Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.
But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.
When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love. description from Goodreads
My dear friend, Colleen, recommended this book to me a few years ago. Sometimes it takes me a few years to get around to a book. I am glad that I got around to this one.
This fairy tale has it all: vampires, fairies, talking frogs, forbidden love, and girls crossing on boats across a lake to dance at the full moon with the fairies. This is a retelling of the dancing Princesses, but Marillier has carved out her own story line.
The main character is Jenica, she is the second of five daughters. Her father is leaving their home for the winter because it is a cold climate and he is sickly. He is leaving Jenica in charge of his business affairs while he is away to be overseen by their uncle Nicolae and his son Cezar.
Tragedy strikes, and it is up Jenica, with the help of the fay and her "pet" talking frog to find away to prevent disaster. She must find away to keep the world of the fay and the human world from colliding and destroying each other.
This story reminds me why I love fairy tales. It is well written and has fun and engaging characters. The ending and the mystery of the frog is well worth it's own shout out. I had figured it out before the end, but it was great to see the story play out.
The vampires worked well, due to the setting. It IS set in Transylvania.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fairy tale, this one without a princess though.
I loved it so much, that I just ordered the second book, Cybele's Secret. We'll see if it takes me a couple of years to get to it. Lol
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