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review 2017-01-14 18:32
Book Review: Entwined
Entwined - Heather Dixon

Book: Entwined

 

Author: Heather Dixon 

 

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Fairy-tale Retelling/Family

 

Summary: Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her - beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing - it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. 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.- Greenwillow Books, 2011.

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review 2016-03-18 00:00
Entwined
Entwined - Heather Dixon Zzzzzz was for most of the loooong story. Granted, I am not a fan of the fairy tale (Twelve Princess Dancing) but I've read another retelling book that was fantastic ([b:The Princess Curse|9588207|The Princess Curse|Merrie Haskell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1299897431s/9588207.jpg|14475179]) and well, why not? It could work again. But not with this book. How much can you tell about this story, to drag it for hundreds of pages?

If I could get a penny for every "The King sucked in his cheeks"; "her yellow-green eyes", and "her auburn hair" that we find in this book, I would be a millionaire. Instead, I have a sort of ache in my cheeks (every time I was reading that the King sucked in his cheeks, I tried to do the same... and since he does it the whole book, my cheeks hurt).

Azalea, the oldest of the 12 princesses, is another Mary Sue. All her sisters love her dearly, they can't be without her. She is nice, she can dance, she is the best daughter, the most princessely princess. While in the original story the sisters have a curse that make them dance every night, in this book the girls choose to dance every night. They certainly didn't have anything better to do, poor girls. They couldn't leave their castle. They barely open a book. If you are wondering, Azalea is around 17 I guess. The youngest is months old only, but she goes to the Underworld as well (and also her sisters that have 2, 4, etc.) to... err, dance? All of them need sleepers and when they are lack of them, they dance in their boots, which result in blisters. Yes, even in the little ones. All the princesses want to do is dance, and have new dresses and new sleepers. And yes, seems like even the little ones (the babies!).

The girls have stupid names that go from A to L: Bramble, Clover, etc. At least they have their own personality that makes the reader remember more or less who is who. Ok, not all of them but at least a third of them. The Mary Sue, the pretty shy one who goes into rage once in a while, the rude one that is supposed to be rebellious instead, the twins, and the baby. Err, that's it. The others were... errr, F, G, H... errr, and all with, auburn hair?

So the story (and me reading it) goes like this:

The beginning was ZZZZZZZ.

The romance: **snoring**

Going to the forest and meeting The Keeper: **slowly opening my eyes**

Trying to break the curse: **snooze**

Other love interests (for the other sisters): **peeking**

More dancing and tantrums to their father, the King: ZZZZZZZ

The girls getting closer to their father: **slowly opening my eyes**

Azalea trying on her own to defeat the bad guy: **snoring**

The end: **eyes wide open**

So basically, the best thing about this book is not the fantasy side (magic? meh, almost nothing), nor the romantic part (boring), nor the adventure part (which there isn't). More like, it is the bond between the sisters (sometimes corny, but nice towards the end) and eventually, the bond they form with their father (who stops sucking in his cheeks, btw, hahaha).

So, not trying to be unfair, I give this book a 1.5. It is not BAD book, but a BORING one, with not enough MAGIC.
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review 2015-07-15 00:00
Entwined
Entwined - Heather Dixon I liked Azalea. She is a unique character to be created (at least as a main character) in this day and age. She's strong enough to cope with her mother's death, and being forced into a mother-like role, and comfort her sisters, yet weak enough to throw tantrums, actually be endangered by the villain, and need the help of other characters. To need the help of the male characters. I found the tantrums very annoying, so I didn't like that part of her, but I did like that she was vulnerable--something I haven't seen as much of lately. I don't have a problem with strong female leads, I actually do really like them, but not every woman is strong in the way this culture values, and it's nice to see another kind of character represented for once. Especially since people are offended when a woman is rescued by a man, but think it's the greatest thing when a man is rescued by a woman (why can't there be both).

