Rosemarie's Reviews > Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
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's review
Aug 13, 2015

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

** spoiler alert ** This book was very well written and I did enjoy it, but I can't say that I LOVED it, hence only 4 stars.

Initially, I was intrigued by the story which takes elements from "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" and "The Princess and the Frog."

In this story there are 5 sisters, not 12, but they do have a secret portal in their bed chamber that leads to The Other Kingdom. Every night of the Full Moon, they cross over for a night of dancing and mingling with all kinds of magical creatures in Dancing Glade.

The main character, Jenica, is the second oldest sister and the story is told from her point of view. She has a pet frog that goes everywhere with her. She found him when she was 6 years old and she can talk to him. He understands her and he can respond to only her - she hears him in her head.

Their father is not a king, but a merchant, and he falls ill and must go away to spend the winter in a warmer climate. He leaves the 5 sisters in charge of their own affairs and his business. But this arrangement does not last long when their cousin, Cezar, begins taking control of things.

Cezar is every woman's worst nightmare. He has a very low opinion of a woman's ability to take care of herself, let alone a business. He also has hatred for The Other Kingdom because his brother, Costin, was killed in the lake in the forest near their home when he and Jenica and Costin where playing there as children.

Cezar's plan is to destroy all magical creatures in the lake and forest because he blames them for Costin's death. This, of course, conflicts dramatically with the fact that Jenica and her sisters consider the magical creatures to be friends because they have been visiting there once a month all their lives.

The plot is a good one. I felt such anger for Cezar that I couldn't wait to see how he was stopped. And I knew that the frog that Jenica thought of as her best friend would turn out to be her "prince charming." But what I didn't see coming was that the frog is also her believed-to-be-dead cousin Costin! I'm not sure how I feel about this outcome. I know that years ago it was okay to marry your cousin, but I'm just not comfortable with it. I would have preferred that the frog turn out to be someone else that Jenica could fall in love with.

There is also the matter of Jenica's older sister Tatiana. I really did not like what happened to her - even though she technically did find true love. I am the oldest sister myself, and I usually will relate to that role - but I couldn't relate to Tati at all.

So over all, like I said, there were some odd details to this story that I found a little unsettling, but over all certainly not a bad read.


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