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Wildwood Dancing [Download] ➽ Wildwood Dancing Author Juliet Marillier – Buyprobolan50.co.uk 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 fo 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 stopWhen 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 From the Hardcover edition.

10 thoughts on “Wildwood Dancing

  1. Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies says:

    This is a book to be read in the fall preferably a crisp October day Wrap yourself in a warm blanket curl up in your favorite reading seat lose yourself in this magical fantasyI believe that hard work and perseverance supersedes natural talent but sometimes there is just no denying that some people were just born to be writers I have read almost every single one of Ms Marillier's books and while the plot sometimes doesn't work for me in her adult novels there is absolutely no denying the fact that she is one of the best fantasy writers out there today Her characters male and female are believable flawed complex interesting The side characters are present they are crucial; they are never relegated to the background at the expense of highlighting the main character's perfection The settings within her books are always spectacularly wrought be it a Celtic based fantasy or a dark Transylvanian village and castle within this bookThe plot flows like the finest silk The writing is so beautiful that it fills me with joy This is the kind of book you read in whispers in a uiet reverenceYou want a beautiful setting? You got it You want sisterly relationships that are better yes I said it BETTER than Pride Prejudice? Boom You want magic? It's here Read this bookThe Plot This book is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses with a little Transylvanian vampire lore thrown into the mixThere are five loving sisters living in a old crumbling castle; they don't always get along but there is no denying their love for one another Jena is our narrator the second oldest the practical rational responsible oneThere is a magical gathering inside an enchanted land in which mystical fantastical creatures gather and dance under the light of the full moon The cold dark starkly beautiful landscape of the forest the wildwood the Deadwash Tǎul IelelorThere is a forbidden love between the much beloved oldest sister and a tragic creature of the night A clash between the two worlds that should never beThere is a uest for vengeance from a bitter controlling cruel young man A cousin of the family who is determined to destroy all that is magical about the Transylvanian forestThere is a deep friendship between that young woman and her improbable pet a magical frogThere is a young woman's uest to keep her family together and to save the enchanted land which they love so much while learning her own inner strength and discovering the depths of her own heartThe Setting I know I am being so repetitive here but there's no other words to describe the setting of this book It is just magical it is wondrous in every sense of the word Real life takes place in a village of Transylvania It is a small village overlooked by a grand decaying crumbling castle that is no less beloved for its ancient age and its oddity in construction It looked as if it had grown up out of the forest with an assortment of bits and pieces sprouting from every corner tiny turrets long covered walkways suat round towers arches and flagpoles Piscul Dracului is the idyllic home of the five sisters and their loving widower father a merchant who often travels As children the sisters stumbled upon a secret portal to a land of magic the Bright Between where festivities take place on the night of the full moon A circle of autumn clad trees sheltered the grassy sward their branches hung with still lanterns These cast a warm light over the brightly clad revelers whose gowns and masks robes and jewels filled the open space with a swirling mass of color Above them creatures performed aerial dances of their own some borne on delicate diaphanous wings some on leathery creaking membranes They wear their finest dresses and their sturdiest shoes for they will dance all night surrounded by all sorts of creatures bizarre and beautiful and everything in between Every girl has their place in a cliue here from witches to dwarves to flying feathery things that they call friends As strange as they may seem to an observers these odd beings are kind friendly welcoming They have