The Swan Kingdom Paperback – 7 Jul 2011
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Lyrical, psychological... the stuff of fairy tale, which means in this instance danger and darkness and what we all want - a kiss and a happy ending." (The Irish Times) "The writing is confident and the multilayered plot never falters. A book for all ages to read and re-read. More please, author!" (Amazon user review)"
About the Author
Zoe Marriott lives in North East Lincolnshire with two cats, named Echo and Hero, and the Devil Hound, otherwise known as Finn. She says she has been waiting to write The Swan Kingdom, her debut novel, since she was a child. "When I was six, my sister bought me an illustrated picture book version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans. The story immediately captured my imagination and has stayed with me ever since."
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Zoë is one of my favourite authors because of Shadows on the Moon, but I haven't actually read all of her books (sad face). I enjoyed The Swan Kingdom (although not as much as Shadows on the Moon) & yet again Zoë has written in a way that makes you <i>think</i> you know what's going to happen & then she throws in some twist so that something totally unpredictable happens. I love that aspect of her writing because a lot of YA is becoming predictable. I'm sad I can't afford to buy the rest of her books now because Zoë's work is exactly what I need to get me through the next few weeks of deadlines. Alas, I digress; I loved Alexandra, she was a redhead & not your typical pretty princess & I liked the world building of this book... I think this is the only book of Zoë's set in this world, which is sad because I think it has <u>so much</u> potential. The book was overall well paced, although I think the last 100 pages could have been stretched out & made into more than they were (this could possibly have been the case for Alexandra's time at her spoiler: aunt's. I think wishing it was longer is my only criticism - but that's not really a criticism).
Ok I need to sleep now, so just know that this book is fab & I loved it.
The story follows Alexandra, a princess of a prosperous kingdom who – when she’s not learning healing and magic - spends her days frolicking around with her three older brothers. Yet after her mother is murdered and her father be-spelled by a strange young woman, an evil magic corrupts the kingdom and zaps the life from the land. But with her brothers missing and her father’s mind broken, there is no one to protect Alexandra from her new step-mother and she finds herself cast aside and sent to the far corners of the country where she can no longer be a bother.
But as time passes by, Alexandra stops feeling helpless and begins to unlock the door to her own incredible powers. Knowing she alone has ability to restore balance to the world, she takes up the burden and sets off on an epic journey to banish the evil, save her brothers and reclaim the land that is rightfully hers. But with each passing day the evil grows stronger and with time against her, Alexandra will sacrifice everything she has to protect those she loves, even if the cost is her life…
I’ll say now that I’ve read other books by Zoe Marriott and loved each and every one of them. Her prose is beautiful, with vivid descriptions and colourful imagery but what I love most about her writing is the flaws and vulnerability of each of her characters.
For example The Swan Kingdom is told from the view point of Alexandra and I found her to be a very relatable protagonist. Born the fourth child of the king, she is overlooked by her father, outshone by her brothers and falls short when compared to the beauty of her mother. Therefore it is no wonder that Alexandra feels small and trivial, an ugly duckling within a family of swans. However this also makes her both humble and shy and I loved watching how her character developed as slowly, throughout the book she became more independent and confident in herself.
The other characters were also very compelling. The relationship between Alexandra and her brothers was very poignant and real. The love interest Gabriel was sweet and charming and everything that a prince should be. And Zella (the wicked stepmother) was simply chilling and despite her character having been built out of classic clichés, Zella also came with a history and a reason behind her maliciousness to the point that, in the end, I felt deeply sorry for her. She really was a fabulous antagonist.
The plot takes place over a two year span and shows the compassion and bravery of a young girl who has only just started to grow into the great woman she is to become. With elements of love, trust and self-discovery, Zoe Marriott has put a new spin to ‘the wild swans’ fairytale while keeping true to the original story with her fairytale like prose and meaningful story.
Overall, a magical book that will keep you turning the pages until the happily ever after end! 4 stars!
The Swan Kingdom is a re-telling of fairy tale The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen but as I've never read the original I'm not going to compare the two stories in this review. I found The Swan Kingdom was a captivating and beautiful read and I finished it in one sitting. The writing is beautifully descriptive and made it easy to picture Alexandra's home and her country. I loved finding out about the magical abilities that Alexandra and her mother had and the way they were able to use the power of the earth. The story has a great fairytale feel to it that took me back to my childhood and would make great bedtime reading material for children.
Alexandra was a lovely heroine and it was easy spending time inside her head. Her mother's death devastates her but when her family and her people are under threat she will do anything it takes to help them. She is determined to find a way to stop her wicked step-mother and bring her family back together. It won't be easy for her and she will face difficult times but her strength of character will see her through it. The Swan Kingdom is a beautiful fantasy fairytale and one that I'm sure I'll be reading again.