Take the old story of The Dancing Princesses and weave something new? Not a problem for Heather Dixon in ENTWINED (Greenwillow 2011). Azalea is the oldest of twelve girls. (and they are named Azalea, Bramble, Clover, etc.). Her mother dies on Christmas Eve giving birth to her new sister, Lily. The King (none of the girls addresses him as Papa) declares a year of mourning. Gone are the dance lessons. Gone are the meals shared with the King. Windows are draped in black, and all of the girls' clothing has been dyed to match. Azalea holds tight to the handkerchief woven with strands of silver that her Mother gave her the night she died, asking Azalea to swear to take care of her sisters. A silver oath is not one that can be broken as Azalea learns. She also learns that this silver kerchief can open up some of the magicked rooms in the dreary castle. Before long, Az and her sisters have found the silver forest and the dancers who gather each evening to perform intricate dances. They also discover Keeper, a handsome and charming young man who holds a dark secret. <336>
Dixon's creation of the magicked castle brings this fairy tale into a whole new realm. The intricacies of the dance movements mirror the intricacies of RB (royal business) and romance and affairs of the heart as well.