known these girls since some of them were little than toddlers Stela was with the smallest folk down near the musicians There was a double ring of them weaving in and out and around about in a dance of their own Some had wings some horns some feathers and some shining jewel bright scales They were chattering like a mob of little birds as they pranced to and fro and still managing to get every step perfect We’d all started here; as we grew older we had been welcomed by different folk collected by different ferrymen and permitted to mix widely Dancing Glade had its own set of rules It is a joyous festive party a bright spot in their everyday livesBut not all is bright We see the darkness the growing suspicion and fears of the villagers as they grow to distrust the unseen creatures of the wild Rest assured the world of the village and the atmosphere is eually compelling The setting in its entirety is so well described so beautifully spun It is a feast for the imaginationThe Characters I absolutely adored the sisters and their relationship The five sisters within this book actually feel a lot like the five Bennet sisters in some ways albeit rather lively We have Tatiana the eldest the dreamy beauty whose love story is filled with obstruction; it may feel like a bit of a stretch but I see a lot of Jane in her Tatiana is deeply romantic a lovely sweet gentle soul easily hurt Then there is Jenica or Jena our main narrator I adored her She is strong she is the glue that holds the family together while their father is away She handles a lot of the household affairs she coordinates her sisters she is ordinary but wonderfully strong rational and above all else loyal to her sisters She is a thinker she is too much of a thinker and too wary at times but Jena only wants the best for her family Though strong Jena is not without doubt and it is hard to earn her trust She has a good head on her shoulders “I don’t trust easily” I said “I don’t like violent solutions to problems And I prefer to know exactly what I’m getting intoI’m careful” I told him “I look out for my sisters” There is also the flighty flirtatious Iulia a Kitty of sorts The studious book smart mentally brilliant Paula who feels like a Mary and the youngest girl the adorable StelaThere are many girls; I had no trouble telling them apart I had no trouble distinguishing them from their personality because they feel real The dynamics between sisters are wonderful to see; they fight they suabble they love one another undisputedlyThe villains are many; there are characters from the Night People from the east They are vampires with plans of their own But that's not all there are enemies who are much closer to home like Cezar their cousin who is determined to destroy the forest and the magical link in between worlds for his own personal uest of vengeance Yes I’m angry I want the truth—and when I have it I’ll use it to destroy those who tricked me those who played the most evil joke in the world on me I will tear them apart limb from limb and then I will destroy their forest so that they can never return to haunt me I will drive them even out of my dreams Nobody is relegated to the background here detail is paid every character no matter how insignificant I may not love everyone in the book but every single character was exuisitely writtenThe Romance The romance is so subtle so sweet so light There is that bitter ache of first love but it is so much than that Love is portrayed in so many ways in this book We see it as Tatiana falls for her forbidden young man one who loves her eually in return without hope of ever being together We see it in other ways It is not just romance between two people who are attracted to each other it is love between sisters the love of a loyal friend who has become your closest ally your staunchest defender Then there is the angry sort of love the controlling sort of a young man determined to control and overwhelm that whom he cannot haveAnd then there is Jena and her romance is the sweetest because we have seen what she has gone through in order to achieve her happy ending His heart and mine added a rhythm all their own We turned and turned and with every turning we breathed a little uickly and held on a little tightly and when we came back to the place where we’d started we stopped dancing and stood with our arms around each other holding on as if we would never let go not if the sky fell and the whole world came to an end You will never regret reading this book

