Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Night Dance (Once Upon a Time Series)

by Suzanne Weyn

Summary: Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters, loves to slip from her castle at night and dance in a magical forest. Soon she convinces her sister to join her. When Sir Ethan notices that his daughters slippers look tattered every morning, he is certain they've been sneaking out. So he posts a challenge to all the suitors in the kingdom: The first man to discover where his daughters have been is free to marry the one he chooses. Meanwhile a handsome young knight named Bedivere is involved in a challenge of his own: to return the powerful sword Excalibur, to a mysterious lake. While looking for the lake, Bedivere meets the beautiful Rowena and falls for her. Bedivere knows that accepting Sir Ethan's challege is the only opportunity for him to be with Rowena forever. But this puts both Bedivere and Rowena in a dangerous situation...one in which they risk their lives for a chance at love.

My review: First, let me say one thing....Bedivere? What the heck? What poor intoxicated mother names her child "Bedivere". It is nearly as bad as "Renesmee" (I said nearly). There, now that I've gotten that out of the way I can proceed.
In The Night Dance, Rowena and her sisters are being held captive within the walls of their own home by a well-meaning, but lovelorn and highly paranoid, father. Gifted with a second-sight inherited from her absent mother, Rowena's visions allow her glimpses of the world beyond the manor's high walls. One day, after sneaking through the outer wall, she finds herself in a shared vision with a very handsome young knight in peril. Rowena feels instantly drawn to him and he to her. The Night Dance is the wonderfully light, yet magical, story of their search for each other and their struggles to finish their own personal quests.
Aside from the fact that the title of this book lends itself more to the average romance novel and makes you less likely to, say, take it on a plane, I really enjoyed myself....for the two hours it took to read. The only thing that kept me from reading it in one straight sitting was my two beautiful children who, on occassion, like me to interact with them. TND is a charming mixture of Arthurian legend and the classic Grimm's fairytale of the twelve dancing princesses (I confess that my familiarity with the latter is based almost entirely on the Barbie DVD by the same name). For the most part, I was impressed by Weyn's ability to blend the two famous legends together so seamlessly and intrigued to see how it would work out. Unfortunately, while the ending was fairly good, it seemed to be a little rushed. I definitely would have stuck around for a longer story or, at the very least, a more detailed epilogue.

My rating: 3.5 stars. (I'd like to buy it so that I can read it to my kids when they are a bit older. ) RATED PG

If I could sum this book up in one phrase it would be: A lovely vacation that was over way too soon.

2 comments:

Heather said...

This series of books looks intriguing. Is it a set? I will definitely check this one out. Thanks for the great review.

LaQuejadora said...

Yes it is...it's a series of retellings of fairy tales by several different authors. some are better than others...they are all really easy reads...very little "nutrional value" but fun little books. I inhale retellings...so it seemed a natural choice to read this series. there are quite a few that are coming out soon and not yet available at the library.

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