November 19, 2006

Phoenix Dance

Posted in Fantasy, Tales Retold, Teen/Young Adult tagged , , at 8:43 am by caelesti

Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun

Phoenix Dance becomes an apprentice to the royal shoemaker. When the 12 princesses keep wearing out their shoes each night, the shoemaker is blamed for making lousy shoes. The queen declares that anyone who can solve the mystery of the shoes will get a handsome reward. Phoenix takes on this challenge, while also facing her own internal problems- the Illness of Two Kingdoms, or as we call it in our world- bipolar disorder.

I found this book quite enjoyable- the story was exciting and drew me in and Phoenix is a believable, sympathetic character. Windward is an original, well-realized world with a nautical culture- it does not really have any fantasy cliches. The author is very good at writing beautiful, evocative depictions of scenery without falling prey to having them be too long.

P.D. is a companion to Calhoun’s earlier novel, Aria of the Sea– it is set in the same place, the archipelago kingdom of Windward probably about a decade later, and features a few of the same characters in the story like Cerinthe Gale and Elliana Nautilus. I read that one several years ago, and will probably have to read or look over it again in order to give it a proper review here, but it’s also a very good read- it isn’t necessary to read it before Phoenix Dance, but I would recommend it as you will get more out of it that way

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