Genre: Fairytale Retellings
Synopsis: 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.
200words (or less) review: Swan Kingdom was Zöe Marriott’s debut, I picked it up because I love retellings. I was not disappointed. Having re-read the book this year I found all manner of things I missed the first time round.
One of the things that Zöe Marriott excels in is creating strong yet believable heroines. Alexandra doesn’t have the greatest self-esteem, her mother and brothers love her, the relationship with her father is awkward. While she takes after her mother in the skills of a cunning woman Alexandra lacks the grace and beauty to make her desirable for marriage. Yet despite this Alexandra doesn’t just sit there moaning. When her mother is injured she springs to action. Throughout the book she keeps fighting, trying to help her brothers. There is a prince but he is not there to rescue her, Alexandra can do that on her own.
Swan Kingdom is full of richly described scenery with endearing characters and a touching love story for good measure. The ending felt a little rushed to me but I know I’ll be reading this book over and over regardless.