TITLE: The Swan Kingdom
AUTHOR: ZoÃ« Marriott
PUBLISHED: 2007, Walker Books; paperback, 285 pages
ALSO SEE: Shadows On the Moon
When Alexandraâs 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 â and in one chilling moment Alexandraâs 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 â and the courage to use them to save her ailing kingdom. (From Goodreads)
I know retellings aren’t for everyone, but I absolutely love them. Some of my favorite books of all time are re-interpretations of beloved and well-known stories. What I look for is originality, creativity, and that sense that I’m getting a unique perspective on a story that’s been told a thousand times before. When you already know how everything is going to play out, these are the elements that really become important. I think that ZoÃ« Marriott has a gift for retellings, and I’ve believed this ever since reading Shadows On the Moon — a phenomenal retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale that you so, so, SO need in your life. LIKE RIGHT NOW. I think you need The Swan Kingdom, too. Honestly, I haven’t been so in love with an author’s fairy tale retellings since I first discovered Robin McKinley (Rose Daughter, Spindle’s End, Deerskin) years and years ago, and that’s saying something because I’m a HUGE Robin McKinley fan. I think they both bring so much magic into the stories they weave.