Monday, April 27, 2009

Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing

Juliet Marillier

Surely you’ve heard the story before. Widower is struggling to make ends meet. He’s ill, and he has a number of daughters to take care of. He goes away to get better and sell his goods, leaving the two oldest daughters in charge. Unfortunately, there is an evil cousin who wants everything, including the second daughter’s hand in marriage.

So, you say, “I’ve read this, or something similar to it and so I can skip it.” Let me just tell you, you’d me making a horrible mistake. Wildwood Dancing is a wonderfully written story incorporating several popular fairy tales – and it has vampires! Actually they are called Night People, but we would associate them with the vampire myth.

Jena is the second daughter. She considers herself plain, especially when compared to her beautiful older sister Tati. Jena and her four sisters have a secret. Each month on the full moon, they open a secret portal and cross into the Wildwood to dance with all the magical creatures that inhabit this other world. The sisters follow explicit rules while in the Wildwood because although they love their journeys, they know they are not without danger.

In the real world, Jena’s family is struggling. Her father has left to regain his health, and her cousin is determined to take over. In the land of Transylvania of the Middle Ages, the opinion of women isn’t valued, and the suspicions of the people are great. Jena has much to fight against if her world is not to be destroyed.

As it should be obvious, I loved this book. I stayed up an hour past my bedtime to read it, and that just doesn’t happen on a school night (and I paid for it today!). If you love fairy tales, you must read Wildwood Dancing. (And I didn’t even mention the frog who you’ll love more than Kermit!)

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