Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family—and her heart—from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls. "Full of mystery, lush settings, and fully orbed characters, Dixon's debut is both suspenseful and rewarding."—ALA Booklist
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.
What happens when you make your dying mother a promise on silver to protect all of your sisters? Azalea is the royale princess which means she is the oldest and responsible for her 11 younger sisters. Their mother’s dead puts the girls into a period of mourning which will last one year. Their father, the King, has to go off to war, leaving the girls alone in the run down palace by themselves. The girls are tired of this period of mourning, they want to dance like they did when their mother was alive to teach them. Through a secret passage they meet Mr. Keeper who allows them to dance but there is a price to pay.
At first I thought this story was a little boring and I was wonder where on earth the storyline was going. At first all the 12 girls do is go dance night after night and well it gets a little old when they are just doing the same thing for the first 100 pages of the book. The story does pick up steadily after those first 100 pages with more magic and mystery at every turn. The old magic of the house is slowly shown to Azalea by the King and the story of the house becomes known.
Overall I would call this story hauntingly beautiful with old world charm of a historical novel with fairy tale magic woven, or entwined, into the story. By the end I was cheering for all of the girls in their quest to defeat and understand the magic of the palace and discover just how to work together as a family. I would give this story 4 stars and I can’t wait to see if there will be a sequel that will continue this family’s story.