  2. Kat Kennedy Kat Kennedy says:

    The problem with this book is that it's not realJuliet Marillier is my arch nemesis and main rival We've been competing against each other for the coveted title of #1 most followed Australian for awhile now The battle has been vicious The competition fierce image error

  3. Cristina Monica Cristina Monica says:

    What an enchanting story The kind that makes your eyes sparkle with wonderJuliet Marillier is a fine new discovery of an author for me Her writing is tremendously elegant soft to the ear and flowing like a gentle but unwavering wave It will catch your attention but also manage into holding it Juliet Marillier is talented without doubtFairy tale retellings sweep me off my feet I love princesses knights otherworldly creatures prophecies curses witches seeing true love bloom and everything else this genre has to offer Wildwood Dancing is beautiful and truly magical It isn’t without flaws and I will get to that but reading it means hearing the witch cackle feel the sisters’ love for one another in the air and your heart twist in knots to what is unfair A delight to the sensesThe villain in the story going by the name of Cezar is what makes this book four star worthy instead of five mainly Being an antagonist we can comprehend his being nasty foul and manipulative but is it really necessary for us to be exposed to him so much? I am the kind who enjoys villainous characters for the contrast it brings to the atmosphere but a character that destroys others’ spirits and hopes is not welcome in every chapter I grew tired of him Jena is a magnificently strong adventurous and courageous lead heroine She and her sisters’ lives are prone to change when the Night People start roaming about the Other Kingdom and one of their own falls in love with one of those dark beings I do admit that we do not get as much of the other sisters as we do about Jena and Tatiana but that is mostly because they are too young to have their own world shattering conflicts and that’s for the best Too much drama is never welcome Also there is a companion novel with as lead one of the young sisters to make up for it I like to thinkI am than glad I gave this sadly under the radar book a chanceHere's hoping you will too

