Friday, March 21, 2008

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Five sisters live in a Romanian castle in which they have discovered a secret portal to the Other Kingdom on the night of each full moon. This other kingdom is filled with fairies, creatures, and other beings who are known about amongst the humans, but rarely seen and more often feared. The five sisters enter the fairy realm and dance the night away before rushing back home shortly before dawn.

Their lives are pretty much idyllic. They are very content until a series of events begin to chip away at their happiness. First their father falls ill and must go away for treatment. Then their cousin Cezar begins to take over their business and remove freedoms and privileges that the girls are used to enjoying. And finally a mysterious dark haired stranger has stolen one sister's heart and she is no longer at all the same.

This is a mixture of several different fairy tales rolled into one retelling. The first seems to be an adaption of the Twelve Dancing Princesses (although in this tale there are only five sisters and no princes lose their heads). The second is the Frog Prince. One of the elder sisters has a pet frog whom she found in the woods. Not an ordinary frog, but one that can communicate telepathically to her (only her...).

I really wanted to be swept away by this book. Heck the cover had me half swept away already. Unfortunately, I guess, it wasn't meant to be. I found the book to be overlong and the dialog more than a bit clunky. I was able to figure out all the major plot points far before the characters did (such as the significance of the meeting the old crone in the woods as children, who the frog was, how it was going to end...etc.). And that made for some long drawn out reading.


joanna said...

Wow Patti! Look at you writing a review 10 days after giving BIRTH.

Kerry said...

No kidding. I can't even write a review and I gave birth six WEEKS ago. I'm going to go to bed...zzz...zzz...zzz