This evening I have a spoiler-free review of Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier for you. I recently read and reviewed one of her adult fantasy novels Daughter of the Forest so you can check out that review if you missed it. Marillier is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – Wildwood #1.
- UK paperback – 407 pages.
- Release date: 25th March 2008.
- Published by Knopf Books
- ISBN: 0375844740
- Goodreads page for Wildwood Dancing here!
I loved this book so much, I adore Marillier’s writing. She manages to weave magic and folklore into historical stories in such a seamless and wonderful way. Wildwood Dancing is set in Transylvania and is filled with Romanian folklore. This was my first time reading a fantasy based on their folklore, and I absolutely loved it. Some who read my review over on Instagram said it sounded like it might be inspired by the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but I didn’t spot the author saying that.
The book is told from the point of view of Jena, the second oldest of five sisters living in a castle high in the Transylvanian woods. Every full moon Jena and her sisters travel through a portal in their bedroom into the Other Kingdom, where they enter an enchanted forest and dance all night. Of course thing’s don’t stay perfect, but I won’t say anything more about the plot other than it is gripping and full of twists!
I really loved reading about folklore from a country I haven’t read much about before. I am not Romanian so I can’t tell you if it’s authentic or not, but I liked that in the author’s note Marillier spoke about her time in Romania. I think this book is one that you should go into not knowing much about, the world-building is so thorough that by the end of the book you are completely immersed in the setting. The character development was interesting and realistic, and I’m glad there is a companion novel called Cybele’s Secret because I need more!
You can also check out my other book reviews here!