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TPG reviews: The Swan Prince, by Danielle Shipley

October 19, 2013

Short yet sweet; highly recommended.

Catching her leg in a bear trap proves the least of Sula’s worries. Haunted by an enchanted monster from a past she dare not reveal, and hounded by the perilously perceptive young village doctor, Villem Deere, the headstrong girl of the woods gambles with fate by binding hers to that of Sigmund, the captivating orphan boy with mysterious nightly business of his own.



My rating: 9/10

You’re probably thinking that the above blurb sounds pretty awful. If so, I would agree. Thankfully, the book itself is decidedly better, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is after a nice quick read.

The Swan Prince follows the tales of two cursed royals, Sula and Sigmund, as they strive to break the enchantments that have befallen them. Sigmund needs someone to treat him like a prince for the duration of a long journey, whereas Sula requires the kiss of her true love before a year goes by. Out of both affection and convenience, the two decide to travel together. Close at their heels is Villem Deere, an ever-curious doctor on the search for the pair’s secrets.

This is a very short book, which quick readers will probably finish in a day or two. For it’s short length, however, I was enthralled. The Swan Prince features a very strong cast of characters, and the quality of writing on display is downright exceptional. It also features some very nice plays on traditional fairy tale tropes. The ending will surprise many, though inquisitive readers may well work it out ahead of time – the best sort of ending, in other words. Really, there is very little to fault this book on.

I should point out that there is very little action: there is no antagonist to speak of, and little in the way of fast thrills. So long as you expect this, however, I don’t see it as being a major issue.

It is very hard to say anything bad about The Swan Prince. A few readers may be disappointed by its short length, but it’s hard to complain when one takes its price into account. All in all, definitely worth looking into. The sequel, The Stone Kingdom, is already on my reading list.


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