Entwined by Heather Dixon
As a lover of fairy tales, this book did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it and was thoroughly engrossed throughout the entire book.
Set in the fictional kingdom of Eathesbury, Azalea and her twelve sisters are forced into a year of mourning - cut off from the outside world after the death of their mother, the queen, during childbirth. While their mother was a compassionate woman full of love and laughter, their father, the king, is a man of few words and even fewer displays of affection. Feeling abandoned as he pushes them away in his own misery and leaves them alone as he fights in a war with an allied kingdom, they try to find some beauty and small enjoyment during their year of imprisonment with the castle.
As the oldest and at the bequest of her mother before her death, it falls to Azalea to take care of the rest of the girls. In an effort to keep them happy, she attempts to involve them in dance, which has been their favorite past-time and at which Azalea excels. Unfortunately, during mourning, dancing is not allowed and the girls’ dancing slippers are taken from them. Suffering from feelings of depression and rejection, the girls are delighted when they find a magical secret passage, which leads them into a world full of music and dancing.
A handsome man, known only as the Keeper, has been trapped in this magical realm and every night, creates an enchanting place for them to dance to their hearts’ content. Unfortunately, the Keeper may not be all that he seems. As time goes on, Azalea begins to realize that there is maliciousness behind his good looks and she finds herself making promises that she may be unable to keep. What started out as a beautiful escape from a bleak reality, turns into a dangerous game.
This novel contains all elements of a classic, captivating fairytale. It has a beautiful heroine who must make a moral decision. There is the presence of a chillingly evil villain who manipulates the girls’ feelings and encourages their disobedience to suit his own needs. It is simultaneously haunting and beautiful. It teaches a lesson in morality and emphasizes the importance of family, love, and compassion. A girl of any age will find herself drawn into the story. Oh, and as with any good fairytale, there is also some romance mixed in with the suspense.
Definitely a good read! I highly recommend it!