Thursday, April 21, 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Harper Collins)
Publish Date:  March 29, 2011
ISBN:  978-0-06-200103-0
Pages:  472
Jacket Art: lara Jade Photography
Jacket Design: Becky Terhune

This is a delightful retelling of the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
To start out with, we need to know what the title ENTWINED refers to.  The Entwine is supposed to be a dance.  It is described this way:  (in brief) Similar to a troit-temps waltz, it is danced in open position with a long sash.  The lady and gentleman each take ends of the sash, which their hands must not leave.  In a series of quick steps, the gentleman either twists the sash around the lady's wrists, pinning them (aka the Catch) or the lady eludes capture within three minutes time.

The story, and the Princesses, captivated me.  I adore fairytales and this is a fantastic one!  Heather Dixon did an amazing job in bringing the Princesses to life - their personalities are outstanding.  While ofcourse I loved Azalea, my favorite has to be Bramble - she's loud and obnoxious and defends her sisters to the end.  The Princesses are named after flowers, alphabetically.  That's where the fun begins in the story.  ENTWINED is full of mischief and giggles, as well as magic and scariness.  The girls and their suitors are a riot!

The royal family live in a falling apart castle with some remnants of magic leftover - such as the tea set with the biting sugar tongs.  When the family goes into mourning (do any fairytales have both parents in the story??) and the King departs for a war...the Princesses are left on their own.  Pretty dresses, laughter, the gardens and dancing are forbidden.  There is nothing the girls love better than dancing and they are heartbroken.

Until...Azalea discovers a way for them to dance secretly - it involves a magical staircase and the mysterious (and handsome) Keeper.

The characterization of the King was amazing.  I began by seeing him as a cold, aloof man with no concern for his daughters, but quickly came to realize that he just didn't know how to connect with them.  It was wonderful to watch him figure out the situations and grow as a parent.

As I read the story, I saw a beautiful movie - the Entwine dance was performed by Azalea and Keeper, but almost as a shadow - while the rest of the story went on over it.  Will Azalea be caught?  I can't wait to see what Heather Dixon does next!


  1. It's a bit of a slow start. However, the reader is capitvated by the princesses. This book is definately worth reading.

  2. i love love love this book. i finished about 4 days ago. my favorite is probably clover or bramble !

  3. Is the Entwine a made up dance? or is it real?

  4. Is the Soul's Curtsy real?

  5. I want to learn all of those dances. I wonder if there is a way or place that walks you through the steps.

    Entwined was the best book I have read in a long while. It really brought out the fantasy-side of me, again.

    My Rating: *****
    I would definitely recommend this book to friends (and I already have)!