Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cygnet (Cygnet, #1-2)” as Want to Read:
Cygnet (Cygnet, #1-2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cygnet (Cygnet Duology #1-2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  457 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In the realm of fantasy, one name stands out from the crowd. For many years, Patricia A. McKillip has charmed readers with her "unique brand of prose magic" (Locus). Now, for the first time in one volume, she offers two of her classic tales-The Sorceress and the Cygnet and The Cygnet and the Firebird-which delve into the fate of the Ro family and an otherworld rich in myth ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Ace
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cygnet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cygnet

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kelley Ceccato
The story of this book is the story of a year; I read The Sorceress and the Cygnet at the beginning of this year, and I just finished The Cygnet and the Firebird.

What both books have to recommend them:

1. A plentiful cast of sympathetic female figures, including one of the more satisfying depictions of female authority in Nyx's mother, and two sisters who, while they're meant to contrast sharply with Nyx, are remarkable in their own ways. Nyx's older sister Iris, in particular, is exactly what t
Aug 22, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The Cygnet duology receives a 4 instead of 5 stars due to the first part of the duology, Sorceress and the Cygnet.

I found Sorceress and the Cygnet incredibly frustrating. I still have absolutely no idea what actually happened in the climax. I can't remember the last time I've been so annoyed and frustrated at a book's ending.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of McKillip, and am familiar with her poetic prose and heavy imagery. But she didn't help the reader to understand what was happening at a
Feb 07, 2015 Ami rated it it was amazing
Rich, beautiful lyrical prose that I love reading, aloud to my daughters or otherwise.

I especially love The Sorceress and the Cygnet. I originally read it at least 20 years ago as a young girl. It was actually the book that propelled me into the realm of fantasy although alas, I had forgotten until very recently. I wanted to share it with my own daughter but I could rember nothing about it except that it had something to do with swans. However, none of the other books I came across in my search
Jul 18, 2011 Chaundra rated it liked it
Recommended to Chaundra by: Mandy G-C
Shelves: fantasy
I am a huge fan of McKillip's later works and this one had been languishing on my shelves for some time. It looked like a good bridge between some of the next books I was wanting to read and so picked it up. The first book is something of a slog - the writing isn't quite as polished as to what I've become accustomed in her later books and the plot moves in some very unfamiliar, difficult to follow ways without any satisfying resolution. The second book in this compendium is a much more ...more
Ian Mathers
Dec 01, 2015 Ian Mathers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2015
I think the main reason Patricia A. McKillip is my favourite fantasy author is that, of everyone I've read, she's the one who does the best job of living up to the genre name. It's not that her books are hard to follow or confusing (although 1. you have to be willing to accept how much her magic works with symbols, allusions, the irrational, etc. 2. they do reward attention), but as magic naturally does they obey their own rules, and you are not going to have them set out for you, nicely codifie ...more
Ash H.
Jun 08, 2014 Ash H. rated it liked it
Considering I have read almost all of Patricia McKillip's books( published ones, at least), this book was a surprise. Those among you who thought "the Riddle Master of Hed" had obscurity riddling it's pages are in for a treat...........this one is even more intricate, convoluted, subtle and evasive but as beautifully written as one would expect to come out of PK's pen.
BUT, it does get to a point where the layer upon layer of reality mixing with fantasy thus made it the first PK book I took my t
Dec 28, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing
Dazzling tale!

It embodies fantasy--there is action, adventure, mystery, peril, strange lands, mages, a bit of romance, and, of course, dragons! As always, McKillip's writing is simply beautiful; description just doesn't do it justice.

While there are numerous characters, each are unique, and I didn't feel bogged down when the story shifted from one character to another and back again, like I have in some of her other novels. I genuinely cared about what happened to the characters, which doesn't
Feb 03, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons, fiction
I agree that this book can be a little hard to get into. The author is very good at painting a picture in the mind with her words, and it was very easy to get lost in those pictures. Unfortunately, when you find your way out of that picture, it might take a moment to remember what was happening in the story.

That said, I did enjoy the stories. The second was much easier to read, having had all the set-up in the first, and I almost hope for one more story to follow these two (though I suppose its
Mar 29, 2009 Yati rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
Two books in one volume: The Sorceress and the Cygnet and The Cygnet and the Firebird.

