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.
©2008 Juliet Marillier; (P)2008 Listening Library
"Strong characters, two fully realized settings, and a fast-moving plot guarantee that readers will be spellbound by this page turner." (School Library Journal)
I enjoyed this book, but I had a couple of issues with it. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did an excellent job. The story just dragged for me for awhile in the 2nd half, but I really did care about what happened to the characters, particularly the main character Jena and her endearing pet frog. So I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. The other issue I had was that although Jena had some strength and a mind of her own there were times when she was indecisive, too passive, slow to figure things out that should have been fairly obvious, and it caused the romantic angst, as well as the frustration and uncertainty of their problems, to drag on to the point that it was almost unbearable. I prefer female protagonists with a bit more spunk than Jenna had when things got tough. I kept wanting to shout at her to do "such and so" already! And several times was tempted to skip ahead, but didn't. If it weren't for that I would have given it four stars.
Overall an enjoyable read for a romantic fantasy with a bit of a dark twist. Teen and tween girls who like romance and fairy tales should like this one, and it's clean enough for particular parents.
Juliet Marillier is the most superb story teller. "Wildwood Dancing", is inspired by a different mythology and culture than most of her other books, which take place in a celtic environment. Like her other stories this is full of colorful & engaging characters, great descriptions and an intricate story line. This one has a little more tongue-in-cheek humor and a slightly less on the edge of your seat, finger chewing tension as some of her other, longer books in series, like the Breidei books, or the "Seven Waters" series, which has not been published in english audio yet. - So,even be "Wildwood Dancing" a tad less painfully suspenseful - it still offers plenty of surprises and entertainment. It was deliciously fun and hard to pause. The narrator did an excellent job too. This one is highly recommended. I am also waiting for the next installment of the Breidei series.
I loved it (them) and I'm not a young reader.
My younger nieces would really like these I think.
A teeny bit dark for under about 13 or 14.
My taste vary. I love a good, blood stained horror, but also a well written kids story. Lots of Sci-Fi, but also Hist. Fiction. No boring!!!
This book was meant for little girls of about 10 to read is my guess. The narrator has a lisp, which makes every character sound like they are 5 years old. I did listened to all of it as I did want to know what happened to some of the characters and it showed promise in places. My taste tend toward something more adult. This is the second book of Marillier that I have read and I may have to give up on her.
I couldn't stop listening to this book. I love the characters, the setting, the plot. I even love the narrator, Kim Mai Guest. She did a beautiful job at bringing the characters to life. It was easy to tell who she was portraying in the book, so you never got lost as to who was saying what. This book is great for those who love fairy tales, at least 13 yrs of age. You will NOT be disappointed by this book at all!
Half of the first chapter was slow and hard to grasp. Once the engine got warmed up there was no stopping it. The characters really came together. Great imaginaation and very well written.
I really loved this book, including the perfect narration by Kim Mai Guest. She really did a beautiful job with the accent, pronunciations and the various characters. But it is the story that will haunt you, and bring back memories of childhood stories -- scary and compelling -- long after you've turned it off. It's so lovely that I'm looking forward to beginning the next book, "Cybele's Secret." I found it well worth the time and credit.
I must say I enjoyed Wildwood Dancing very much. I liked that the characters were all built up and portrayed very well and that the plot stayed consistent and didn't wander aimlessly. The narrator did a perfect job of this book and I can't wait for more.
If you live good reading, magic and love, this is the book for you. Juliet Marillier does it again!
I really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with the characters and found myself really wanting to be in their world. It was a sweet story that was beautiful and dark and fun and magical. The whimsical characters drew me into the story and made me want to keep listening to find out what happened next. This is a great book for teens, as it is clean-cut, but I believe most adults would thoroughly enjoy it as well. I'm excited to listen to Cybele's Secret and see where the adventures lead next!
The narrator was pretty good overall but so much of the time her voice would take on a very childlike tone that it made the main character sound much younger than she was supposed to be.
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