Book Reviews

review; a throne of swans

Title: A Throne Of Swans
Author: Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Genre: YA, fantasy
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Hot Key Books

In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly…

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn’s ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother – ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors. 

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

Written in rich detail and evocative language, this is the start of an irresistible, soaring duology about courage, broken loyalties and fighting for your place in the world. 

I received this copy in exchange for an honest review from Definitely Books (Pansing). All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you Pansing!

This book is available where all good books are.

Somehow I didn’t realise this was a retelling of sorts of The Swan Princess until I was 50 pages in. This was a very different fantasy concept involving shapeshifting and politics. I did not expect the story to be so political, but it honestly is what made the book so gripping for me.

Aderyn is a protagonist that you just cannot help but root for. She is impulsive at times, and focused on her motives, but she is willing to grow and listen and learn. She can be scared, and manipulated, and yet, she is so strong.

The other characters are equally as three dimensional and complex. We have Lucien, who is Aderyn’s clerk and portal into the politics of the kingdom. Letya, who is Aderyn’s best friend and handmaid, who cannot touch Aderyn skin to skin without getting hurt. Aron, Aderyn’s cousin and former Crown Prince of the kingdom. Odette – honestly I should have recognised the name instantly – who is now Crown Princess. Siegfried, who is Odette’s betrothed and a noble in his own right.

Every character has their own identity and their own motives, and there is so much laid out to trust and mistrust everyone that you are right there with Aderyn in trying to figure out how to protect herself and her people. It all unfolds believably – nothing feels forced for plot’s sake – with glimpses of the underlying political instability of the kingdom. And the end of the novel gives us answers – and sets up the sequel so well.

The novel just kept picking up with each chapter. The story was so intense, with the stakes growing steadily. And this is the second political fantasy I have been so engrossed in. I cannot wait for the sequel. My only regret is that I have to wait quite a while for it.

I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

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