Book Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

It doesn’t matter how old I get … I will ALWAYS be a sucker for a good fairy tale, a fancy princess dress and a happily ever after. Which is exactly what you’ll find in Entwined by Heather Dixon, a new twist on the classic fairy tale of “The 12 Dancing Princesses.”

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.

Entwined combines all the magic of a Disney movie (complete with enchanted objects) with the intrigue and romance you’ve come to expect from today’s best Young Adult literature. And though the tale boasts all the girly trappings of the best fairy tales (pretty dresses, charming lads, secret romance), Dixon spices up the text with action, mystery and a true gift for onomatopoeia.

Azalea is a strong character, taking charge of her eleven younger sisters in the face of her family’s darkest hour. But she’s not static. Throughout the events of Entwined, she learns, grows and matures — ultimately becoming her own hero. And though I felt as if the book could have used a bit more female butt-kicking, Azalea also doesn’t sit idly by and just let the gentlemen come to her rescue. She fights back, too — an empowering message that clearly differentiates Entwined from the fairy tales of “olde.”

And like any good fairy tale, Entwined boasts a creepy villain — one with charm, swagger and magical prowess, all combining to make him even more frightening than your garden variety antagonist.

But what’s most refreshing about Entwined is that, despite some delightful blossoming romances for Azalea and her eldest sisters, it’s not just about living happily ever after with Prince Charming. In fact, it’s about living happily ever after as a family.

If all that isn’t enough to convince you to read Entwined, just look at that cover! A gorgeous dress, a girl running away and the hint of a castle in the distance. I could just stare at it all day … if it weren’t for the fact that the pages inside are even more rewarding.

Entwined is in stores today!

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