EntwinedEntwined by Heather Dixon

An absolutely fun read that I’d recommend to fans of fairy tale retellings – although was more of the Princess of the Midnight Ball variety (read: fun and a bit fluffy) than of the Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast variety (read: emotionally complex and all-around awesome). It’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and one of the great things about this version is that it really conveys their love of dance, mentioning specific dances and steps and what it means to the girls.

With fairy tale retellings, it’s always fun to see which bits of the story are emphasized in the plot. Here, the subplot of wanna-be suitors trying to solve the mystery is a relatively minor part of the story. What really shines are the family dynamics, the relationships between the girls and their difficult bond with their father.

As far as setting, giving the kingdom and the castle a small, slightly run-down feel helps establish a sense of place and make the princesses less stereotypically royal. Which is all to say that the cover is completely wrong for the story – there are swirling crinolines aplenty, but the characters go through most of the story in much-mended mourning black, with much more of a Victorian feel than modern runway.

My only issue with the book is length – it could have been much tighter and shorter, since much of the middle is repetitious. However, I was still having fun and whizzed through the story.

Another plus is the relative innocence of the story – there’s some magical violence and a bit of action, but the romances are sweet and innocent in a way that makes the story great for middle school on up with no worries about content. Recommended if you’re in the mood for frothy fun.

Source: my public library

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