Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Swan Maiden

Title: The Swan Maiden
Author: Heather Tomlinson
Pages: 320
Format: Print/Paperback
Published: September 30th 2008
Publisher: Square Fish

I've always loved fairy tales. Their full of hope, conquer, despair, hatred and obviously love. There is always a villain, a damsel in distress, a prince (or someone type of boy who is deeply in love with the damsel), something to overcome, and finally the happy ending. I think that pretty much sums up what a fairy tale consists of. Yup.

The Swan Maiden has all these concepts. It is, like I've read in other reviews, one long fairy tale. Actually, I think it's a mash up of fairy tales. We have magic, swans, someone locked in a tower, people flying about and the pauper in love with the princess. Yup, definitely a mash up.

I loved this book nonetheless.

This book was NOT realistic. I think one reason so many people were turned off by this book was because of how unrealistic it was. It's a fairy tale, people! The guy gets the girl, the bad guy loses, people fall in love really fast and the characters don't make wise decisions. That is what fairy tale stories do. We are all so used to vivid, air-breathing characters that we forgot how fairy tales are written. The main character's make stupid mistakes and she always falls in love really fast. Red ridding hood went into the forest.  Snow white ate an apple from a stranger. Cinderella let her step mother boss her around. Their all young and naive. That is exactly how our swan maiden, Doucette, acts.

Doucette is a six-teen year old girl who is born of the Aiglorn's, a very powerful kingdom. Her two sisters are swan maidens. They have magical powers and can do anything they please with them. People fear them and don't dare talk down to them. You just might get turned into a toad if you do! Doucette longs to be one of them instead of a Chastaline. However, one day she discovers her very own swan skin. She also falls in love with Jaum, a shepherd. Of course, her father and mother completely disagree. The couple run a way, but that's not all, something happens, I'm just not telling you what.

This was a cute story. Like I said it was not realistic. You never get a feel for the characters. Their as thin as paper, no, more like rice paper. Doucette makes some naive decisions, she doesn't follow her gut to often. I liked Jaum though. I pictured him very handsome in my mind. He was the perfect example of a man we ladies all wish for. Someone to carry us when our feet hurt. Clear a hillside, dig a pond, retrieve the golden bird, just so he can have our hand.

Yeah right, in what life time?

Overall, I am happy with this book. The writing was beautiful, sounded exactly like that of a fairy tale. Fairy tales always have that special tone, the tone that really stand out amongst non fairy tale stories. The plot was original and creative. I loved the new story about the swan. Crafted so much like the power Doucette manipulates.

Prepare to take flight and soar into a magical fairy tale.

My rating:
4 curly pig tails


  1. Anonymous16.11.11

    Hi, Angela! I adore fairy tale retellings! This one does sound like it's a combination of different ones, which is even better. I recently read Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs, which had a swan maiden in it, only she is definitely not innocent or lovely like Doucette. Thank you for the review!

    New follower~
    Stephanie ~Misfit Salon~

  2. Thank you so much! I love hearing that someone enjoyed my review ^.^ After all, that is why they are here. Yes, it is kind of like a mash up. I think I'm going to go check out Ursu's Breadcrumbs, thanks for the idea.

    The Swan Maiden is definetely a book for fairy tale lovers!

  3. This sounds like a really interesting read. I'm always up for a fairy tale retelling, but I've especially been in the mood since I started watching Once Upon a Time and Grimm. :)

  4. This was very interesting. I'm so glad I finally found the time to read it. Once Upon a Time is an especially great fairy tale retelling. I love the show ^.^ Though I haven't watched Grimm, I'll have to check it out.


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