I'm still not sure what to think of the book as a whole. The writing is beautiful but the characters seem distant, though they become more real in the second book. I think I've said this before about McKillip -- her prose is beautiful but exhausting! It takes me forever to get through the pages and I almost always take a break from the book at the end of each chapter.
May 23, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing
Patricia McKillip is a great writer. There are really two books in this new edition. Both books use the same characters for the story. These books are more fantastical than some of her others that I have read. The imagery in these books is just amazing. Homes with endless rooms, path of time contained in a small cube, a firebird fighting a mage, etc.. Characters are lovely. I cannot wait to read all of her writing.
Mar 02, 2009 Onewooga rated it liked it
It took me a while to finish this set of books. Patricia Ann McKillip's writing has an ethereal quality usually, but these early works seem more so than usual. The first book is the hardest--beautiful images, yet hard to reach characters. The second one was better; the characters finally take on depth and feeling. You could read one without the other, except certain concepts that are introduced in the first book would be missing and might be more confusing.
Jan 31, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it
Rereading this 2 story collection as I never finished the second book the first time around.
What joy Patricia's novels bring. Like eating solid healthy food instead of the very common fast food junk that often passes as fantasy!
finish today 31 jan 2016
Very sweet adventure and a solid addition to Patricia's awesome catalogue. wonder if there will be a third book one day :)
Feb 28, 2015 Arianna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I would describe Patricia McKillip's storytelling style as "dreamlike". She writes quite beautifully, and as I grow older I have come to appreciate her writing more than I could when I was a teenager. Perhaps it is because her style is one that you have to get used to. I'll be going back to some of her earlier books to re-read them.
Mar 22, 2014 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
The Cygnet duology is so gorgeous and literary and romantic. Yes, McKillip makes you work to conjure meaning and understanding from her story (the best books are like that) but it is absolutely worth it in the end. My biggest complaint is that the story wasn't longer. I adored all of her characters, especially Meguet, Corleu, Nyx, and Hew.
Mar 19, 2013 Violinknitter rated it it was amazing
Ok, this is kind of a cheat, because I've read both of these books before in their separate editions. I always love McKillip's books, but the Cygnet books hold a special place in my heart, even among McKillip's excellent stories.
Jan 23, 2009 Moira rated it liked it
There are actually 2 books in this book. The first one was kinda hard to follow, which surprised me from this author. The second one was much easier to follow and I got much more caught up in the story and characters.
Aug 22, 2007 Jessififi rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
So far I'm having a difficult time getting into this...but anything by McKillip is worth reading once I can get into it so I shall persevere.
Nov 20, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it
If goodreads did half stars, I would give it 3.5 stars. The 1st book is about a 3. Then it started to really pick up in the 2nd book. So I would give the 2nd book 4 stars.
Mar 26, 2008 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Two books in one volume. Liked the second one best. Full of McKillip's usual magical, evocative words and worlds.
Jan 18, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it
I am enjoying reading Patricia McKillip. Her writing is well done and her world building has a different twist.
Mar 17, 2013 C rated it it was amazing
This book is hard to find but I think it's one of McKillip's best. I think this is the edition that contains 2 separate books:
The Sorceress
The Cygnet and the Firebird
Dec 03, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it
I had read both books that are included here previously, but in the wrong order, so I reread them the right way round.
Christi Lupher
This consists of two novels. I've only read the first so far -- The Sorceress and the Cygnet.

This isn't my favorite of Patricia McKillip's novels, but it's still a good read.
Kaiwei rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2012
Cassie rated it it was amazing
Aug 25, 2013
Caitlin rated it liked it
May 20, 2009
Alison rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2013
Dusty rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Ariade rated it did not like it
Nov 16, 2014
Sarah Kleinberg
Sarah Kleinberg rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Secret Books of Paradys (Secret Books of Paradys, #1-4)
  • Return
  • The Storm Witch (Dhulyn and Parno, #3)
  • Shadow Leader (Wolfwalker, #2)
  • The Sea Lark's Song
  • Dark of the Moon (Kencyrath, #2)
  • Fire Margins (Sholan Alliance, #3)
  • Kingdoms of Light
  • Mind of the Magic (Arhel, #3)
  • A Princess of Roumania (Princess of Roumania, #1)
  • Nightborn (Thrones & Bones, #2)
  • Shattered Pillars (Eternal Sky, #2)
  • The Sun Sword (The Sun Sword, #6)
  • Wolf's Promise (Caedmon Wolves, #2)
  • Meridian, Vol. 1: Flying Solo
  • Wind from a Foreign Sky (Tielmaran Chronicles, #1)
Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award, and she lives in Oregon. Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to David Lunde, a poet.

According to Fantasy Book
More about Patricia A. McKillip...

Other Books in the Series

Cygnet Duology (2 books)
  • The Sorceress and the Cygnet (Cygnet, #1)
  • The Cygnet and the Firebird (Cygnet, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »