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on 23 January 2007
This is Juliet's first book for "young adults". I didn't realise that until I actually got it. I was hoping Wildwood Dancing would be something along the lines of her "Daughter of the Forest" itself a fantastic, magical, Natureworld-filled "read".

It's similar, in that it involves the lives of a family of young girls (between 5 - 17 years) and their experiences in the Fairy realms of the Forest. At first I was a bit doubtful, but I was quickly drawn into it, and although I have left my "young adulthood" a few decades(!) behind, am enjoying it very much.

Young adults will love it - and so will we "olds" if we open our imaginations to the magic!
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on 28 January 2008
I originally read this book in hardback when it was first published - borrowed from the Library - sorry Amazon!. So when I ordered the second of the series recently, I also got a pb copy of WWD to refresh myself on the story - and of the two, WWD is still my favourite "adult fairy tale".
Maybe it may take more than one reading for an older-adult to really appreciate the beauty of the story - for I must admit I baulked a little originally, at the idea of the heroine (Jena) carrying a frog companion about on her shoulder - and allowing him to sleep on her pillow ... Eek! Still, this is a fairy tale and allowances must be made. Of course Gogu (the frog) is not all he seems, and neither is the supposed "evil" character of the Witch of the Woods. "Good and evil" actually work together for the best result for the whole, here, (as they do in everyday life - nothing being so black or white as it appears) and it's a fascinating tale of realisation, acceptance, and growth of the young "cast" - with a happy (or at least acceptable) ending for all.

Originally I only read this book as it was another of J.M.'s - of whom I'm a growing fan - but I'm glad I did. All her work contains elements of the "magical" running through it, her Sevenwaters trilogy being a huge favourite of mine - no J.M. fan can be totally closed to a bit of fantasy in their reading. So go ahead - bring the magic of the Nature world into your life. I bet you'll find you quietly enjoy it.
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on 18 March 2008
The enchanting story of five young sisters (Tatiana, Jenica, Iulia, Paula and Stela) living in Transylvania. Jena tells the story of how after a game played as a child with drastic consequences, her and her sisters can access a portal into the wildwood in the Other Kingdom. The portal can only be opened by all five sisters (four before Stela was born who isnow five) using their hands to cast a shadow on a certain portion of the wall on the night of the Full Moon. Once on the other side they attend dances with the Queen and King of the Faeries. Jena always takes her best friend, frog Gogu who is more than a regular frog and can communicate mentally with her alone, on their adventures.

When their father becomes ill and has to leave to look for a cure, Tati and Jena are left in charge of the household finances and business. Their cousin Cezar has other ideas when he sudden/ly becomes head of his household. He is of the opinion that woman are second to men and stops Paula from continuing with her studies and takes responsibility away from Jena. His mission is to destroy the wildwood after his older brother Costi was drowned there as a child by the witch Draguta. To make matters even worse for the sisters, the Night People are visiting the faerie folk and one of them is bewitching Tati, changing her and causing her to fall ill.

A lovely tale, the first in a new trilogy (book two is out, Cybele's Secret but book three looks a way off yet) by this writer who says her books are "historical fantasy". I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Daughter of the Forest which is my favourite of her novels so far, but I definitely recomend it. My only issue with it was Jena's need to constantly control everything. She needed to let go a little and let her friends and family live their own lives. I really admired the way she tried to stand up to her cousin however which made up for her slight faults.
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on 2 September 2013
I am slightly biased as this book is one of my all time favourites, It combines all the best elements of Grimm';s fairytale magic with fantasy adventure. It is notoriously difficult to get hold of in hardback so I was so happy to have finally found a copy. It was in good condition as I expected, It wasn't brand new and the seller made that clear. Arrived promptly and was well packaged.
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VINE VOICEon 8 August 2008
Firstly, it has to be said that this has the most beautiful and eye-catching, not to say the most striking artwork for its cover I have ever seen. (by Kinuko Y. Craft ) This should push hundreds of copies if nothing else!

An eccentric - not to say 'zany' novel in places, set in an undefined era about several girls with vague personalities who live in an old castle in Transylvania who discover a secret portal to another enchanting, but frightening world.

The author wastes no time in getting the reader into the excitement with the first 'full moon' expedition, as the girls enter that other world. Though this novel is listed for 'young adults' (never quite sure what that category means...) it is both too dark for perhaps the younger child, but yet too childish in places for those that are older - especially the bit about the frog which I found rather irritating that I felt spoilt the whole thing somewhat... At first I did not see the purpose of this amphibian character - except perhaps to add a touch of 'fairytale' to the story that would appeal to younger children, but as the story unfolds, it does come out that the frog does bear some significance to the tale and plot.

All in all a nice read that did keep you interested enough to want to continue to the end, but the beautiful and most delightful artwork for the cover does suggest something just a little more enchanting and excitingly magical with characters that had a bit more definition and substance to them.
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VINE VOICEon 8 August 2008
Firstly, it has to be said that this has the most beautiful and eye-catching, not to say the most striking artwork for its cover I have ever seen. (by Kinuko Y. Craft ) This should push hundreds of copies if nothing else!

An eccentric - not to say 'zany' novel in places, set in an undefined era about several girls with vague personalities who live in an old castle in Transylvania who discover a secret portal to another enchanting, but frightening world.

The author wastes no time in getting the reader into the excitement with the first 'full moon' expedition, as the girls enter that other world. Though this novel is listed for 'young adults' (never quite sure what that category means...) it is both too dark for perhaps the younger child, but yet too childish in places for those that are older - especially the bit about the frog which I found rather irritating that I felt spoilt the whole thing somewhat... At first I did not see the purpose of this amphibian character - except perhaps to add a touch of 'fairytale' to the story that would appeal to younger children, but as the story unfolds, it does come out that the frog does bear some significance to the tale and plot.

All in all a nice read that did keep you interested enough to want to continue to the end, but the beautiful and most delightful artwork for the cover does suggest something just a little more enchanting and excitingly magical with characters that had a bit more definition and substance to them.
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on 16 February 2009
Juliet Marillier is a master storyteller. A very enjoyable book written using folklore of the region. Immensely enjoyable.
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on 25 August 2014
A good read
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