Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2011
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy of Manners
Page Count: 472
My Rating: 3 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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.
This book had been sitting on my shelf for years, so I decided to listen to it on audiobook since I couldn’t motivate myself to pick up the physical copy.
As far as the audiobook, I felt that the narrator was perfect for this book. She managed to create different voices for each of the sisters so I could kind of keep track of their ages, which was helpful as we have a lot of sisters to keep track of. Even with the engaging narrator, I still struggled to connect to this book. I felt that it was too long, and dragged on. The first half of the book was especially slow, and left me thinking “so what?” The characters were especially irritating and immature in the first half. Seriously, all they cared about was dancing. I have noticed that Dixon tends to write YA that leans younger (as she did with Illusionarium), and that was true for this book as well.
I felt that the last part of the book picked up some. We finally got to see the big conflict of the book happen, which had been building up all through the first half. We also got to see some maturity from our characters, and more of a focus on the familial relationships, which I enjoyed.
Overall, I’m glad I listened to this on audiobook, because I do not think I ever would have devoted the time to the physical copy. While I ended up enjoying some elements, I thought the book was overall too long, and I wasn’t very attached to the story or characters.
Do you have any fantasy of manners that you enjoy?