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. from harperteen.com
Beth says 5 Stars…
I actually fell in love with this cover. Lately there have been some amazing covers and this one just stood out to me. I didn’t particularly pay attention to what it was about, so when I read the summary I got insanely excited. Not only do I adore fairy tale retellings, but this is one of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, my absolute favorite fairy tale of all time. I absolutely loved Jessica Day George’s version, so I have very high standards for this particular story. Dixon did a wonderful job altering the plot to increase its depth and scope. Since I already had a general idea of where things needed to go, I didn’t have any confusion over what was happening and why. The few things that at the time seemed slightly odd worked their way into sense by the end of the novel. For me it explained why the girls needed to go dancing in the first place; not only were they trapped in the house by the mourning period, but they also truly loved to dance. The intensity of their need made it easy to understand why they would do something that otherwise seemed illogical. The darkness of the story drew me in and aged it up for me. No longer could the girls just dance freely without any trouble other than that from their father. The book is also fairly long, coming close to 500 pages. At that length it easily could have had serious pacing issues, yet none existed. Nowhere did the book drag or go too fast and leave my head spinning; I remained constantly engrossed. I’m also impressed because this is Dixon’s debut, which suggests to me that her novels will get even better, something I look forward to because of how amazing this first one is already.
The general version of the fairy tale has the girls all with flower names, but Dixon cleverly enhanced that. The girls were named (all flowers, of course) in alphabetical order, which really helped me keep them all straight, because when there are 12 sisters of varying ages any help with remembering how old they are is welcome. Azalea held the role of oldest sister and heroine well, managing her younger sisters and keeping the peace. I loved how she actually took responsibility for her actions when things began to turn sour instead of playing the delightful blame game. Although there was some romance, it really didn’t take the focus of the novel. Instead it gave way to both grief and love, with the love not necessarily being romantic. The relationships within the family really were delightfully written, and what I would imagine having a large number of siblings would be like. You could always tell that even when the girls were extremely annoyed with one another, the undercurrent of love still remained. They used each other as support throughout everything, but still tried to protect whoever was younger from any harm. Despite the fact that the book centered on Azalea, the other princesses did get some decent page time. Bramble in particular had me in stitches on more than one occasion because of her feisty temper and lack of verbal filter.
This is a complete and total must read. If you grew up loving this original story you won’t be disappointed in this new version. Instead of trying to change it into something entirely new, it just took the best parts of the old and enhanced them will small bits of the new. If you want something dark, lush, and filled with magical dancing grab this now. If not, read it anyway because everyone should. Don’t be scared by the length, because it’s a fast read that makes you wish for more. Book from Library
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Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.