AUTHOR: Heather Dixon
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy and Fairy Tale Retold
SETTING(S) : Eathesbury, fictional location
SUBJECT: Royalty, Dance, Father-daughter relations, Fantasy, Death, Magic, Fairy tales, Folklore
MAIN CHARACTERS : Princess Azalea Kathryn Wentworth, Princess’s Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Evening Primrose, Flora, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale, and Lily, King Wentworth of Eathesbury, The Pavilion Keeper, Lord Haftenravenscher (Teddie), Lord Captain Bradford, and Minister Fairweller.
BOOK SUMMARY: Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. 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.
MY SUMMARY: Princess Azalea is the eldest princess of the Wentworth Family and future queen of Eathesbury. Azalea with her mother’s help has raised eleven sisters until she find herself all alone when her mother dies giving birth to her sister Princess Lily. With the death of the queen forgotten magic and the kingdoms dark past become present. The princesses finds themselves in a secret world that helps them mourn the death of their mother and the neglect of their father while he is away fighting a war. What will the princess find within their wall? Heart Ache? Define of Self? Strength? True Love ? What else have they unlocked?
This novel uses several similarities with the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tale the Twelve Dancing Princess. Both use an enchanted world within the castle’s walls and a hero who has three nights to try to find the princess secrets. Unlike the Twelve Dancing Princess this story is all about this enchanted world and what the princess will find within their walls. It also gives you a glimpse of another reason why the kind might have locked his twelve daughters in their room. This novel not only has an interested plot you will meet several interesting characters that you will both hate and love.
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MY REVIEW: I could not put this book down and as present my sister is reading it; she is having the same difficulty. As soon as I began reading this book I knew the story was based or another interpretation on the story “Twelve Dancing Princess”. I have not found any references that support my claim. I absolute love this novel. At times I found my self putting it down because it was beginning to be to dark but part of me wanted to continue reading to find out what was going to happen.
At the end I believe this story is about the relationships between a daughter and father. How at times as daughters we prejudge and do not have the best relationships with our fathers. That once we find the key to their heart or see them a whole new light we can better our relationship with them. I believe once the princesses made peace with the king they were able to find true love for themselves and were more open to it. By hardening their heart to the king they harden their heart to any suitors. Once they gave up the secret path and instead gain a relationship with their father, there were able to find true love.
If you love stories about tales between daughters and fathers, you will like “The Silent Governess”. This story may have to many references to religion or God for some readers but this one also plays with the idea of a daughter seeing her father one way , then discovers who he really is and learn to forgive him.
SUGGESTED BOOKS: The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen | The Healers Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson | The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson | Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier | Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George | Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George | Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George | The Turtor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen