Author: Heather DixonGenres: Romance, fantasy, historical fiction
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Summary: "Azalea, could you show us the Soul's Curtsy?"
Azalea smiled, inhaled, and touched her right foot in front of her. She traced a circle behind her, then slowly sank to the left knee. With strained balance, she folded herself up as she disappeared in a poof of skirts. Her legs twisted like pretzels beneath her. She bowed her head, nearly kissing the floor, and extended her right arm above her, her left tucked beneath her back. - Entwined, page 114 (paraphrased)
Princess Azalea, the oldest of twelve, loves nothing more than dancing. Her mother taught her and her sisters all sorts of dances when they were young, able to convince their strict father - the King - to have the shoemaker fix their ruined dancing slippers every night.
But then Azalea's mother dies, and she is left with twelve sisters and a father who does not care for them. Their family is under the strict rules of mourning: no suitors, parties, open windows, colors, and most importantly, no dancing. The girls aren't sure how they will survive the next year.
When the King leaves for war, the girls are glad to see him go, saying that he does not care for them and is no longer considered part of their family, for he has removed all traces of Mother from the house, and did not even tell them he was leaving.
But then, a few nights later, Azalea finds a strange mark on the fireplace in the room she shares with all of her sisters. Rubbing her mother's silver handkerchief against it, it opens into a magic pavilion filled with dancers. The sisters are invited by Keeper, the keeper of the pavilion to dance every night. They take him up on his offer, glad to leave behind their grief-stricken, penniless home. But Keeper wants something in return for their dancing... and it could destroy the sisters more than they realize.
That's a Shame (it's over)
Review: Another spin off of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this novel adds more twists and turns the classic story than you could have imagined. Magic, romance, mystery, and unbreakable promises all combine in this wonderful story. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the above elements, along with old-fashioned parliamentary monarchies.