Entwined by Heather Dixon



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. (From Amazon.ca)

It’s very well written, and although the plot is a little slow to start off, I think it’s essential for it to go at that pace. It introduces the reader to a detailed world with a good amount of characters to read about. The sisters in the book are distinct enough so the reader can figure out who is who. Some of their personalities are stronger and more memorable than others (Bramble comes to mind). There’s real well placed moments of humor throughout the book and you do find yourself laughing here and there. The more fantastical and magical elements of the book are also well done, especially towards the ending where the pace of the book goes at whirlwind speed and keeps the reader engaged well until the last pages.

The character of the Keeper is also well written. As the book progresses his sinister side comes out and it does get a little, well creepy. It suits the story and the setting (where the Princesses go to dance). The setting itself does seem marvelous and beautiful but there’s a coldness and detachment to it – which is a very likely home for the Keeper himself as his personality also is a reflection to the setting.

The ‘couples’ of the book are well done and they suited each other.

It’s another retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses but I feel that it’s much more than that. It’s well detailed, and despite it’s length, it’s a beautifully written story where when you’re done with the book, you feel satisfied, and complete. Definitely recommended for those in love with young adult books, fairy tales and the retelling of them, but also those that like fantasy stories without intense descriptions of magic.

9 out of 10.


Review of Secrets of the Crown by Adam Jay Epstein

Secrets of the Crown

Secrets of the Crown

When every bit of human magic disappears suddenly from Vastia, it falls on the familiars—Aldwyn the telekinetic cat, Skylar the know-it-all blue jay, and Gilbert the gullible tree frog—to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can reverse the curse. They learn that the only way to do this is by following in the paw prints of Aldwyn’s missing father, who went searching for the Crown several years earlier. This magical spirit trail extends into the Beyond, where our heroes encounter new enemies and danger, while Aldwyn learns about his mysterious past. (From Amazon.ca)

I’m so glad this series just keeps getting better! I’ve really enjoyed the first one, but this one is even better!

It’s still an adventure, and it’s certainly more focused on Aldwyn and his friends. It’s certainly more focused on Aldwyn and his past, and provides a little more on the background information to make the world building more comprehensible and easy to picture.

I’m also glad to see Gilbert still hasn’t lost his touch on being the funny one of the group. I was also surprised that Skylar is still a know it all but she’s not as annoying and has turned out to be more friendly and supportive. I still love Aldwyn and he will always be my favorite.

The plot is still just as good, I liked the riddle/puzzle element to it, it’s reminiscent of the Redwall books (they’re always filled with those) but with a much more adventure flavor to it. The thing I like about this is the writing style of the plot. It’s easy to picture, and if possible, could very well be made into an animated feature film. The illustrations provided are also fun to look at and is a great addition for younger aged readers.

I’m looking forward to the next book in this series and can’t wait to see what happens to them next! most definitely recommended to Middle Grade readers, but all ages will have fun reading this one.

Note:It’s best if you read the first before this one.

I give it a 10/10