pub date: March 29, 2011
publisher: Greenwillow Books
source: audiobook from library
appeals: fairy tale retelling, princess,
I went on a road trip to southern Utah a few weekends ago with my friend Jaye, and we listened to this book on the drive. I'm not sure if we would've kept listening after the first disk if we'd had a backup audiobook, but we didn't. So we stuck it out with this one.
It wasn't that we didn't enjoy the book, because we did. It was just a slower novel and would've been a great one to read, not so great to listen to (for my tastes). If I'd read it at my own pace and not the audio reader's pace, I would've enjoyed it a lot more.
I loved the world building. Azalea's world and the history of her castle and kingdom were very well described and created and developed. It was a well developed plot. Dixon's language was absolutely beautiful. I have no complaints with the writing of the story. It really is gorgeous story telling. I enjoy fairy tale retellings. I love when an author builds on the original, but infuses it with originality, and that is exactly what Dixon did.
With so many sisters I found it extremely helpful how the princesses were named: after flowers, in alphabetical order. So very helpful. They each had their own personality and habits and were definitly individuals.
The 12 princesses did, at times, really get on my nerves. They made dumb decisions that were irritating and that I didn't understand. Especially at the end. And they were mean to their dad. Poor man. I got that they were disappointed in him after the death of their mother, but he was mourning in his own way and the daughters were just plain mean. Urg. I felt bad for the king and angry at the princesses.
Probably more a 3.5 star book, I'll round up to 4. Solid world building, interesting and original plot.
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.