wildwood-dancing

5

I had this idea for awhile, and so I decorated this bookshelf last summer. I kept forgetting and forgetting to post pictures on my main blog… but here it is! I’m so in love with it, I want to do all my bookshelves like this. I used spray adhesive to stick book pages to a bookshelf, and then went over it with matte mod podge. From taking apart the books to the last of the mod podging, it took  around 30 hours, but it was (mostly) easy work. I used books I already had, but plenty of used bookstores and library sales have bargain sections of books for $1 or less if you didn’t want to use your own books. The mod podge warped the paper a bit, which I don’t mind, but if you don’t want that to happen, you really have to take your time and be careful.

I used Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Hobbit, Wildwood Dancing, and The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved them all as a kid/young teenager they still mean a lot to me now!

Sarah Reads: Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

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.

FIRST THOUGHTS

Date Started: July 20th, 2017

Acquired: Purchased at Half Price Books’ $1 Sale!

Why I Picked it Up: It’s been on my TBR for years, but I didn’t have a lot of interest in Transylvania or Eastern Europe in general until the past year or so. Now I’m like, all about it. I’ve also read this author’s books before (Daughter of the Forest, which I loved, and Shadowfell, which I also really enjoyed). She’s one of my top fave tale retellers and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is a wonderful tale, so I knew I was going to pick this one up eventually.

Why I Kept Reading: I had actually forgotten until I picked it up that it was set in Transylvania, so I got extra excited to continue! This is not only because of my friend @elenalanstova-morozova, but because my own book, Unrooted, has a lot of inspiration from the Romanian language and aesthetic, as well! I enjoy Jena as a narrator and Marillier’s prose is as graceful as I remember, so I think I’m going to like the rest of this!

See My Review Here!

Sarah Reviews: Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

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.

FIRST THOUGHTS

FINAL THOUGHTS

Date Finished: July 26th, 2017

Will I Buy It?: I already own it!

The Good: The Romanian setting was fresh and interesting, and Marillier made a deliberate effort to avoid typical Transylvanian stereotypes (she even has a great author’s not in the back about it). The main character was very consistently written. She was unmistakably a fifteen-year-old girl, and many young adult novels struggle with conveying the worldview of someone that age. Marillier accomplished it, and both Jena’s internal and external conflicts were compelling. Cezar was an excellent antagonist, the sort of thing that’s uncomfortably familiar and very believable. Each of the sisters has a defined personality, which some retellings of this story tend to struggle with. From a retelling perspective, I think she did a great job, and she folded in another fairy tale in a fun, sweet way. 

The Bad: Although Jena was written consistently and I appreciate the accuracy with which her age was written, I found her to be a bit frustrating sometimes. She was extremely stubborn and determined to see things her own way. This is clearly an intentional flaw, but it became a little annoying to read after a while. The secondhand romance was all right, but a bit alarming, and I wasn’t totally satisfied by it. I also thought the pacing was a bit slow, and this was made worse by very long chapters (20-30 pages apiece)! It’s part of why it took so long to get through, because I like to be able to stop at chapter breaks, but the chapters were often too long for me to get through in the windows in my day-to-day schedule. 

Representation: The Transylvanian setting was nice, of course, and @elenalanstova-morozova will tell you that Romania is woefully underrepresented in books. However, there was no other form of representation anywhere in this book. Everyone was white and straight (there’s a mention of an Arab business partner, but he’s never seen on the page). So, I can’t give any solid points for representation.

Favorite Line: The forest had a special beauty in winter: frozen waterfalls like delicate shawls; foliage shrouded in a glittering, rimy coating; blue-white snowdrifts revealing, here and there, a rich litter of darkened leaves in a thousand damp colors of brown and gray.”

Rating: 3/5 Stars!

Click here for a Pinterest infographic of these books!

Cinderella

Sleeping Beauty

Beauty and the Beast

The Little Mermaid

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Little Red Ridding Hood

Snow White

Rapunzel

Alice in Wonderland

The Goose Girl

Peter pan

Other Retellings

What is your favorite fairy tale retelling? Any retellings that aren’t on the list that you would recommend?