Wildwood Dancing

I was supposed to get this one done before June 21st, for the Once Upon a Time challenge, but I didn’t, thanks to the library. But, better late than never, right?

This book, by Juliet Marillier, has gotten mixed reviews across the blogosphere. Some people love it. Some people not so much. I think I fall in the not-so-much category.

It’s not that the book was bad. In fact, it was a quick read. (For plot summaries, you can check out Becky’s and/or Erin’s reviews.) But, for me, it just didn’t sit well. For one, it just seemed too long. Even though it went quickly, I kept checking to see how much more left to go. Usually not a good sign. For two, I have little patience for “true love”. Especially when characters waste away because of it. I’m not terribly romantic (as my hubby often remarks), and I don’t have much tolerance for the heartbreak and heartsickness of true love. So when Tati, the oldest sister, lay dying because she couldn’t see her true love — an almost-Night Person (I totally missed that there were vampires in this book. Vampires are the in thing, aren’t they?) — I just gritted my teeth and plowed through. Please. Girls wasting away because they can’t be with someone they love? Not my idea of a good time. (Maybe having four girls has warped my sense of romance. I wouldn’t want them to think this was an acceptable way of handling disappointment or longing. Eating cake, however….)

And, I have to admit, I didn’t really care for the main character, Jena. I liked her a bit — she was feisty and quite capable, but she was just so practical. So sensible. The opposite of Tati. Which isn’t bad. (Ah! I’ve hit upon it here: Tati and Jena were opposites, both with their loves but not knowing how best to obtain that.) But she had to have EVERYTHING spelled out to her before she was able to act. It seemed for someone as capable as Jena, she ought to be able to do something without waffling about everything. Especially the important things.

The only thing I really enjoyed was loathing Cezar. He was a good villain — one of those that just give you the creeps. Not evil because he’s a monster, but because he’s a man who went wrong. (He didn’t get a good end, though; he just kind of petered out.)

The one redeeming factor is the absolutely beautiful cover. But then, we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, are we?

7 thoughts on “Wildwood Dancing

  1. I like your honesty in your book reviews. 🙂Tati, I admit, was annoying. But I loved Jena…she reminded me so much of Lizzie Bennett, without being a complete copycat. And Cezar was a fab, fab villain.I think part of my love for this book comes from my obsession with fairy tales! *grin*


  2. I liked your review as well. One of the things that annoyed me about this book, is that the chapters seemed too long. I just wanted a much faster pace. Kind’ve like waiting for the ending that was so slow in coming for LOTR Return of the King.


  3. I haven’t read the book but I share your distaste for “true love,” unless, of course, we’re talking about The Princess Bride. In which case it’s perfectly acceptable.


  4. “And wove, TWUE wove…”I don’t remember the rest of the line.True love in The Princess Bride works. Usually, it doesn’t. I’m glad it’s not just me. 🙂


  5. I admit this book is on my TBR list purely based on that beautiful cover. Even though you have mixed feelings about it, your review still makes it sound like an interesting read.


  6. Oooh, that is definitely a beautiful cover. And, it’s true, we’re not supposed to judge based on the cover. But, it definitely does have an effect. I’ve had trouble parting with my copy of The Thirteenth Tale, even though I kind of thought it was dull as paste, simply because I love the cover. I’ve thought about just framing the whole book so I can sit around and admire it.P.S. I agree: eat cake instead of wasting away if someone breaks your heart


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