full of bad words, including Blast and Great Scot If you re anyone else, there s nothing to worry about Substance Abuse Nothing Nightmare Fuel The High King not only murdered a number of people, he used magic to trap their souls within his palace, crushed between panes of cold mirror glass or confined to his dancing lawn with their eyes and or mouths sewn shut.Keeper can take on any shape he likes, and once tries to be kind of seductive with Azalea while wearing her mother s likeness Ew Another time he transforms into such a good copy of Az herself that even her sisters don t know which one is the real her.A handsome youth morphs into a decrepit elder before turning to dust with the weight of his years and evil deeds There s a reference to drinking blood.The abovementioned horror elements are especially jarring given the rather sugary tone of the rest of the book Politics Religion This fantasy world is a lot like nineteenth century Europe it even appears to be Christian That said, a piece of silver seems to be a effective ward against dark magic than a sacramental in this universe.ConclusionsI tried reading this book awhile back and it didn t click, so I m glad I reread it It s got much going for it than I noticed the first time Entwined is hard to put down, thanks to its detailed and charming setting, its clipped tempo, and the heartwarming scenes of sisterhood view spoiler The girls eventually letting their father back into their lives is also poignant and well written hide spoiler 4.5 starsEntwined is a retelling of the German fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses I m gonna be honest here, it s never been one of my favoritesShhhh However, this author manages to take a rather thin story aboutwell, twelve dancing princesses, and turn it into something really interesting In fact, other than Bella at Midnight, this is probably my favorite retelling.There s magic, romance, an evil villain, a cursed castle, daddy issues, sisterly love, a rug that likes to eat people, and yesdancing This story has it allAs an added bonus, the author doesn t bore you to death describing scenery 3.5 stars I read this as an audiobook, and recommend that medium if you aren t sure about reading this There were some areas where this book shined and others where it faltered First off, this is great for fans of family dynamics This focuses a lot on sisterly bonds and father daughter bonds especially This would also be good for fans of novels of manners and or lesser known Fairytale retellings.I did find that the writing was rather simple, and the book was longer than it needed to be I find that Heather Dixon s YA leans towards the middle grade side of the spectrum, so it and her characters tend to be a bit immature than I like Overall, an enjoyable audiobook but not something I would have picked up in physical form anytime soon. Oh, what absolute glorious beauty and fun and rapture I m all in a flutters, I can t stop smiling and swooning and laughing I had absolutely no doubt that I would love this book, and I did, oh so very much So much than I imagined Immensely, completely, utterly It captivated me from the very beginning, and kept a tight hold throughout the entire story I m still caught up in it This book is without a doubt one of my new absolute favorite books ever And rightly earned Just so The dancer inside me danced and soared and leapt with the princesses as they danced, as they lived and grew and loved The fairytale lover I am was enchanted with this beautiful retelling of my favorite fairytale And the absurdly hopeless romantic in me swooned at the heart fluttering, brilliant, joyful, beautiful romances I loved this book I loved it so so much You know the telling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, or The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces by the Grimm Brothers Entwined was a beautiful, fresh take on this tale of old It stayed true to most of the tale, but differed in a few things, and adding an intriguing, magical, dangerous twist 12 Princesses, whose mother just died, begin their year of mourning with the King, their father Donning black dresses every day, curtains pulled to smother any sunlight, no going outside, no dancing, no suitors, no talking of mother The King is utterly disheartened and depressed at the death of his beloved wife and queen He offs to war leaving his daughters, one of which just newly born the night her mother died, bitter and saddened at his abrupt departure It is while the King is away that they find the enchanted staircase leading them to the captivating pavilion where they dance their hearts out and shoes to pieces every night An oath is taken that prevents any girl from telling where they go to anyone But danger lurks in this enchanted world under the castle, and the girls have to find a way to thwart it, finding all sorts of love along the way Love for each other, for their papa, for dancing, and for men Each princess is named after a flower alphabetically, starting with the oldest at Azalea, and ending with the newborn Lily I loved each and every girl They all had a part, each one was able to show her colors and to let the reader get to know them Some didn t have as much spotlight, but they were never forgotten And they all shared such a strong sisterly, loving bond, deepened through dancing and holding their secrets close to their hearts This book is told from Azalea s perspective, but each sister s lives were entwined so much you always caught a glimpse of all the sisters no matter who the story was focusing on at the moment.Now for the romance Ooh, the romance There were several here, for the eldest sisters, each one as breathtaking and beautiful and romantic as the next As the eldest, Azalea doesn t really get a say in who her husband will be, since parliament votes on who will be the new king, and hence, chosen as Azalea s husband So naturally she fears that she ll never find love, but she finds herself falling in love with a handsome, swoon worthy, disheveled man Bramble feared she would never marry for love because who could love someone as headstrong and loudmouthed as she But she did, with the sweetest, most endearing, funny man Even Clover, the shyest of the bunch finds love with an unsuspecting man.Entwined is a divinely beautiful fairytale full of magic and love and humor Oh my gosh, the humor It was downright hilarious I couldn t stop laughing at the silliness of it, it just had those perfect moments tweaked, or drenched with humor that for some reason just caught me and threw me into a giggling and burst out loud laughing frenzy I don t know if others will find it as hilarious as I did, but it was such an amusing, frolicking ride for me, I don t care if I m the only one D I give most of the credit to Bramble Thank heavens for her ill mannered, unruly, outspoken, fiery personality It definitely livened up the reading.The ending was superbly beautiful and perfect and heart melting I read it like three times, and then hugged the book to my chest, grinning, and couldn t even stand the thought of putting it down to write this review Ah, I just want to read it again If you love fairytales, of any kind, READ THIS BOOK Read Entwined Glory in it, swoon over it, laugh at it, smile, love, lose yourself in the magic and enchantment I was absolutely and utterly riveted and enchanted This book was perfect for me, and I will forever love it and treasure it What are you waiting for Go read it Now. I need to re read Wildwood Dancing to cleanse my brain of the mess that is Entwined This book has one really fabulous idea That idea is the description and significance of the Entwine, a fictional court dance where the gentleman and lady begin at opposite ends of a sash The gentleman tries to entwine the lady, while the lady spends the dance avoiding such capture It was clever and witty and I wished there was magic integrated with dance in this book, but alas, it was not to be had.I hate to seem mean spirited, but that was everything that I found appealing about this book it s potential It is set in some pseudo historical society, period ambiguous Horses were named after English writers Dickens and some others which I found cutesy And do not get me started on the magic Confusing and not very compelling.None of the characters stood out to me, either, which was a real shame They were all bland and lukewarm, all except Keeper, who went from a possibly intriguing enigma to a cartoonish villain All of the twelve princesses yes, twelve, and yes, princesses had flower names in ALPHABETICAL ORDER which reminds me of that Ann M Martin book I read when I was 9, Ten Kids, No Pets, or something All of the younger princesses blended together in my mind with no difference in personality Worst of all was the pacing At nearly 500 pages, the first two thirds was spent about these princesses not being able to dance because they were in mourning after their mother passes away in childbirth, WHINE WHINE WHINE Not a single one of them was self aware, not even the oldest I think the author tried too hard to focus on the fairytale portion and not the retelling , and it s simply too hard to novelize a fairytale into nearly 500 pages without some sort of depth I skimmed the rest of it Yuck Pretty much the only thing this book has going for it is the cover, which is very pretty.