  4. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    Gorgeous cover art gorgeous story Wildwood Dancing is mostly a loose retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale but this novel set in Transylvania in about the 1500's pulls in threads from various fairy tales and legends and weaves them together There are five sisters ages 5 17 living in a castle on a mountain Every full moon the sisters go through a magical portal to the Other Kingdom a fairy land in kind of an alternate reality set very close to the real world There they spend the night visiting and dancing with all different types of wondrous magical creatures some appealing some scary The scary ones include vampires and Jena the second sister who is the narrator of the story is afraid that her older sister Tatiana has fallen in love with a young vampireThere are so many layers and elements to this story a jealous cousin who tries to take control of Jena's family A talking frog who is Jena's closest friend Sibling rivalry Powerful and remote faeries Being sent on a uest for love And looking back on it I'm amazed at how wonderfully all of these complex themes and elements are woven together And the underworld society of fairies and other fantastical magical creatures is so vivid and imaginative My only beef is that the villain in the story is a little over the topThis one is enjoyable by young readers as well as adults In fact I think I need to go find it and read it again When I first read this fairy tale novel I rated it four stars but the I think about this book and compare it to others I've read in the genre lately the I'm impressed with it So it's belatedly getting all five stars

  5. Navessa Navessa says:

    DNF 80%Unbelievably disappointing Utterly underwhelming Filled with contrivances plot holes and rampant stupidity on the part of the MC I spent the entirety of this book PISSED mostly at the weakness of our supposedly headstrong intelligent and capable heroine because while I was told that she was all of these things I was never shown that she was any of these things All I saw of her was a weak willed doormat of an MC so spineless that I'm surprised she was able to stand upright An eual measure of my rage was directed at her sullen selfish ingrate of an older sister Also one dimensional villain is one dimensional He's a bully got it Got it the first time actually Telling me for the 1546353 time that he was a bully was just overkill Patronizing even UGH Entwined is a much better example of this retelling Better paced filled with compelling female characters and their believable relationships as sisters entertaining poetic and with an ending that didn't make me want to curse the gods of deus ex machina This review can also be found at The Book Eaters

  6. Melindam Melindam says:

    This book gives new dimensions to the word UNDERWHELMINGThe cover is gorgeous but everything else about this book is just the biggest MEHThere was so much potential and it was soooo obviously wasted It was a contradictory mess with plotholes bigger than TransylvaniaMaybe because I am not so young any I probably would have enjoyed it at 13 but I just cannot buy into this tale 3 decades laterIt probably also did not help that the narrator had such a whiny and saccharine voice that it gave me a permanent toothacheAnd what is it with authors trying to sell their heroines as oh so very clever sensible and then making them painfully dumb and ignorant at every turn because they have no other idea how to move the plot forward?? SeriouslyThere is a deep and wide pool of selfish helpless imbecile heroines out there in fiction but the main character’s Jena sister Tati takes the serious biscuit She is completely braindead makes me want to slap her all the way to Transylvania and back just to make her see the slightest tickle of sense And yet she was beyond hope really And all because of LUV as we are told Tati you are the eldest all your sisters especially your small sis of 5 years really needs your help support OH NOOOOOOOO I caaaaaaan’t I am hopelessly in LUV But your father seems to be dying your mother has already been dead and your younger sisters truly depend on your love care OH NOOOOOOOO I don’t care I am hopelessly in LUV But all your selfishness and your foolish acts actually endanger yourself your lover as well as your sisters and your whole family OH NOOOOOOOO I don’t care I caaaaaaan’t I am hopelessly in LUV You are starving yourself to death what must your sisters think feel with you perishing wasting in front of their eyes and the youngest one – may I remind you of the fact that she is only 5? OH NOOOOOOOO I don’t care I caaaaaaan’t I am hopelessly in LUV But it would help your lover in his difficult uest to win you if you believed in him and actually stayed alive strong for him so that he can come for you at the end OOOOHHHH I am soooo much in LUV but NOT THAT MUCHAh well I guess it is all right then Let’s move onJena the MC has some saving graces even though most of the time she also acts unbelievably dim witted and weak for someone who is supposed to be strong sensibleBut at least when she is told off by her younger sister Paula – the only really clever sensible and interesting character of the whole story – that she had selfishly abandoned her younger sisters she has the grace to be ashamed of herself tries to make amends It also irritated me how she tried to sort out everything on her own like the increasing bullying of their cousin's Cesar when it was clear that she is too weak to get anywhere she just gave up moping and groaning and waiting for others' intervention It never ever occurred to her to collect all her sisters tell them about the problems find solutions together defy Cesar or even slap some sense into their obtuse older sister view spoiler Is it just me or was the frog who is just an enchanted man in disguise spending all the time in the girls’ bedroom watching them dress sleeping on the heroine's bed really creepy? hide spoiler

