Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
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.
Well, she danced...
and then she did some more dancing with her sisters...
at which point I just wanted to stop reading BUT then the story got better.
To be frank this should have been a 50 page short story. If it had been, it would have been WONDERFUL! But there was simply not enough plot to keep the reader interested and there were so many references to and descriptions of dancing that I wanted to scream! If you like to think about dancing you will probably find these scenes imaginative and rich but not me!
I would describe this story as a cross between a classic Disney fairytale and a Grimm's fairy tale. Some aspects of the story were sweet and provided the reader with an opportunity to think about the importance of family life, duty to country, etc. Other aspects of the story were downright creepy and slightly twisted.
I also wanted to ask throughout the book, why must the mother always die in order for the father to step up and be an involved parent? While I didn't enjoy yet another fairy tale where the girls are motherless, I did enjoy watching the father-daughters relationship evolve particularly as the girls realized the dad was doing the best that he could under difficult circumstances.
I also really enjoyed the mystery that emerges around the middle of the book. However, the book concludes before answering several of the mysteries. I'm not sure if this was bad editing or if the unresolved mysteries were just meant to throw us off, regardless I found it frustrating.
So at the end of the day, would I recommend this book? Probably not. But I would read another book by this author. Like I said this would have been a FABULOUS short story, so clearly I liked the basic plot I just didn't like all the fluff that went into making it longer.