Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guest Review of Entwined by Heather Dixon

My lovelies,
Due to some medical issues, I've been under doctor's orders to have "limited reading / computer time."  To say that such an order has been difficult to adhere to is more than putting it mildly.  So, to help me out, I have a very special guest reviewer on the blog today.  What makes her so special?  Well, she's extremely sweet, loves books, and... I gave birth to her.  I suppose that would make me biased, but I love her tons, and I hope you like her review as much as I do.  So, without further ado, I am turning my blog over to my Katertot for the day:

Title:    Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2011


From Goodreads:

Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her 11 sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.

Katertot's Review:


Azalea, a beautiful princess, eldest among eleven sisters, is saddened and troubled after losing her mother, which means two things: her most beloved friend and guardian was gone, and she would be caught in mourning, which lasts for one year. The windows would be covered in thick curtains, and everything (dresses, shoes, even the curtains over the windows) was to be made black - dark and dreary… especially the moods of those living within it all. The worst thing of all about mourning? No dancing. This is the cruel and unusual punishment to the twelve princesses, who love dancing more than anything on earth. Azalea looked forward to every ball and event, which were not allowed during mourning.
One day, after an encounter with Lord Bradford (*swoon*), Azalea learns that the so-thought boring old castle contains secret passages that may be opened by rubbing silver against a certain mark when found on brick - the D’Eathe mark, to be exact. When Azalea finds that mark in her and her sisters’ bedroom, she discovers a silvery, fantasy-filled, absolutely breath-taking landscape… with a pavilion for dancing. The girls are intrigued, but are not sure what to do about their discovery - should they come down here and dance, breaking rules with every twirl and spin they make? Or should they do the right thing, pushing the secret passage out of their minds? They should ignore it and turn back, with never a thought of it again. However, you can guess just what they actually do. Dancing every night is amazing… and the one thing that makes it so wonderful and dreamy? Hiding it, and the King knowing absolutely nothing about it. Keeper, the, well… keeper… of the forest, is so welcoming and warm at first, acting as if he really wants them there, enjoys their happiness of dancing as if it’s his own. However, in the forest of silver and dreams and happiness swirled into an icy wonderland, things are not what they seem. Keeper begins, one night, acting very strangely. The next thing the girls know, their belongings are missing… a thimble, a ribbon, and other trifles such as these. Soon after, Azalea discovers Keeper has taken these things, and soon, takes something not-so-trivial from Azalea herself: her mother’s brooch. Azalea promises him two things: to help free him from this landscape (he is trapped forever without her help), and to never refuse him another dance. Will Azalea be able to dance her way out of this one?

I just have to share my favorite characters in the book:

Clover - she is Azalea’s shy, kind, sweet sister. I love her, and she is the kind of person who just can’t seem to say anything bad about anyone. Clover is someone you just need to have in your life. I wish the world was full of Clovers!

Flora and Goldenrod, Azalea’s younger sisters, are twins. They make the story interesting - they’re adorable. Quirky, funny, lovable, and extremely close-knit.

Lord Teddie… he’s hard to describe. He’s the kind that makes your heart flutter a bit, but not in the way like he’s handsome or dreamy, but like he’s just a big sweetheart. I love him because he is always in good spirits - always happy-go-lucky, but never seems to get on your nerves.

Mr. Pudding!! I love Mr. Pudding, because he reminds me so much of my grandfather. So sweet and gentle, and so tender-hearted. This quote is one of my favorites - he is locking up the ballroom so the girls cannot dance during mourning:
“Seeing the younger girls start to tear up, he gave them his lamp and promised to send biscuits and tea to their room, nearly crying himself.”
Fairweller… oh, Fairweller. He does not really become a favorite character of mine until the end of the book. I mean the very end. The next-to-next-to-last chapter. He is in love with one of the sisters, and acts differently then, which made me like him just a little bit. However, the King, the girls’ father, does not really approve of Fairweller being in love with one of his daughters, so, when he finds out, he A. punches him in the face, and B. fires him from being Prime Minister. I love this quote as well:

“Fairweller removed his coat and set it over [spoiler] shoulders; the King threw it off and put his own coat over her shoulders."

Mr. Bradford… he is so kind, sweet, intelligent, and absolutely lovable, and right from the beginning, you can tell how much he loves Azalea and is drawn to her. He is my favorite character in the book - by far. I looked forward to every time Azalea and he would meet. This quote makes me giddy:

“‘You know,’ said Azalea as he helped her to her feet with a strong arm, smiling nearly as crooked as his cravat. ‘One day you’ll rescue me, and I’ll actually look nice.’

You always look nice,’ said Mr. Bradford.

Azalea could have kissed him.”

*Don't read this, Mom*: ( I know I could have kissed him!)

Entwined by Heather Dixon is a wonderful tale of romance, humor, and action… all stirred up into one gorgeous, extraordinary book. I loved this book so much that when I finished it, I kept flipping the blank pages for more. Although the book finished with a lovely ending, it left me wanting more… which, of course, is a great sign you’ve read a wonderful book! I highly recommend this book to kids and adults of all ages!

As Bramble would say…Toodle pip!