  7. Grace Grace says:

    I don't recall the last time I've read a fiction book based on classic fairy tales that was this excellent and I've read many The tone of this book does indeed feel a lot like the recent works of Patricia McKillip but Marillier manages to make you care about the characters and this is coming from a huge McKillip fan I don't cry easily at books but I found myself moved to tears at several pointsThe book takes the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses and sets it in Romania telling of 5 sisters who journey through a secret portal at Full Moon each month to dance in the Realm of Faerie Things start to turn when their father has to go away for the winter because of illness and the oldest daughter falls in love with one of the Night People vampires successfully incorporated into Faerie context than anything else I've read Add a plot with an outstandingly rendered true soulmate friendship between the lead character and her pet frog who communicates to her in her mind and this book was the first book in literally YEARS that I truly couldn't put down at night and stayed up late to finish The villain of the book as well is a brilliantly rendered character who you both loathe and feel sorry for at the same timeI'd love to see Juliet Marillier do books along the line of classic fairy tale retellings It suits her so very well I've heard that she is currently working on the seuel to this book and I'm elated to hear this newsEven though this book is technically a young adult novel it is one of the most fascinating and maturely written plots I've read in years and can be appreciated by fairy tale lovers of all ages

  8. Mogsy (MMOGC) Mogsy (MMOGC) says:

    35 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum finishing Wildwood Dancing I’ve decided to give it a solid 35 stars Considering this is my first Juliet Marillier book that didn’t rate at least a 4 I probably should be feeling disappointed especially since out of all her older titles this was one I’d been looking forward to reading the most But honestly I am not The reality is while I’m pretty convinced that Marillier is incapable of writing a bad novel I also wouldn’t expect to fall in love with every single one of them and even though I didn’t think this was one of her best I still thought it was a very good book and I enjoyed it a lotNaturally Wildwood Dancing is a reimagining of several fairy tales and other stories inspired by folklore It’s a Marillier novel after all In the tradition of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” the story follows a family of five sisters who put on their fine dancing gowns every full moon in order to travel to another realm where they would dance all night with the magical creatures who live there Only the five girls know how to get to this enchanted kingdom through the mysterious portal hidden deep in their home of Piscul Draculi their castle nestled in the woods of the Transylvanian highlandsThe story is told through the eyes of Jena the second eldest who assumes the responsibility of looking after her sisters and running the family business after their father is taken to the southlands to recover from a grave illness But everything changes with the arrival of their cousin Cezar a power hungry man determined to take over the castle and see Jena and her sisters grow up to be “proper” young ladies His presence has made the girls’ full moon visits through the portal difficult and it doesn’t help either that Tatiana Jena’s older sister has apparently fallen in love with one of the dangerous dark creatures from the Other Kingdom As trouble descends on all sides Jena struggles to keep her family together and maintain her control over Piscul Draculi even while Cezar tightens his grip around them all and Tatiana continues to slip awayI should also probably note that Wildwood Dancing is categorized as a YA novel and it’s possible that some of my issues with the book had to do with the fact it’s aimed at a younger audience In spite of the story’s charming premise it’s admittedly predictable at times and hampered by some annoying tropes Not to mention they aren’t very subtle The moment Cezar sweeps in you could tell he was the evil evil bad guy pumped up on his own self importance and never misses a moment to tell Jena what a silly and improper girl she is for daring to think for herself There is really nothing to his character than being teeth grindingly obnoxious and soul crushing Tatiana also frustrated me because while it’s all fine and good to fall in love it’s not so cool when that love completely consumes you to the point you throw aside the concerns of those who care about you or that you abandon all your responsibilities including the need to take care of yourself Tatiana gradually becomes this empty shell because we’re to believe she’s so lovesick after a boy that she loses the will to eat As the main character Jena is not immune from criticism either; where her emotions are concerned she has blind spots than a drunk bat and I freuently found her stubbornness maddening For a female protag who is supposed to be strong and independent she can be stunningly ineffectualThe characters were probably the novel’s weakest aspect Happily predictable or not I was really interested in the story and that kept me turning the pages The Transylvanian setting was intriguing along with all that it implies I also liked how snippets of multiple fairy tales were woven into the plot and the way Marillier somehow made it all work Like most of her novels Wildwood Dancing is infused with a whimsical but dark tone enchanting but also potentially dangerous and to be sure if you enjoy fairy tale retellings or stories with that kind of vibe you really can’t go wrong with anything she writesEver since I read my first Juliet Marillier novel and she became one of my favorite authors I have been meaning to go back to read of her work I’m glad I read Wildwood Dancing but given how I felt about it I’ll probably set the seuel Cybele’s Secret as lower priority while I tackle some of her other adult novels since I find them to be complex and feature developed and convincing characters Still Wildwood Dancing was a delightful read and it is impressive for YA Fans of Marillier owe it to themselves to check this one out

