Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
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.
Jillian’s Review:
I couldn’t put this one down. The main character, Jena, is strong and believable. Though the second to the oldest, Jena assumes responsibility over the household when her father leaves to regain his health in a warmer climate. She’s caught in her cousin, Cezar’s, trap of lies as he tries to usurp her authority and take over their property.
Cezar is a true bad guy who I disliked from the beginning and my animosity towards him grows with each encounter Jena has with him. His beguiling tongue almost makes me believe what he says about only wanting to protect his five cousins, almost. I found myself oddly looking forward to each encounter with him because I couldn’t wait for his time of reckoning.
I loved Jena’s connection to her special friend, frog Gogu. No one truly believes that she can hear his thoughts and that he understands her when she speaks to him, but I did. I had high hopes for Gogu and I was not disappointed.
Every detail in Marillier’s novel emanates magic, even outside of the enchanted Other Kingdom. I can’t wait to lose myself in the sequel to this novel, Cybele’s Secret.


Rosenbalm Photography said...

This sounds wonderful. I think I will read it to the kids.

Misty Moncur said...

Where do you find all these awesome books? The blurb actually sounds a bit like Pride and Prejudice. Did you catch that all when you read it?

Jillian said...

Yes, Jennifer, your kids would enjoy this one.

Misty, I didn't get the pride and prejudice feel, but I think it's because this one has such a magical feel throughout the entire novel that I lost myself in its pages.

Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, Book 2) is even better than this one. I LOVED it and am so sad that I read it so fast and now it's over. I really hope there's a third to this series and soon.