Author: Heather Dixon
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy (Fairy tale retelling)
Size: Hard Cover, 472 pages
Release Date: March 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Harperteen)
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Borrowed from Library
First Line: “An hour before Azalea’s first ball began, she paced the ballroom floor, tracing her toes in a waltz.”
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.
The girls watched from the bridge, biting their lips in anticipation, and Azalea found herself on Keeper’s hard arm as he half escorted, half dragged her to the middle of the gleaming dance floor. Azalea took the end of the long red sash with only one thought in mind: to get the dnce over with and get out of there.
This story was enchanting from page one. It had just the perfect blend of magic and fantasy, sadness and desperation, and familial love and romance. The story built slowly but thoroughly…bringing the reader into the web of Azalea’s family…and into the hearts of the twelve princesses. The family dynamic between the sisters, their estranged father (“The King” as they call him), and even the palace staff lends itself to a full reading experience.
The romance was sweet and appropriate and developed believably and honestly over the course of the book. The villian was a perfect foil for Azalea’s innocence, family loyalty and bravery.
This is a perfect escapist read. Quick, easy and charming. Sure to appeal to all generations who enjoy fantasy, fairy tales, and the sweet innocence of youth.
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