Book Reviews of The Swan Kingdom

The Swan Kingdom
The Swan Kingdom
Author: ZoŽ Marriott
ISBN-13: 9780763634810
ISBN-10: 0763634816
Publication Date: 3/11/2008
Pages: 272
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7

3.4 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Candlewick
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Swan Kingdom on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

As the brightly colored cover suggests, Zoë Marriott's novel THE SWAN KINGDOM is a fantastical read. It is the retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's THE WILD SWANS, a fairy tale that I had never heard of, but that has all the familiar bits and pieces like the evil stepmother, enchanted gardens, and animal transformations. It also has a spunky, magically terrific but socially awkward princess-protagonist named Alexandra.

A few of my friends dislike retold fairy tales, because there is no surprise ending. But I think the whole point of reading rewrites is to focus on the journey, not the place. Anyway, that's why I love retold fairy tales, because it's a way to enjoy certain stories that I seemed to grow out of. After a few years in schoolyard politics, the characters that I loved just weren't complex enough to be satisfying anymore. Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White were never unsure, impatient, or angry. Besides some serious magical malady that I had no hope of ever battling, they never seemed to have problems at all.

Alexandra, however, has real problems like pleasing her parents, being plain, and weird. With books like THE SWAN KINGDOM, I get my dosage of magic, and from a girl normal enough to be friends with.

Alexandra is an ugly duckling from a family of swans. Her parents are the just and admired rulers of the Kingdom and her three older brothers are kind, handsome, and brilliant. Her only claim to fame is the magical connection that she shares with the land, but even then her skills are dwarfed by her mother's great healing abilities. When the novel opens, she has pretty much settled for a life in the shadows, but when her mother is killed by a beast in the forest and her father marries a strange, beautiful woman, Alexa has to step up or be squashed. While this story follows the general formula of a fairytale (evil destroyed and kingdom restored), Zoë Marriott has charted a unique path to Happily Ever After.

There seems to be a lot of retold fairy tales on the shelves these days. Some are humorous, like Gail Carson Levine's PRINCESS TALES series. THE SWAN KINGDOM is one of the more serious ones, and readers who enjoyed Robin McKinley's or Donna Jo Napoli's books should try it out.
reviewed The Swan Kingdom on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

As the brightly colored cover suggests, Zoë Marriott's novel THE SWAN KINGDOM is a fantastical read. It is the retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's THE WILD SWANS, a fairy tale that I had never heard of, but that has all the familiar bits and pieces like the evil stepmother, enchanted gardens, and animal transformations. It also has a spunky, magically terrific but socially awkward princess-protagonist named Alexandra.

A few of my friends dislike retold fairy tales, because there is no surprise ending. But I think the whole point of reading rewrites is to focus on the journey, not the place. Anyway, that's why I love retold fairy tales, because it's a way to enjoy certain stories that I seemed to grow out of. After a few years in schoolyard politics, the characters that I loved just weren't complex enough to be satisfying anymore. Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White were never unsure, impatient, or angry. Besides some serious magical malady that I had no hope of ever battling, they never seemed to have problems at all.

Alexandra, however, has real problems like pleasing her parents, being plain, and weird. With books like THE SWAN KINGDOM, I get my dosage of magic, and from a girl normal enough to be friends with.

Alexandra is an ugly duckling from a family of swans. Her parents are the just and admired rulers of the Kingdom and her three older brothers are kind, handsome, and brilliant. Her only claim to fame is the magical connection that she shares with the land, but even then her skills are dwarfed by her mother's great healing abilities. When the novel opens, she has pretty much settled for a life in the shadows, but when her mother is killed by a beast in the forest and her father marries a strange, beautiful woman, Alexa has to step up or be squashed. While this story follows the general formula of a fairytale (evil destroyed and kingdom restored), Zoë Marriott has charted a unique path to Happily Ever After.

There seems to be a lot of retold fairy tales on the shelves these days. Some are humorous, like Gail Carson Levine's PRINCESS TALES series. THE SWAN KINGDOM is one of the more serious ones, and readers who enjoyed Robin McKinley's or Donna Jo Napoli's books should try it out.
reviewed The Swan Kingdom on + 2292 more book reviews
I have had this book on my TBR pile for quite some time. I was excited to get a chance to finally read it. This is a retelling of The Wild Swans fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It was a very straight-forward retelling of this fairy tale and I found it to be a bit bland.

This book sticks to the Wild Swans fairytale fairly closely. It does give our heroine magic powers and twists up the end of the tale some. I enjoyed this slight departure from the original tale but it wasn't enough to make the story really unique and engaging for me.

Some of the description was very well done and I enjoyed our heroine Alexandra. However, the relationships in the book fell a bit flat. Alexandra's romance was a bit blah. Her relationship with her brothers also felt a bit surfacey. I just never engaged with these characters very well.

Overall this is an okay retelling of the Wild Swans fairy tale but it wasn't unique enough or engaging enough to really capture my attention. I would recommend reading Juliet Marillier's âDaughter of the Forestâ instead of this book if you are interested in an awesome retelling of the Wild Swans fairy tale. Alethea Kontis's âDearestâ is also a well done retelling of this tale.