One of the books I picked up at ALA for really cheap. I admit it was the cover that made me pick it up, and the fairy tale aspect that sold me on it.
Entwined is an adaptation of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Every morning when the king wakes up, he finds his daughters’ shoes danced to pieces. Their room is locked, so he doesn’t know where they go. He offers the hand of one of the princesses to whomever can figure it out, but if they fail, the suitor will die. One eventually figures it out, and he marries the eldest princess.
Which is pretty much this story. The King is in mourning from losing his wife, and he makes the whole family go into mourning as well for a year. The girls who are mad about dancing, are forbidden to do so. The eldest daughter finds a secret passage to a magic place where the princesses can dance to their hearts’ content at night, and they do so, but the eldest eventually learns the dangers of the place and of the mysterious Keeper and must save her family before it’s too late.
I liked this book. I especially liked the eldest three daughters since they were the most developed. The daughters are named after plants from A through L, and the daughters E through L get kind of lost with the exception of Ivy, who sounds pretty cute with her love of eating. There are too many princesses though for them to get developed much, which is too bad. This probably would’ve been a somewhat better adaptation with a few less sisters. Like, just because the original had twelve princesses, doesn’t mean the adaptation had to have twelve princesses. Seven might’ve been better, or maybe six for an even half dozen.
I also liked the suitors for the sisters. I don’t want to give much away, but I thought they had interesting personalities, and I kinda wish I could’ve seen more of them interact with the princesses.
I did think the story dragged in the middle. By this point, the sisters had found the magic world, and they were just sort of dancing a lot and looking halfheartedly for the missing sugar teeth. I don’t remember a whole lot from this point of the book because I wasn’t really interested in it.
Another flaw I felt was that I couldn’t get a good feel of the world. What time period was this? What was the world like? Technology? Is this our world in a make-believe European country? It sounds like our world, with Christmas and a mention of the Bible and such, but I got no real feeling of time except it was long ago with the dress style and dated speaking mannerisms (which were a bit much and sometimes felt a little overused and overexaggerated). I realize the girls never left the castle, but I would’ve liked more of a description of what the world was like besides the castle.
The Keeper was incredibly creepy and it made my skin crawl with the way he was pursuing Azalea, the eldest daughter. And when Azalea was flattered by his attention it made my stomach turn because I wanted to yell at her, “HE’S BAD, DUH.” Yech. (This is not a knock against the story, btw). The King was heavily flawed with his self-isolation from his family, even before the mourning period, and I really disliked him for much of the book.
Yet despite all its shortcomings, I still enjoyed the story. I liked that the girls had strong personalities (at least the main ones), and I just love fairy tale adaptations so I can be somewhat forgiving. Recommended for lenient readers.