That said, Azalea was strong in her own way, the way she cared for her sisters, and the way she was forced into the role her mother should have held. People forget or don't realize how much strength that would take. Even though she wasn't what is considered a 'strong female lead,' Azalea was a strong character. As I said before, Azalea's tantrums were the place where I think her character, as a character, suffered greatly. She was (understandably) upset with the way her father treated her, and more importantly, her sisters, but the tantrum she threw nearly got her entire family killed. If she hadn't sworn, and made her sisters swear, not to tell anyone about the pavilion, then they would have been able to tell their father the moment they realized that the Keeper was dangerous, but no, Azalea made them swear, on silver that just happens prevents them from breaking their oaths to spite for her father making her feel unloved. I'm not quite sure why she didn't try to put herself in her father's shoes to feel his pain, and realize that, wrong though it was, pushing his daughters away was how her father dealt with his grief.

The king was foolish enough as well. He, like Azalea, was guilty of not putting himself in his daughter's shoes to realize that they too were feeling the loss of their mother, and his pushing them away made them feel unloved.

Bramble and Clover were nice characters who weren't explored very deeply, and I had trouble keeping the rest of the sisters straight. Bramble and Clover's love interests were interesting, but their potential was left relatively unexplored. Bradford was a stereotype. This was disappointing, but I still liked him. He had so much unplumbed potential, and I think with a little more development he could have been a really strong and an un-stereotypical character.

The villain was creepy, mysterious and sinister. But then he stopped being mysterious, which sucked away his sinisterness, leaving him just creepy and evil. I wish that it would have taken a little longer for him to reveal his motivations to us.

The plot is excellent and the writing is good. What the author needs to work on is her characters. Please excuse that I am mostly pointing out the things I didn't like in the book. For some reason it's really easy to do that. I really did enjoy this story.
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review 2015-07-09 16:23
Enchanted
Enchanted - Heather Dixon

A sedici anni, Azalea Wentworth, erede al trono del lontano regno di Eathesbury, sta per realizzare il suo sogno: feste sfavillanti e incontri con ammiratori segreti da raccontare in chiacchiere sussurrate fino all'alba con le sorelle. Ma improvvisamente tutto cambia: sua madre muore e il lutto strettissimo imposto dalla corte le vieta per un anno qualsiasi divertimento. Compresa la danza, la sua più grande passione. Azalea si trova così in trappola fra le mura del suo stesso castello. Una notte, però, la ragazza scopre un passaggio segreto che la conduce nello straordinario mondo del Custode, un uomo affascinante quanto misterioso. Un uomo che sembra capirla meglio di chiunque altro. Perché anche lui è in trappola, prigioniero da molti secoli nel palazzo. Inaspettatamente il Custode le porge un invito: le chiede di tornare a trovarlo ogni notte e di accompagnarlo al ballo più sontuoso che lei abbia mai visto. Così, da quella notte in poi, Azalea e le sue sorelle varcano il passaggio segreto e attraversano un bosco d'argento per raggiungere un padiglione incantato e danzare. Ma tutto ha un prezzo, anche la più seducente delle magie. Perché al Custode piace custodire le cose. E Azalea non si accorgerà di essere caduta in una rete mortale finché non sarà troppo tardi...

 

uesto racconto è la rivisitazione de "Le dodici principesse danzanti", in una veste che tende al "noir".
Ambientato in un castello ove balli e feste sono all'ordine del giorno, ma improvvisamente tutti i divertimenti sono vietati a causa del lutto...

Non so cosa dire di questo racconto, poiché non mi ha lasciato nulla tranne ansia e tanta noia. Solamente verso il finale la storia riesce a prendere un ritmo più coinvolgente e lasciare in sospeso il lettore fino alla fine.

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review 2015-06-20 15:41
Illusionarium
Illusionarium - Heather Dixon

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but it was pretty neat. Although I’m often bothered when things are needlessly compared to The Hunger Games, there was kind of a steampunky Hunger Games vibe to this one. But Jonathan’s voice–detached but caring, decidedly snarky–is really what made this one work for me.

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/48hbc-friday-evening
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