Author: Heather Dixon
Genre: Fantasy YA
Azalea and her eleven sisters are mourning the loss of their mother but all they want to do is dance. Every night, the sisters step through a secret enchanted passage to dance in The Keeper's garden. The Keeper is trapped within this secret passage, and he wants to get out. And as his name suggests he likes to keep things that do not belong to him.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
This story is a retelling of the old fairy tale called, "The Twelve dancing princesses" but with a few new twists. This book captivates you from the start when you are introduced to all the princesses. Each princess has such a distinct character trait that you can tell who is who by just the conversation or description.
This story also has an amazing back story that could take up a whole book itself and I do not think anyone would mind learning more about how the magic got into the castle. The setting of the story is also very believable and you get to know the layout of the castle and the gardens very quickly.
This book is quite large ( around 500 pages ) but I never felt like there were boring parts, there was always something going on or you were introduced to a new important sub-plot. I was engaged through the whole book and I did not want to put it down.
When i read the passages where they were dancing in the secret passage I always got goosebumps because I knew eventually The Keeper would tell them that they must pay him back. When he danced with Azalea I could feel the tension between them. Keeper was written perfectly because it gave the book that little bit of suspense that it needed. He he was my favorite character without a doubt because he has such a creepy vibe to him and you just wanted to know more as the story went on.
The biggest message brought across in this book is that family is important. There was romance, yes, but family was what tied everything together in the end. If the sisters did not have each other then they would not have made it through. Also the King at the end pulled through and showed the princesses that yes, he really did love them and that he would risk his life for them. This was really touching to me because he was so cold to them after their mother passed.
I would for sure recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales and retellings because it kept the perfect amount of the original story but also had the twists and turns in the plot that really made it amazing.
-- Haley <3