Heather Dixon takes one of the lesser known fairy tales, and manages to pour a lot into the tale. This (on the surface) seems like it would be just a retelling of the tale of the 12 dancing Princesses, but is a much more complex story. While staying appropriate for the young adult set, it covers the subjects of responsibility, loss, anger, choices, rebellion, love and redemption without being overbearing. Like most good stories, this is really about people, a family, that lose their balance when the center of their world is taken away from them, and how they deal with the loss and pain as individuals and as a family. As in the dances the daughters learn from their beloved mother, sometimes our balance in life is held by a thread.
With this tale we see a new author enter the ranks of Juliet Marillier, Mercedes Lackey and Robin McKinley.
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.