  9. Sarah Sarah says:

    In Wildwood Dancing Juliet Marillier introduces us to five sisters sixteen year old Tatiana the team mom; fifteen year old Jenica the practical one; thirteen year old Iulia the budding socialite; twelve year old Paula the intellectual; and five year old Stela who’s cute They live in a castle deep in the forests of Transylvania sometime during the Renaissance They have little company except their father two loyal servants and occasional visits from their relatives But every full moon they follow a secret passage from their bedroom to a magical forest to join the faeries’ dance The fae are ruled by a mostly gracious but hot tempered ueen—but even ueen Ileana must answer to the mysterious witch Draguta whom our five heroines have never seenThis routine has been going on for years resulting in many wonderful friendships between the girls and the benevolent wood people—especially between Jena and her constant companion the frog Gogu with whom she has established a telepathic bond But this year change is on the wind—and Jena our narrator does not like itFasten your seatbelts for what can only be described as Little Women meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Transylvania SettingMarillier’s lush descriptive prose draws you so deep into this beautiful spooky world that you can smell the mustiness of the secret passage hear the ferrymen’s oars as they cross the enchanted lake and see the merry torchlight of the dancing lawn and the clear stars above You can tell from the concreteness of her descriptions that she has walked in these places or at least places very much like them This solidness makes the story—which is like any good fairytale full of metamorphoses and plot twists—seemed grounded when it could easily become far flung and flimsy in the hands of a less skilled writerThe Wildwood has many personalities Ileana’s ueendom is like her generous but mercurial The sad dead patch of forest ruled by the Night People tells you almost everything you need to know about them Then there’s the sisters’ castle Piscul Draculi which like Professor Kirke’s house in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe walks the fine line between cozy and creepy PlotThe sisters’ routine is disturbed first by the intrusion of the Night People on the Full Moon festivities Their leader the charismatic and sardonic Tadeusz has an uneasy peace with Ileana but she and her creatures are repulsed by the rumors of bloodshed hovering over him and his which they do nothing to dispelOne in Tadeusz’ group is a handsome melancholy young man who goes by the apt name of Sorrow who has never so much as opened his mouth during a Full Moon gathering Sorrow instantly becomes enad of the kind and beautiful Tatiana who much to the alarm of sensible Jena soon returns his affections Tati insists that Sorrow is not one of the Night People despite all appearances Jena is not convincedBack in the mortal world the girls’ father is far away in the last hope that warmer air will save him They are looked after by their kindly Uncle Nicholae fussy Aunt Bogdana and cousin Cezar who is becoming increasingly difficult Everyone knows Cezar has had an unpleasant youth—when he was eight he witnessed his older brother drown and even now it seems his parents value dead Costi than him Now a young man he is prone to outbursts of rage and fears of the forest and is especially unkind to Jena They are uickly running out of money with no way to replenish it and winter is comingThis brings us back to the Wildwood Jena is sure the Night People will eventually start taking victims among the villagers She fears not only for the villagers but that hot tempered Cezar and his accomplices might retaliate catching her innocent faerie friends in the crossfire and probably doing little damage to the perpetrators It doesn’t help that dark powerful Tadeusz himself is attracted to Jena and offers to help out While she refuses his offer he senses that she is both frightened of and fascinated by him and decides to “help” anyway But he tells her upfront that he will demand compensation for his kindness and she knows the price will be terrible In addition to all these problems which will affect many lives Jena grapples with one that at the moment seems very small though it turns out to be as big as any of the others her dear little frog her best friend since she was little Gogu has suddenly become moody and secretive Occasionally he says strange things about emotions that frogs usually don’t have or facts that he particularly could not have knownSuffice that poor Jena has responsibilities riding on her than a fifteen year old should Who will help her? Ileana and her husband Marin? Draguta who has never shown herself at a Full Moon dance and may have no sympathy for a human? Or Tadeusz who clearly acts upon his own ulterior motives?As deaths including her uncle’s begin piling up among both the villagers and the forest dwellers Jena’s choice becomes very important indeedCharacters There’s uite a bit of Lizzy Bennet and Jo March in Jena our protagonist Lively and a bit sarcastic she thinks she knows than her gentle romantic older sister and is the boss in the absence of parents She’s smart enough to know that her frog Gogu must really be a man in an enchanted form but too oblivious to notice that he’s in love with her I appreciated that she starts the book with frizzy hair and a flat chest and she ends the book with frizzy hair and a flat chest and plenty of men are still attracted to herOf the other four sisters Tati is the most developed Like Jane Bennet or Meg March she’s the prettiest sister and the kindest She thinks the best of others even when she has every reason to be suspicious of them Her soft heart immediately gives itself to Sorrow a captive of the Night People When Sorrow is in danger Tati’s empathetic bond with him begins to drain her to the point where people in the village think she’s either starving herself or turning into a Night Person She has a close tight relationship with Jena and is a good influence on herThe younger girls are not as fleshed out but their personalities are still distinct and bounce off each other nicely Iulia is a Kitty Bennet or a less obnoxious Amy March—she just wants a social life some pretty dresses and in time a handful of suitors Paula is an uptight little scholar who spends dance nights wrangling magical lore from wizards and mages but she’s also the most level headed girl in the group who can take care of little Stela when the others are too busy being confused by boys Think Mary Bennet only useful