It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Friends, did you know Christmas is less then 20 days away?? I am so not ready… but I still love the magic in the air around this time of year. Which brings me to one of the wonderful books I read recently that captured just that. As part of my reading challenge I got to choose a book written by an author with my same first name and I was able to find “Entwined” by Heather Dixon. And boy was I glad I did. Entwined is a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses and if you are not familiar with this story its probably because Disney hasn’t made it into a movie yet. Let me tell you that is their mistake, this book should be a movie pronto!
Our story opens at the royal Yuletide Ball that our princess, Azalea, not only planned because her mother is ill, but gets the honor of the opening dance with the King (her Father.) The Princess loves to dance, she gets her passion from the queen who is the most graceful dancer and taught her everything she knows. Unfortunately, because of the queen’s illness the king ends up not making it for the first dance. Azalea opens the Ball with the prime minister instead but it still turns out to be a pretty wonderful evening. Her ten sisters, who aren’t allowed to attend because they are still too young, end up sneaking in anyway. She meets an engaging young gentlemen that she hopes will ask her to join him for her favorite and the last dance, The Entwine, also know as the Gentlemen’s catch. But the ball is stopped abruptly before the last dance and all the guest are asked to leave without much explanation.
We find out the next morning, Christmas Day, that the queen has passed, but she has left behind the newest baby sister, Lily. The castle is sent into a year of mourning which, for the young girls means a year of black dresses, not being allowed outside, no music and no dancing. The King even hired someone to disable the bells in the bell tower that the queen was extremely fond of. The princesses feel that not being able to dance is actually a dishonor to their mother’s memory and so they go searching for some way to keep her joy and love alive. And they find it, but is it too good to be true?
I really liked this book. All of the princesses, each was named after a flower and had there own personalities. I adored the relationships between the sisters, they would tease each other but they were always there for each other with lots of love, much like most sibling relationships are. I also liked the bond between the King and his daughters and how it grows and matures on both ends. I enjoyed the style of writing, I feel that Heather Dixon did a great job of bringing me into her magical castle so much so that I really wouldn’t mind living there. I could imagine this book being a great movie, it has so much humor although dealing with a darker subject matter and some dark magic. There was not only magic in the story and in the way it was written but the book itself was filled with magical ivy, silver on the cover and grey on the pages making it a feast for your eyes as well as your mind.
I honestly don’t have much that I didn’t like about the story but if I had to pick it would be the age of the girls. It was just a little far fetched they could be as young as they were said to be and walking around and taking care of themselves, let alone dancing. For it to be a 12 Dancing Princess retelling you expect that all the princesses should be able to dance.
Overall this is on my highly recommended list especially for this time of year, its a perfect holiday read. It’s also a great fairy tale and who can say they don’t love a great fairy tale? Did I mention I would love for it to be made into a movie?
“In a series of quick steps the gentleman either twists the sash around the lady’s wrist, pinning them (also known as the Catch), or the lady eludes capture within three minutes’ time.”
Ladies’ Dance Pocketbook: Entwine