My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased by Me
Genre: Fairy Tale Re-telling
Book Description: 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
My thoughts: A couple of years ago I checked out the audio version of this book from my local library. I was in the middle of Spring deep cleaning and I thought I could multi-task, read a book and clean. Turns out that I am not a good multi-tasker. I did hear enough that I knew this was a book that I wanted to hold in my hands and read. I immediately purchased a copy and let it sit on my shelf for far too long.
Azalea is the eldest of the 12 dancing princesses. At the beginning of the book, her mother passes away just after giving birth to baby Lily. Her mother has her take an oath to watch over and protect her sisters.
Life in mourning is not fun for princesses who just want to dance. The perfect place is found in a magic tunnel leading to a land of silver and dancing. It doesn't take long for the princesses to realize that their perfect place isn't as lovely as it appeared. There is something off about "the Keeper", the man who controls the dance.
Azalea's oath takes on new dimensions and meanings as she is left alone to care for her sister's while her father is at war. The father she said goodbye to by telling him that he doesn't care for her or her sisters. The Father who she doesn't have a good relationship with.
The characters and language in the book are fun. I loved reading words like "corking". The sister's personalities are so different and complimentary. They love and respect each other and are able to tease and have fun together.
The gentlemen are very different as well. Lord Teddie is very odd, but lovable and hilarious. "The Keeper" changes as he slowly reveals his true character. He was intriguing. He kept the girls guessing as he told them tidbits of his past, slowly letting them know who he is.
I'm glad that I finally read this book. It was worth the wait. It was a clean read that fairy-tale lovers of all ages would enjoy.