and without the tone deaf singingStela is the only sister without an obvious Austen or Alcott analogue At five years old she doesn’t have much personality except being a cute good tempered child who doesn’t understand all the scary changes going on around her and clings to her adorable faerie friends for comfortGoguCosti is a swoon worthy male lead and not just for his aristocratic profile and beautiful emerald eyes As a frog he can be snide and funny or mysteriously sad As a man he’s the soul of kindness loving Jena from afar even when she has lashed out at him out of fear He’s uiet and gentle and takes nothing for granted He’s a bigger man than his brother without ever raising a hand to him and it’s implied that after the book ends he will become a respected leader in the community Not as dastardly clever as Eugenides The Thief The ueen of Attolia Howl Howl's Moving Castle or Vidanric Crown Duel Court Duel but just as romantic and strong He’s earned his spot in my Heroic Heartthrob Hall of Fame Sorrow has also earned a spot in the HHHF even though he never speaks until the climax for his risking his life on a near suicidal uest to earn his sister’s ransom from the Night People He redeems himself a thousand times over for any superficial resemblance he may bear to Edward Cullen Also he is not actually a vampire Yay Tadeusz is a perfect vampire—proud secretive sultry cool headed and Machiavellian His wooing of Jena is portrayed exactly how it should be intriguing but never safe or good On the surface he can be flippant and selfish even sadistic—but it is implied near the end by Draguta who would know that there’s still a spark of good in him and that he actually loves Jena in his fashion Suffice that he works as either a pure villain or a tortured soul who yearns for goodness and light but is afraid to accept themCezar starts out an insecure boy in a desperate rage to prove himself a man and over the course of the novel it consumes him Draguta the witch of the wood is a laugh riot while at the same time being uite spooky More than anyone else she personifies the whimsy both light and dark that characterizes this novelContent Advisory for Teachers Librarians Parents and Sensitive Kids Violence Uncle Nicholae is felled by a crossbow bolt to the chest in a hunting accident He bleeds out on Cezar who in his daze of grief leaves a trail of blood dripping from his garments all over the houseWhen Tadeusz and his friends help Jena by mending the manor fence even though she told them it was unnecessary they compensate themselves by draining the blood from a village girl who does not survive the ordeal Her death is not shownThis motivates Cezar and the other men of the village to scour the woods for the Night People but Tadeusz and company are far too crafty for them But Cezar does manage to capture an innocent dwarf—one of Ileana’s folk who has nothing to do with the vampires—tortures him ostensibly for information and murders him The death of the dwarf Anatolie is not shown but he was a friend of the sisters’ The Night People enjoy torturing those who wander into their realm uninvited When Tati and Jena foolishly accept Tadeusz’ invitation there they witness vampires forcing an exhausted man to dance and throwing sharp objects at a woman caught in a big bag like a cat A drunken Cezar hits Jena when she rejects his advances When sober he threatens her her sisters and their servants He tries to throttle Costi Sex Tadeusz is a sensual creature and though his interactions with Jena are chaste it is clear that he would like that to change eventually He runs a fingertip down her neck at one point causing Gogu to hop on himCezar gets drunk at a party and pins Jena against the wall forcing a kiss on her and attempting to molest her Disgusted she fights him off and he strikes her At this same party Iulia who’s only thirteen but has the figure of an older girl shows up in a low cut gown hoping to look like a grown up Before Jena can loan her a shawl or scarf Cezar yells at Iulia humiliating her in front of everyone Costi is nearly naked when he is unexpectedly returned to his human form Sorrow and Tati exchange what Hobbes the tiger not the guy who wrote Leviathan would term “muchas smoochies” but given the time period and what good kids they are it’s unlikely that they did anything Substance Abuse People drink at a party—none of the main characters to the point of drunkenness save Cezar This story takes place long before age limits were extant or needed on alcohol Possible Religious Conflict Tadeusz says that crucifixes and garlic can’t keep his kind out and the house of the girl they killed was said to be well protected However Jena never witnesses this for herself and Tadeusz may well have been bluffing Yet the Church isn't portrayed as useless here Father Sandu Paula’s tutor who doesn’t even have any lines is shown to be a wise gentle man He tutors a girl at a time when that was considered foolish at best and possibly subversive Cezar stupidly banishes him from the village after the vampire attack after which the situation gets steadily worse Language NoneConclusion Wildwood Dancing hooks you with its glorious prose makes you root for its characters and pulls you so deep in that when a familiar fairytale plot twist occurs you’re just as shocked as the characters are The chapters are long and languidly paced but if you’re like me you won’t be able to put it downFinally I hope they never change the cover art for this one Kinuko Craft’s painting isn’t just gorgeous but it’s full of details from the book that you won’t notice until you’ve read the whole thingYou might also like• Chalice by Robin McKinley• East by Edith Pattou• The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale• Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale• Fairest by Gail Carson Levine• The Secret Country trilogy by Pamela Dean• The Howl's Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynn Jones• The ueen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner• The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix• The Tortall uartets—Song of the Lioness The Immortals and Protector of the Small—by Tamora Pierce• The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller• Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce

  10. Samantha Samantha says:

    45 stars Such a fun and magical readThe half star is knocked off for insta loveand the same character slowly wasting away due to her love Luckily not the main character Hate that trope But other than that a beautiful book

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