**The Swan Kingdom-- Zoe Marriott

Release Date: March 25th, 2008
Genre:  Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 272
Amazon Link*: Click Here
Goodreads Page: Click here
When Alexandra’s mother is slain by an unnatural beast, shadows fall on the once-lush kingdom. Too soon the widowed king is entranced by a cunning stranger — and in one chilling moment Alexandra’s beloved brothers disappear, and she is banished to a barren land. Rich in visual detail, sparked by a formidable evil, and sweetened with familial and romantic love, here is the tale of a girl who discovers powerful healing gifts — and the courage to use them to save her ailing kingdom.
Review: About 18 months ago I saw this book while at the bookstore with my grandparents and just commented "oh, that looks cool" and my grandfather (being awesome) bought it for me. It then proceeded to sit on my shelf all year, and disappeared into a box when I moved last April. My new shelves brought this book out of hiding exactly when I needed it.

As you might have been able to tell from yesterday's review, the last book I read left me feeling pretty... dark. I just felt gross and down in the dumps. So I picked up The Swan Kingdom. It was short, and seemed safe enough.

Oh. My. Word. This book is AMAZING. Honestly. It's like this fabulous combination of Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl and Heather Tomlinson's The Swan Maiden while still being TOTALLY original. I read the entire thing in one sitting because I just could. not. put. it. down. It's been a long time since I've read a book that has just been so purely lovely.

Some twisted fairy tale (TFT) plots don't stray at all from the original tale. And those are fine, but I never like them as much. I want the author to add something original to the tale, otherwise I would just read the short version. And while Marriott draws on "The Wild Swans" in this novel, the story is completely her own.  Every single element of the novel was expertly crafted to have the same, wonderful, fairy-tale essence as the original tale, but I was still kept on my toes.

I felt like I living inside this tale, and I never wanted to come out. The story was gripping, the love was so cute, and the end nearly had me crying tears of joy. I immediately purchased Marriott's second book and plan to dive into it post-haste.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure that it's taken me so long to get to this book for a reason. It was exactly what I needed to pull me out of the dark place my last book put me in. If you're at TFT addict like me, you must get The Swan Kingdom in your hands RIGHT NOW! It's golden!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

I'm going to add this at the end of the post, because I didn't want it to disrupt the positive flow of the review. If there's one thing I don't like about this book, it's the cover. First of all, why is the girl in that position? Second, the MC's hair is RED, not black. Just something that irked me.


  1. Sounds good! I like fairy tale retellings with a twist. And the cover is lovely.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. I've added this book to my wishlist because of your review. Thanks!

  3. Ooo sounds like a good read! Thanks for the review!

  4. This sounds exactly like the kind of book I'll love. I follow your blog because you share my favorites of Hale and other authors, so I know when you adore something, so will I. I've been reading a lot of dystopian recently--and liked much of it--but this sounds like the perfect refresher.

    Is this a retelling of the Swan Princess? Or is it more of a departure?

  5. Every time you LOVE a twisted fairy tale, you know I gotta read it. I'll have to track down a copy soon. :)

  6. Amity,

    It isn't a retelling of The Swan Princess at all. It's retelling of "The Wild Swans" which is the one where brothers get turned into swans.

  7. I've seen this book multiple times, but never bothered to pick it up. I'm so glad you reviewed it - it's now at the top of my to-buy list!

  8. I'm so going to buy that book ASAP. Everything sounded great about it (even though the cover is a bit interesting.) your review makes me want to buy it more!

  9. Ah, I do know that tale after all. It's just been a while and I needed the 'brothers turned to swans' bit to job my memory. Thanks!

  10. Yea! A five flower review! I love a twisted fairytale too:) Can't wait to get my hands on this!

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  11. I read this a while ago and I enjoyed it. I have the UK cover though, it's gorgeous! I can't stand the US cover either!

  12. Love the review Enna! And, well... You already know how I feel about this book! :)

    I don't particularly love either cover, but I do prefer the US hardcover to the paperback...


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