Published: March 29th 2011.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books.
Series: stand alone.
Series: stand alone.
Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her 11 sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.
"Unfortunately Mr. Penbrook was the sort of gentleman Mother had told her about. You could poison their horses, steal their pins, set their manors on fire, chop off their fingers and they would still think you the sweetest little thing."
I LOVED this book about Azalea, the main character and the crown princess, followed by all her sisters: Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Evening Primrose (Eve), Flora, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale and new-born Lily. They are all named after flowers and plants - which I thought was very funny - but it also shows how the king lives. He likes structure and therefore there are rules everybody must obey.
The books starts with Azalea getting redding for the ball. We immediately find out that dancing is very important for her (and her sisters). I love how that reflects the title, Entwined. What I like is that we get to meet the princesses - they all have their own personality - and we can see how the story unravels. We now get to know why the princesses want to dance each night and how they found the enchanted forest. When their mother passes away after childbirth, they go into mourning.
Their castle is enchanted. The man in charge of the forest, is called Keeper. He is mysterious and has something dark. He invites them to come dance every night and the princesses are thrilled by it, but the King starts to notice. He asks every gentleman to find out their secret. Instead of putting them to death, like the real story, he just sent them away if they don't succeed after three days. That way we get to meet several young men and I appreciated Lord Teddy and Mr. Bradford. Lord Teddy is just so silly and adorable. He made me laugh and I loved meeting him. Mr. Bradford sounds like a lovely, nice man. The story gets a dark twist when Azalea finds out who Mr. Keeper really is. He's there for a reason and he'll do anything to reach his goal. Azalea must act quick or she may loose everything she loves.
This book has one big strength; the lovely, adorable characters. The way Heather portrayed every one of them as an own identity is marvelous. Clover is the shy one, Bramble has a big mouth, Azalea is responsible, Eve is the bookworm, the King looks a bit mean and harsh, but he has a sweet inside and so on. The love in this book develops and grows. Every element in it is right and I'm a sucker for 'happily ever afters'.
I think this is a clever, nice retelling of the real story. I think I even like this one more than the original one. It's also a good thing that this story gets a retelling; most of the time we only get retellings of popular ones. It's one of my favorite now and I'm looking forward reading more of Heather.