Entwined, Heather Dixon

Title: Entwined

Author: Heather Dixon

Redonk Nutshell: A dark retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Official Synopsis: 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.

Every now and then a book comes along with such a beautiful cover that it’s deemed a crime not to pick it up.  Entwined is one of these books.  Purty, ain’t it? Yeah, I thought so too.  I was tickled pink when the story ended up being as much as a gem as its beautiful cover artwork.

Entwined is more or less a re-telling of the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses.  Set in a world of suppressed magic, Azalea and her eleven younger sisters are reeling from the recent loss of their mother and their father’s closeted grief.  Their father, the King, or “Sir,” as the girls have taken to addressing him, imposes a year-long period of mourning, in which the girls are not allowed to wear anything but black, not allowed to be outside the palace unless on R.B. (that’s short for Royal Business), and, above all, are not allowed to dance.

Feeling stifled and trapped, Azalea and her sisters stumble upon a secret corridor in their magically dormant castle that takes her to an enchanted forest where she meets The Keeper, a dark and handsome stranger who can mold the magic around them with a flick of his fingers.  From thence on, the girls visit Keeper every night to partake in dancing.  Before long, however, Azalea beings to notice something is a bit…off.  Things begin disappearing.  By the time she realizes what sort of game Keeper is playing, she and her family are too deeply embroiled to back out.

I was enchanted with this book.  It’s dark and alluring, while being scary and endearing all at the same time.  This is how fairy tales should be!  Heather Dixon writes fantastic individual character traits for each of the girls, which is no easy feat.  There were exchanges throughout the book that had me giggling out loud.  Azalea and her sisters are all definitely one of a kind.

YA can be a tricky genre.  There are some YA books you read that are definitely written for teens.  Then there are others that sort of dart between different genres.  What I really appreciated about Entwined was that it encompasses a bit of it all.  It teases the child in you while romancing the adult.  It’s a wonderful balance.

Now, me being the Raunchy McRaunch that I am, I almost found myself wishing there was an “adult” extension.  Then I remembered a lovely little gem I found a few years ago by Nancy Madore called, not surprisingly, The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  It’s an erotic retelling of the tale, a sort of anthology of twelve stories featuring each princess.  I just may have to break it out after having read Entwined.

Rating: B

Romance: 3/5          Raunch: 0/5


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