Although Entwined is a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, it stands on its own as an enchanting story, a fairy tale romance with unique elements of magic and suspense. Dixon’s story threads are at first golden and whisper light, but as the novel unwinds, the author weaves in darker tones. When Azalea and her royal sisters discover a magicked passageway, they all become entangled in a moonlit snare. Night after night, they return to Keeper’s Pavillion to dance. But Keeper, their mysteriously handsome host, is not all he appears to be. For Azalea, a touch of silver reveals the frightening truth about blood oaths and curses–her castle, her kingdom, and her life are all in danger.
Dixon has a special knack for subtle characterization and gorgeous detail. Azalea is no cookie cutter Princess Royale–she’s resourceful and delightfully headstrong, the caring eldest sibling to her motherless sisters. Along with protagonist, many of the other principal players evolve as Azalea’s perceptions change. Page by page, the reader comes to love Lord Bradford (the Princess Royale’s swoonworthy suitor) Mr. Pudding (an elderly servant), Lord Teddie (a surprising and silly visitor) and even grim Fairweller (the handsome, but sober minded Prime Minister). The dynamics between all players change as the plot thickens–the relationship between Azalea and her estranged royal father is especially poignant. The texture of these relationships makes the novel feel all the more satisfying and complete.
I reccommend ENTWINED for anyone with a weakness for rich, well drawn fairy tales. This one’s an absolutely lovely debut.
Hungry for more? Like Azalea’s mother, I enjoy a rich, moist white cake. This recipe is delicious, the same one I use for basic layer and strawberry shortcakes.