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A Reader of Fictions: The Dance - Rachel Portman

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Dance - Rachel Portman


Author: Heather Dixon
Pages: 472
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Brief Summary:
On the night of the Christmas ball, Azalea becomes the oldest of twelve princesses and loses her mother all in one fell swoop. The Queen taught them to love dancing and really held the family together. The King withdraws, unable to look at their faces so similar to their mother's. The girls, rejected and unable to deal with the restriction on dancing during the mourning period, discover a secret magic passageway in the castle. They go their every night to dance in the domain of the magical Keeper, who they at first find to be kind and handsome. As time passes by, they begin to suspect that their secret hideout may ultimately be more of a curse than a blessing.

I love fairy tales, retellings or originals, so I always give new ones a try when I hear of them. Entwined caught my eye because of the cover, but when I heard it was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, I knew I had to read it.

However, The Twelve Dancing Princesses is not my favorite fairy tale, even though I don't think I've actually read it. About a year ago, I read an adaptation of it, The Princess of the Midnight Ball, and pretty much hated it. Not having read the original story, it's hard not to judge the story overall. Anyway, I determined to read this anyway and hoped it would be better.

The first 200-300 pages felt much the same and I did not like them. I think the difficulty is that the sisters are so freaking obsessed with dancing; they care about it more than anything else in the world, so they really come off as airheads. Dixon tries to lesson that by making them poor princesses who have to mend their own shoes, but they have such one-track minds that I cannot see any of them as real people.

Although the end of the book definitely got better and became rather engaging, I never felt like most of the characters showed any real depth, except, ironically, for Lord Teddie, who I thought was absolutely ripping! They were all defined by one or two characteristics and that was all. However, the matches formed at the end are still super cute, so I enjoyed it, even if the characters are flat.

All in all, I am glad I read it, but I think The Twelve Dancing Princesses may have fallen even farther in my esteem. I definitely think Entwined could have been shorter and better done, but if you love dancing and cute pairings, you'll likely enjoy it. Although I definitely had some serious misgivings about this, I think I would be willing to try something else by Dixon before writing her off. For additional insight, check out Nori's review!

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Blogger Shelby said...

Oooo...can't wait to read this one! Sorry you didn't like it that well, but I think it's one I'll def enjoy. Thanks for the review!

May 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah Elizabeth said...

I have this on my wishlist, and I have to admit that it's just because I liked the cover! The princesses do sound a bit nuts if all they really want to do is dance! It kind of reminded me of 'the little mermaid' when I read the blurb - how the king has several daughters and forbids music?
Will get round to this eventually I suppose, will probably choose something else over this next time it's present time though :)

May 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It wasn't bad, and I did get quite into it by the end. I think I may just have issues with that particular fairy tale, because I've read a couple of retellings and not been hugely impressed.

May 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM  

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