Wildwood Dancing

On the nights a full moon appears in the sky, Jenica and her four sisters slip out of their beds through a portal into the Other Kingdom, where they dance the away night with the extraordinary creatures of the wildwood.

Jenica, Tatiana, Iulia, Paula, and Stela live deep in the forest of Tara Româneasca, in their castle-like home, christened Piscul Dracului. The sisters' passageway is in their bedroom, so there's no need to be quiet, only one to hurry so they have as much time as possible to socialize and dance. Nine years of joyful full moons pass before dark forces penetrate the once peaceful Dancing Glade. The Night People's arrival in the Dancing Glade makes Jenica suspicious of their true intentions. Her belief of danger from them is confirmed when she sees a young man looking at her eldest sister, Tatiana, as if he were very hungry, and Tatiana was something delicious.

When Tatiana becomes besotted with Sorrow, the man Jenica had seen watching her, Jenica can feel her grasp on things slipping. With Cezar, her stubborn bully of a cousin, trying to take over Piscul Dracului, Jenica has to try to control the both situations to her family's best interests. Jenica's job is not easy, especially with her father away in a warmer climate to restore his health. She must discover how to balance everything and still not let life fly by. Jenica learns that sometimes you have to let go of childhood gifts to grow up and manage everything- like skipping a dance every once in a while.

I think that Wildwood Dancing would have been a more engaging book if the plot was more original than simply the old, "coming-of-age" fairytale. However, this can be viewed in two different lights. Many people enjoy the well-known storyline, although some may get tired of it (causing this to be both a positive and negative trait of the book). However, the way Juliet Marillier incorporated all of the sheer magic in the world of the wildwood gives it a very postitive light. It is this, along with the development of the story, which draws you in and refuses to let go until you are hooked. Fans of magic and fantasy will enjoy this bewitching tale of enchantment and coming-of-age. Even though this is mainly a young adult book, adults also will relish in the delights of the wildwood and the sisters' learning that sometimes you have to give things up in order to do what is meant to be done.





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Jaquie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 18, 2009 at 10:31 pm
I love this book, and you're review was awesome. Very honest.
 
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