What do you think?
Rate this book
407 pages, Hardcover
First published July 1, 2006
It looked as if it had grown up out of the forest, with an assortment of bits and pieces sprouting from every corner: tiny turrets, long covered walkways, squat round towers, arches, and flagpoles.Piscul Dracului is the idyllic home of the five sisters and their loving widower father, a merchant who often travels. As children, the sisters stumbled upon a secret portal to a land of magic, the Bright Between, where festivities take place on the night of the full moon.
A circle of autumn-clad trees sheltered the grassy sward, their branches hung with still more lanterns. These cast a warm light over the brightly clad revelers, whose gowns and masks, robes and jewels filled the open space with a swirling mass of color. Above them, creatures performed aerial dances of their own, some borne on delicate, diaphanous wings, some on leathery, creaking membranes.They wear their finest dresses and their sturdiest shoes, for they will dance all night surrounded by all sorts of creatures, bizarre and beautiful and everything in between. Every girl has their place in a clique here, from witches to dwarves to flying, feathery things that they call friends. As strange as they may seem to an observers, these odd beings are kind, friendly, welcoming. They have known these girls since some of them were little more than toddlers.
Stela was with the smallest folk, down near the musicians. There was a double ring of them, weaving in and out and around about in a dance of their own. Some had wings, some horns, some feathers, and some shining, jewel-bright scales. They were chattering like a mob of little birds as they pranced to and fro, and still managing to get every step perfect. We’d all started here; as we grew older, we had been welcomed by different folk, collected by different ferrymen, and permitted to mix more widely. Dancing Glade had its own set of rules.It is a joyous, festive party, a bright spot in their everyday lives.
“I don’t trust easily,” I said. “I don’t like violent solutions to problems. And I prefer to know exactly what I’m getting into...I’m careful,” I told him. “I look out for my sisters.”There is also the flighty, flirtatious Iulia, a Kitty of sorts. The studious, book-smart, mentally brilliant Paula (who feels like a Mary), and the youngest girl, the adorable Stela.
Yes, I’m angry. I want the truth—and when I have it, I’ll use it to destroy those who tricked me, those who played the most evil joke in the world on me. I will tear them apart, limb from limb, and then I will destroy their forest so that they can never return to haunt me. I will drive them even out of my dreams.Nobody is relegated to the background here, detail is paid every character, no matter how insignificant. I may not love everyone in the book, but every single character was exquisitely written.
His heart and mine added a rhythm all their own. We turned and turned, and with every turning we breathed a little more quickly and held on a little more tightly, and when we came back to the place where we’d started, we stopped dancing and stood with our arms around each other, holding on as if we would never let go, not if the sky fell and the whole world came to an end.You will never regret reading this book.