Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
This story is a loose retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. The number of sisters is cut down, but the basic premise is the same. The girls sneak out in the middle of the night to go dance in a fairy realm under the light of the moon. The story takes place in a haunted Romanian forest, and Jena the main character is forced to run her father’s house during a long winter since her father went away to a milder climate on account of ill health. During this time she must thwart the evil intentions of her cousin, protect her fairy friends, and protect her sister from the night people (vampires) that have recently come to the area.
At first I was a little bit bored with this book, but I really came to like Jena and her strong character. Jena had a really cute romance story that I liked, but one of her sisters falls in love with a vampire. I really didn’t like that twist, because I hate reading about vampires in general. I never got into the whole Twilight series. Yet, I ended up liking her story too, though she was really annoying most of the time, because it had a few twists that I didn’t expect. I had seen this book recommended on a clean reads blog, and so was surprised by one scene where Jena’s cousin is drunk and tires to seduce her rather clumsily. Jena totally stands up to him and puts him in his place, but I found the scene creepy enough to give readers of this blog a heads up. The story plot also focuses on why Jena and her sisters are able to dance with the fairies, and how her cousin tries to find the entrance into their realm to destroy them. All in all it was a decent read, but not one of my favorite fairy tale retellings.
Wildwood Dancing is a decently complex fairy tale retelling and therefore will appeal more to a teen audience. I’d say girls 14 and up.
Julie Mariller's website