AUTHOR: Heather Dixon
SUMMARY: After the death of her mother, Azalea and her eleven younger sisters are confined to the castle for a year in mourning. There is to be no going outside, no wearing colorful clothing, and no dancing. However, one night, Azalea finds a secret passage in their bedroom. The passageway leads to a beautiful pavilion, where there is only one living occupant: Keeper, who says the princesses are welcome to come and dance there whenever they like. But Keeper isn't all he appears to be...
HOW FAR I GOT: 280/472 pages
WHY I DIDN'T FINISH: Fairy tale retellings tend to be hit or miss -- this was a serious miss. My main gripe is the character depth, or rather, the lack thereof. There are loads and loads of characters, and right from the get-go, I had difficulty telling any of the princesses apart. There are attempts at giving each one their own unique personality, but it just did not work for me. And the secondary characters were even worse; I could scarcely tell the difference between Azalea's love interest and a character she utterly despises. I also felt like Azalea herself was a really flat and uninteresting protagonist. The only two characters with really distinct personalities were the King, Azalea's father, and Keeper. Unfortunately, the big twist about halfway through the story, in my opinion completely robs Keeper of any real character depth and complexity. Another issue I had is that the worldbuilding felt very... incomplete. I barely understood what the rules of the magic were, and didn't really care to figure it out. Overall, this book isn't so much bad as it was boring.
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If you've read Entwined, I'd love to hear your thoughts below. Alternatively, if you know of any other adaptations of The Twelve Dancing Princesses that you enjoyed, tell me about them!