Friday, April 25, 2008

The Swan Kingdom

by Zoë Marriott

The wise women who practice the Old Ways have always looked after the Kingdom, keeping it fruitful, green, and peaceful. Just after her fifteenth birthday, Lady Alexandra must take the place of her recently deceased mother as protector of the land. But the Dark is creeping in, flashes of rot and greed are appearing. Alexandra’s own father is quickly besotted with—and betrothed to—Zella, a beautiful young woman who instantly charms everyone except Alexandra and her three brothers.
The night before their father is forever bound to Zella, the children decide they must take action, but they do not know the power of an angry witch. Hugh, David, and Robin flee the palace in the form of swans. It is up to Alexandra alone to unravel the spell that took her brothers from her, and then restore them to their true forms.

I really loved this book. Not so much for the storyline—which although good was not an amazingly unique retelling—but for Zoë Marriott’s wonderful writing style, which put me in mind of Monica Furlong’s Doran Trilogy (Juniper, Wise Child, and Colman). I could usually foresee slightly ahead of what would happen, but it still kept me reading because I wanted to see if my theory proved true. If you enjoy The Swan Kingdom, Ms. Marriott’s second book, titled Daughter of the Flames, will be released in the U.S. some time next year.

Third book read for Enna-Isilee’s Twisted Fairy Tale Challenge.


  1. Thanks for the review! I wasn't sure whether to read this book or not but now I think I will :)

  2. I hadn't heard of this before so thanks for the review. It is definitely one I will keep a look out for.

  3. I love this fairy tale, and will have to read this version. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is another (amazing) adaption of this story.


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