Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott

Review: The Swan Kingdom
Author: Zoe Marriott
No. Of Pages: 258
Release Date: 11th March, 2008

Shadows have fallen across the beautiful and lush Kingdom. The queen was attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger – a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her to a barren land unlike her own.

Alexandra has more gifts than even she realizes as she is confronted with magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces. She is unflinchingly brave and clever as she struggles to reclaim what she knows is rightfully hers.

My Thoughts:

I have always loved the story of The Wild Swans by Hans Christen Andersen. This book does not disappoint.

The Swan Kingdom in itself, is a very well written tale, the underlying tones of The Wild Swans just makes it that much better.

As with all retellings, The Swan Kingdom does take many aspects from The Wild Swans but not so much as to not make it unique. I read Marriott’s reasons as to how and why she wrote the book, answering questions she asked when first reading The Wild Swans and I can understand where she is coming from, although I would have preferred it if she had stuck a little closer to the story.

Alyxandra is a good, strong character. She is a little dumb in the fact that she never actually explored her powers like any normal child would, but she makes up for it with her intelligence of getting away from the forest and back to where she needed to be.

The secondary characters aren’t fleshed out as much; Alyxandra gives us a brief description of her brothers and the guy she meets. But other than that it was all Alyxandra, which can get a little boring at times, she was very colourful, whereas all the other characters and her world, were black and white, and sometimes a little blurry.

I don’t get why it was added, but I loved the power from the earth aspect and how she could bring greenery back to life with her thoughts and touch. The part she played in this aspect of the story was a little far-fetched though towards the end.

Overall, The Swan Kingdom was a wonderful revisit to one of my favourite childhood stories. Although not as good as the original, it makes its mark as a strong story of its own, and one that many who like myself love Hans Christen Anderson’s work, will love this as well.

Available at:
Book Depository


Aleksandra said...

Great review :)

Dazzling Mage said...

Awesome review. I love The Wild Swans, and I'm glad there is a retelling of it.

Heather Zundel said...

I think you hit a lot of good points with this review. The Wild Swans is a favorite retelling of mine. :)


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