Monday, January 15, 2007
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Books Completed: 3
Completion Date: January 14, 2007
Publication Year: 2007
Acquired from Random House in 2007
From Random House:
High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.
But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.
When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.
I have to apologize. This review is going to suffer because I read the book earlier this month, and then I got sick, and now I am not sure what I wanted to say anymore. I meant to review it right on the 23rd, and then I would have been good, but things did not work out that way.
First up, I have always wanted to read this author. She is an author that people I know that read fantasy talk about a lot, but she writes trilogies with thick books and some people like her, while others do not. When I saw this book I thought it was a good oppurtunity to see what I thought of her before reading some of her other books. It was a worthwhile read! A lot of people have been reading Stephanie Meyer and Holly Black in the young adult fantasy genre, and I think that Juliet Marillier is just as good. She reminds me a bit more of Holly Black or O.R. Melling, but she fits in well with the young adult novels that have been making the blog rounds.
In this book, though, it takes place in the past. It is not a modern novel with supernatural creatures like the other popular books. This is about a family of girls, five of them to be exact, who are making their way for a winter while their father is recuperating at another place from a disease of presumably the lungs. It is a time when women are not expected to be in roles of importance, so, their cousin Cezar steps in a great deal over the course of the novel to make the correct choices for his innocent cousins. He's a brute, truthfully, and you can say that without even going into the other aspects of his character that will be revealed when you read the book.
The majority of the book is told through the eyes of Jena. She is an unconventional girl for her times, but she finds that she is having a hard time being herself now that Cezar has taken over the reigns. There is also the fact that she has a pet frog, which is very unheard of for young ladies to have with them at all times. She makes her own rules, and learns that she does in fact have a voice through the course of this book.
I also really liked the fact that this was a fairy tale retelling. I think people have noticed that I am a big fan of that, and retellings of the Arthurian and Troy legends. If a book has that as its background, I am more apt to read it.
Overall, I thought this was a good young adult paranormal-type novel. I look forward to reading more Juliet Marillier's novels and I recommend this one.
This was a new to me author.