Sherwood Smith's Reviews > Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
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Oct 18, 08

bookshelves: fantasy

This combines several fairy tale tropes with a beautifully realized Eastern European setting. The main character is Jena, a strong, sensible heroine who still long for romance and Otherness. She has to balance her own wishes and desires against what's good for her family and land.

The oldest sister is a tad drippy for an adult reader, but I think I would have found her soggy wasting away intensely romantic when I was young. The main fairy tale is also recognizable early on for the adult reader, but I know without a doubt I would have been just thrilled to recognize it gradually as a young reader, and then watch to see how expertly Marillier twisted it to make it exciting and not quite predictable.

I do think that there are a lot of supposedly YA books put out now that appeal more to adults. I am not talking about content. Teens are aware of different aspects of life at different ages, and so I have no quarrel with the more mature subjects. But some books seem to require reading protocols way ahead of the young reader, or have complex issues, or oblique references, that really seem adult. This one I think can be loved by the genuine twelve year old, as well as those of us who still remember being twelve.
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