Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Princess of the Wild Swans, by Diane Zahler

While middle grade fantasy is probably one of my least favorite genres, Princess of the Wild Swans did manage to keep me entertained, and I can definitely recommend it to fans of fairy tales.

Meriel is typical spoiled princess. She doesn't really have to do anything she doesn't want to -- even though her governess tries to get her to learn to sew. She has five brothers, and a father who dote on her, and no mother.

When her father brings home a new queen, Orianna, Meriel's world turns upside down. Her father is totally entranced by Orianna, and the queen seems to want nothing to do with Meriel. Then, Orianna sends the five brothers away to school, and Meriel is absolutely devastated.

She finds out that all is not as it seems -- her brothers really aren't away at school, but I won't tell you any more than that. Suffice it to say that Orianna is evil. Meriel has to grow up and become a strong, determined woman in order to save her family, and she does. I don't think that is a spoiler, since this is a fairy tale, and we all know they live happily ever after.

The pacing in this one keeps you turning the pages. I think it is easy to get frustrated with Meriel, but things happen pretty quickly and she redeems herself. Liam nad Riona, who become Meriel's friends and help her free her brothers, are the most interesting side characters. There are also lots of interesting mythical creatures -- witches, faeries, puca, merrow, and others that keep the fairy tale sufficiently ethereal.

It's a quick read that younger fans of fairy tales will enjoy. I would even say 4th and 5th graders would like this one.

Published by Harper, January 31, 2012
ARC won from Small and Ruby
212 pages

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! My kids would probably love this book.


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