“Wildwood Dancing” by Juliet Marillier


About The Book :

 An awesome retelling of the fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Seriously.

My Review:

  I had my eye on “Wildwood Dancing” for a over year.  I mean, just look at the magnificence of its cover! It’s so whimsical and intricately detailed. But of course we all know that no matter how fabulous a cover is, what makes the book fully grip our hearts is whether or not the words inside touch us. Well, thankfully, the words inside this book were just as lovely as the cover upon it.

Going into a “Twelve Dancing Princess” retelling, I was somewhat wary that there would be dull scene after scene of just dancing. Do not get me wrong— dancing isn’t something I disapprove in books— but I prefer the story around it to flow and swirl just as smoothly as dancing should be done, and not just be focused on complicated steps and what not. And that is the case with this book. The author gave a story with sisters who visit a most magical world and dance, yet it is not dull and every dancing moment was far from putting me to sleep. *applause*

I found it rather interesting that this book takes place in Transylvania, a place we all associate with… well, monsters some people would rather not meet up with. And of course, vampires are the creatures that I speak of. And as weird as it sounds, this book does have these creatures, though they’re called Night People. Their use in the realm of magical creatures we are more familiar with in fairy tales (like fairies and dwarfs) was different, but a pretty neat idea to me. While there is mention of a supposed vampire attack on one person and some animals, it was never squeamishly gory, and so the inclusion of these creatures was well done. *more applause*

As for the characters, most of them were so likable. Jena is one of the more quiet literary heroines who doesn’t have to wield a sword to be cool. And I just love her little frog companion, Gogu. Her sisters were also very well developed, and they seemed very real. I actually liked that this particular Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling had only 5 sisters, so there were less characters to keep up with. But the few characters in them were awesome— save the villains — and I’d like to read more about them. (I have read the sequel to this book, but there NEEDS to be another…) *loudest applause*

Negatives for this book for me are few.  First, there were a couple uses of God’s name as exclamations (not in my copy now, mwahahaha…).

Next, while there were parts I didn’t see coming, I guessed early on about one thing thing and was right, and I wished I could have been more surprised. But my Sherlock moment wasn’t enough to ruin my overall enjoyment of this tale.

Lastly, I wasn’t very comfortable with the inclusion of a witch character. It is a fantasy, though, so I just took her as another fantasy type, such as a fairy.

In the end, with sweetness, adventure, and cutest little ending, I closed the book and hugged it because it was such a lovely tale for me. No, it wasn’t one hundred percent perfect, but over all I really enjoyed it and do plan to try some more by this author. Her storytelling is beautiful, and I find myself wanting more. I give “Wildwood Dancing” by Juliette Marillier a rating of four and a half (since it’s not quite a five because some of the content, but I overall like it quite a bit.).

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.


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