January 23, 2007
Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Rating: 5 cups
Jena was only fourteen years old, but wise beyond her years. Her mother had passed away and she assisted her father with his business as well as looked after her four sisters. Her father became ill and had to leave for a few months to escape the harsh Transylvanian winter. Jena and her older sister, Tatiana, were left in charge of the business and the household.
Cezar, the girls’ older cousin, was determined to control his uncle’s business. When he took over he became cruel and not only wanted to possess the estate, but Jena herself. Playing on the suspicions of the village people, he set out to destroy that which was different from him.
The five sisters each have distinct personalities and strengths. They also have a secret. Through a portal in their bedroom, they are able to travel to the Other World, a magical world that resided in their very own woods. Cezar, with a devastating secret of his own, has made it his mission to destroy that world and all its magical creatures. Jena, with the help of her pet frog, must do her best to save it while trying to heal her sister, whose health is mysteriously deteriorating.
Ms. Marillier has succeeded in creating a fairy-tale of mythical proportions. The captivating story leads you through the seemingly ordinary lives of five girls and takes you to a wondrous place where they can escape from the monotony of their every day lives. The journey is not without danger, though, and it makes the story all that more dramatic. The landscape is lush and the characters are marvelously intriguing. One spectacular facet of this amazing tale is that the main characters are all strong females, which is not always seen in fairy tales. It is a wonderful novel for young adults, particularly girls, who will be able to closely identify with at least one of the sisters. Wildwood Dancing is an enchanting fantasy that is romantic, exhilarating and will entrance the reader from beginning to end.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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