Hardcover, 480 pagesPublished March 29th 2011 by Greenwillow Books
Source: Borrowed from friend
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The beauty of the cover snagged me on this book. After I started reading it I realized that it involved A LOT of dancing. This is normally ok, but this book takes it to another level. While that is a slight annoyance, the characters make up for any and all shortcomings.
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And 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.
Azalea and her sisters are charming. All of the girls are the product of the King's desperate attempts to have a son to take the throne. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but Azalea has the most weight on her shoulders. She has the burden of looking after her sisters and preparing to rule as queen. She carries her role well and stands up for herself really well for someone her age. Once it is apparent things are not going to go his way, the King comes to several realizations about his daughters. I enjoyed watching their relationships grow and change throughout the book. There are several, several suitors in this book for the girls, but they just do not seem realistic. Quite a few incidents and relationships actually seem just "tacked" on or an after thought. The "Keeper" seems vague to me. I learned some information about him, but I guess I simply didn't understand him.
The plot was very odd to me. It was not bad, but it wasn't great either. It is continually slow from the beginning all the way through until the ending scenes. However, unlike others this book had the wonderful characters to carry me through and keep me interested until the end. That being said, there were several times I stopped reading and would ask myself why in the world they would feel the need to dance at a time like that. I love music and dance, but I think I just do understand that "need" for it in every aspect of life. The final scenes do a really great job of wrapping up the book. It's one of the better endings I've seen in a while.
Dixon's writing is very beautiful to me. She does an amazing job with descriptions and vivid details. It made it easy for me to imagine that I could be standing right in the middle of the story, just watching from afar. Everything right down to the dialogue between the characters felt like it welcomed my subconscious into a whole other world and experience. It is a very solid good read and I do recommend it for everyone.