Love the story. Its sweet, and heart renching, and it shows something that many people forget, the magic of childhood
Juliet Marillier does it again by taking a classic child's fairy tale and turning it in to a novel that the adult can treasure and appreciate for years. I loved this book and not too patiently wait for it's sequel.
I have a weakness for fairy tale retellings. I wasn't expecting this to be one, but I was delighted to discover it was a take on the twelve dancing princesses and the frog prince rolled into one. Jena is the second eldest of five sisters who have a secret - every full moon they can open a portal in their room that leads to a dancing glade in the faerie world where they dance the night away. Trouble comes into their lives when their beloved father falls ill and he must leave them for a warmer climate to get his health back, leaving their uncle in charge. But their cousin Cezar has other, sinister plans. Then their eldest sister Tatiana falls in love with one of the mysterious vampire-like Night People, and Jena is desperate to prevent their relationship from becoming serious. It's a wonderful tale about the power of love and trust and good and evil, with a strong heroine and a magical atmosphere. Marillier knows how to spin a fantastic web to capture her readers' imagination and engage their emotions.
This was a great love story and contained a complex plot. I loved the scenery described. It was an excellent book for romance/fantasy readers. Overall, I thought this book was pretty good.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!
THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME! I literally could not stop reading it. I started it at about 11 am and finished itat 2 am. I didnt even stop for meals; I ate while I read.
In Transylvania, there are five sisters raning in age from 16 to 5 years old. The book is told from the POV of the second oldest, Jena. For years, on every Full Moon, the girls have bolted their bedroom door and gone through a portal to the Other Kingdom where theyve danced the night away with all the amazing creatures that live there. One winter, the girls father becomes very ill and has to go far south to a warmer climate because he wouldnt be able to survive the winter there. He leaves Jena and Tati (the eldest) in charge of the house and his business, but their cousin Cezare has other plans. He wants their fathers business and land for himself. He also wants to destroy the Other Kingdom, which he blames for the death of his brother when they were children. Its up to Jena to save everything she loves.
This book was so, so good. Really charming. Jena was a great main character. Shes smart and independent, but not infallible. The author does a really great job of making it clear why Jena loves the Other Kingdom so much, even though shes careful not to make them the happy shiny Victorian-style fairyland. This Kingdom has teeth. But youre totally rooting for them to survive anyway, and not just because Cezare is a misogynist, hateful asshat.
I especially loved the relationship between Jena and her pet frog, Gogu. Who speaks to her. Shes the only one who can hear him and everyone thinks shes a little strange because she carries him everywhere she goes and talks to him. But he really can talk to her and its a sweet little relationship they have.
Im a total sucker for stories that incorporate folktale tropes in interesting ways, and this book totally did. The companion novel, 'Cybele's Secret' is excellent as well.