After reading a number of quite mature, edgy novels recently, Entwined, by Heather Dixon, came as a refreshingly innocent contrast. A retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this charming novel was filled with dance steps and giggling sisters. Magic surrounded the youngsters, as they defied their grieving father, the King, and flouted the rules of mourning, sneaking away to an enchanted pavilion to dance the nights away, leaving their dancing slippers in tatters each morning.
Of course, the cold, handsome fellow who awaits them each evening is not who he seems, and trouble soon surrounds them all. Led by the eldest sister, Azalea, the princesses have to upset the magical curse that has hung over the palace for generations.
As delightful as the familiar story line was, I found Dixon's version of it rather disjointed at times, with clarity lacking, leaving me trying to figure out just what was occurring. Hindering the flow, the dialogue was rather simplistic and unimaginative, falling flat on the ears.
The expected romances were silly and predictable, leaving me nostalgic for a bit more of the edgy teen books I have recently read. All in all, though, Entwined was a charming throw-back to more innocent days of story-telling.