Series : NA
Author : Heather Dixon
Rating : ***
Basic Plot : This story revolves around a band of 12 sister princesses living in a castle with Sir, the King, their father. Their mother had tragically passed away after giving birth to the last little girl and they are all expected to live the next year in mourning. That means no sunlight, no visitors, no walking in the gardens, and worst of all, no dancing. The King does not approve of breaking any of those rules. Just when Azalea, the High Princess who has just come of age, should have the world before her, she is locked away. Yet, they discover something. A hidden passage in their room which leads to a magical pavilion and its master, The Keeper. He too has been locked away, but for centuries, and allows the girls this secret place for them to dance. It does come with a price however, as the name Keeper may suggest. Every night the girls enter the enchanted passage, emerge in the silver forest, and dance in the magical pavilion. Every night Azalea becomes even more entwined in The Keepers web.
Significance : The meaning I gleaned from this book came through the unity of loss. The Queen, the girl's mother, dies from illness in the early chapters of the book. The girls and their father are devastated. Initially, The King takes the death of his wife badly and isolates himself from his family. He is obligated to ride off to war, leaving his 12 daughters to mourn and fend for themselves. Through this tragedy the girls become even closer, bonding over their loss. It takes some time, but the King does return and slowly begins to rediscover his place as their Papa. It is sweet, really, the way everyone comes together in the end. The perfect kind of story for my sentimental, endlessly teenage heart.
Similar : The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Treachery of Beautiful things by Ruth Long, The Season by Sarah MacLean