Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: 2.80

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The One Kingdom: Book One of the Swans' War Trilogy [Paperback]

Sean Russell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  

Book Description

7 Mar 2002 Swans' War

From their home in the Vale of Lakes, a group of young traders embark on a quest to make their fortune. Carrying a cargo of ancient artefacts, their journey along the River Wynnd will take them into a world both strange and terrifying. They will meet extraordinary people, witness unforgettable events and discover something that will change their lives for ever.

For the world is a far more complex place than the adventurers could have imagined. In the aftermath of a terrible war, political upheaval and family rivalries threaten to plunge the land into a new dark age. The past, it seems, is far from forgotten. And the consequences of that long-ago war are by no means played out.

Look out for more information about this book and others on the Orbit website at

Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (7 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841490881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841490885
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.8 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The One Kingdom, the first volume of the "Swans' War" sequence, takes us to a land cut into a myriad of small valleys by an endlessly curving and treacherous river which sometimes wanders out of reality. Selfish nobles have reduced the land to barbarism and poverty with their feuding over what is no longer even credibly a throne--even the honourable Arden and Dease are plotting to kill their much-loved kinsman for trying to make a peace with enemies they will not trust. And into this mess of arranged marriages and evil henchmen and blind minstrel lords wander three young men from the further reaches of the valleys looking for the man who pilfered the minor treasures they had gleaned from old battlefields, a man who is more than he seems and whose enemies are not people to whose attention one wishes to come. Russell is setting things up for the long haul here, and yet this is a book full of set pieces and a sense of the bloody past haunting the present like a nightmare. We find ourselves caring passionately about minor characters: a disfigured noblewoman who attends a ball behind a mask and the minstrels casually butchered by a dark magician's hired thugs. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The One Kingdom, the first volume of the "Swans (War" sequence, takes us to a land cut into a myriad of small valleys by an endlessly curving and treacherous river which sometimes wanders out of reality. Selfish nobles have reduced the land to barbarism and poverty with their feuding over what is no lon)

#NAME? ('A master of intelligent fantasy subtle, wellcrafted and gripping.')

STEPHEN Donaldson ('This book is the beginning of something big, something very big')


