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Come and Mend Your Broken Hearts Here, A Review of Entwined

Entwined Book Cover


This is the fairy tale retelling I never knew I needed. Entwined is a deliciously rich retelling of the tale 12 Dancing Princesses or The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces. Somehow Heather Dixon found the perfect balance between bitter dark and creamy light.

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The tale takes place in a lovely magical land that has since become very modern and civilized. No trace of wicked sorcerers or unicorns roaming the countryside. Instead, the town has streets lit with oil lamps and lords who wear fetching waistcoats. An elegant, almost Victorian world, something sorely missing in the fantasy genre.

The story follows Princess Azalea, the eldest of 12 impoverished princesses, who has just come of age and expects Parliament to choose her husband any day. That is until tragedy strikes the royal family.

The queen, Azalea’s mother, dies suddenly during Azalea’s first ball (I don’t consider that a spoiler, it is the guiding force of the book).

The one thing Azalea and her 11 younger sisters love more than anything is dancing but they are in mourning and are not allowed to dance. Azalea sets off to find a place where she and her sisters may dance in secret and stumbles upon a magical pavilion and the mysterious Keeper. Soon she becomes ‘entwined’ in a situation that is both magical and dangerous.

From reading Entwined, I found that Heather Dixon has great style! The way she describes her scenes makes me feel like someone has drizzled caramel over my hot chocolate. It’s that flickery bit of light inside you that burns brighter when reading something truly wonderful that makes you warm and tingly all over.

Heather Dixon uses short precise sentences to craft a world that is delicately beautiful. The world is shiny and romantic as if it was draped in silver. But just like silver, it is not without it’s tarnished spots. Those tarnished places are the rich, dark, history of the world Dixon created that serves to draw you deeper into the story. Before I knew it, I was just as entwined in the events of the book as Azalea was.

The world is shiny and romantic as if it was draped in silver.

In a book with so many characters, 12 princesses is a lot, it is easy to become lost and let the characters blend together. Dixon dealt with this problem with an expert hand giving each character a unique voice. While I did get a little mixed up with some of the younger more minor characters I never confused the oldest girls with each other and thought each was unique in her own way.

As far as fairytale retelling go, I believe Entwined stays as true to the original tale as possible while still being its own work. Heather Dixon sprinkled in just the right amount of details and events from the original story to make me squeal with delight at the familiarity but not make me feel like I knew exactly what was going to happen.

Then there was the romance. Okay, bear with me, there were three romances each one as unique as the princess it centered on. And of course, we want our romances to be unique that’s what makes them believable. No one wants a cookie-cutter love story. With three love stories, it’s hard to follow them all and I’m sure it’s hard to write them all as well but Heather Dixon did not write it in a way that made the romance feel forced or like she was pairing princesses off for the sake of a happy ending.

The romance, much like the society, is very Victorian, tame and proper, so if you are looking for bodice-ripping action you may want to look somewhere else. The love story in this book, or stories, more resemble a Jane Austen novel than 50 Shades of Grey which I am more than okay with.


Five Corset Rating Lower Byte Size

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”


four heart rating

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

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By on March 8th, 2016

About Katrina Daroff

Part-time Writer/Full-time Dragon Slayer. Katrina Daroff grew up in Western Washington. She studied English at Whitworth University where her love for writing and literature were nurtured into an obsession. When she is not lost in worlds of fantasy and magic, Katrina Daroff enjoys hiking, slaying dragons, and causing trouble at libraries. Someday she hopes to publish her own series of fantasy novels or gain superpowers of her own. For more adventures you can follow her personal blog at hotstrongandsteamed.wordpress.com/.

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