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
Samul stared down at the table before him. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy fresh air 5 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Like the previous reviewers I was finding much fantasy writing stale (I was reading Stone of Tears at the same time as The One Kingdom which proved a useful contrast). The One Kingdom is a marvellous, leisurely paced book without many of the usual fantasy cliches. You get a real sense that the main characters are being slowly but irresistably drawn into a greater story with its origins in the distant past. The magic is low key evoking mystery rather than wizz bang pyrotechnics. I can't wait for the second part! Knights of the Vow = Knights Templar?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream of a book 28 May 2002
By A Customer
This is a beautiful book. The plot is intricately woven,layers building one on another, and the characters are believable, flawed, and human. The atmosphere is tense at times, and yet there is something dreamlike and at times idyllic in a relaxed kind of way. A book that will drop images into your mind and induce a variety of moods. I was impressed. And then horrified that I'll have to wait almost a year for the sequel. How can they do that?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant read that lacks pace. 30 May 2006
Ok sometimes a relaxed pace in a book is pleasant, here i found it a little off putting. The main characters are typical every man style heroes out of their depth. The main plot is simple enough and the magic seems suitably mysterious, however I found the world unconvincing and underdeveloped. That aside it is a nice start to an entertain saga. undemanding.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read in a long time 20 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Very rarely does a book make me want to read the sequel imediately, Like other people have said it is slow at first but then suddenly it is 3am and the book is nearly finnished! All I can say is 'When is the next one out!!!!!!!'
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent read when is the sequel due? 14 Feb 2001
By A Customer
To be rated by Stephen Donaldson this book had to be good and I was not disapointed. The story flows as unexpectedly as the river Wynnd in the story itself. I could not put it down
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes Yes Yes 2 April 2002
Fantasy in the last couple of years has become a little jaded, with very little written that comes as close to perfection as "The one Kingdon" (with the possible exception of a "Fools Errand" by Robin Hobb).
A fabulously deep story, with some very good charachter development, one is left gasping for more.
I wont give too much more away - If you like fantasy - buy this book. If you don't like fantasy - buy this book it will change your perception of fantasy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories that we tell 24 Nov 2003
When it comes right down to it, life is a series of interlocking stories, one of your stories interacting with that of someone else, or maybe those of a few other people. Every one of them means something to you at the time, though if it's not a very interesting story, it may fade into the mists of time. If it's particularly interesting, and affects a lot of people, it may be recorded and become part of society's memory, which will allow it to live past the end of your life.
The One Kingdom, by Sean Russell, is a book that is about, ultimately, stories. Neil Gaiman writes about stories and how they affect us, but Russell is writing about how we write stories with our very actions. He wraps this in a story of his own, an epic yet strangely personal story about a group of young men from a remote village, out for a little adventure, who find a lot more than they bargain for. Also included is a story about a young girl who is a pawn in an evil scheme, and a mysterious man who is trying desperately to avert a war. Russell does a marvelous job of tying all these disparate stories together into a tight narrative, engaging the reader's interest as we wonder just how they are all going to come together.
Russell uses the ultimate story of two warring families to bring this unity. The Renné and the Wills have been divided for over a hundred years, with the land never having a true ruler. Instead, it's just been two factions in an unsteady peace that's been rife with conflict and tension. As the book begins, a murder is being plotted, as the cousins of Toren, head of the Renné family, try to avert what they feel is a fatal mistake. Toren is about to give back the legendary Isle of Battle to the Wills, who they took it from all those years ago.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly dissatisfying... 7 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this series partly due to the recommendation of Stephen Donaldson, who apparently described it as "subtle, well-crafted and gripping". Well, 'subtle' - yes, 'Ill give him that; 'well-crafted' - certainly; but gripping - hmm... really?

There are aspects of this book that are really good - the quality of the writing, the unfolding history that underpins the story, the sense of various Celtic myths being interwoven and retold in a very different way. But whilst some of the characters are reasonably intriguing, some are, well, a bit flat - particularly, I have to say, the lead character, Tam. The biggest problem, though, was that long chunks of the story are positively tedious - essentially, they consist of: they travel a bit, then some baddies attack them, but against the odds our guys beat them or manage to escape, then they travel a bit more, then some more baddies attack them but, guess what, against the odds ...

I persevered with all three books, and was reasonably happy with how all the various characters' parts in the storyline were resolved at the end, but to be honest, it became a bit of a chore getting there. So, it was OK, but not something I will be going back to re-read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow beginning, until all clicks together.
The One Kingdom tells the story of three young lads from the Vale of Lakes, Tam Loell and his cousin Fynnol, and Fynnol's cousin Baore Talon, who set off on the river Wynnd to sell... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Stephanie Noverraz
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good... (A "BOOK SWEDE" REVIEW)
Three young travelers leave their village to see more of the world - that's when the trouble begins. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2007 by Christopher Halo
3.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal but enjoyable.
This is a light weight book with little memorable but nothing bad.

The book has lots of good points but lacks originality, it simply uses parts from other fantasy... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2007 by plot hound
5.0 out of 5 stars There is nothing Lame about Sean Russell or The Swan's War.
And how anybody can call The Swans war a clone of Jordan's The Wheel of time, is a wonder to me. I can only think of one explanation for the previous acid review - It must be a bad... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2005 by Isabella Balkert
2.0 out of 5 stars Lame clone of Robert Jordan
I'd heard really good things about the book, but as soon as three young male characters appeared - one with a mysterious past, one cheeky and carefree, one strong and silent - I... Read more
Published on 3 Jun 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly the best series books I have read...
Sean Russell is a genius, let it be known.
Starting with what seems like a peaceful traveller joining their campfire, then robbery, then they become hunted, but who is friend... Read more
Published on 9 April 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best
I think this book is simply fantastic. The plot is deep, the characters complex and the story is truly gripping and intense. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2003
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category