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3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  25 reviews
For years, Gwenore's mother, the witch Rhiamon, has abused and ignored her. Then Gwenore learns that she has secret allies—her nursemaid and a mysterious enchanter-priest. They help her escape, first to an abbey, then to the women's community of Blessingwood, and finally to the otherworldly Lir, where she serves as nursemaid to the king's four children. No matter where she...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 6th 2006 by Firebird (first published April 7th 2005)
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Nancy O'Toole
After escaping from the clutches of her mother, a wicked sorceress named Rhiamon, Gwenore finds herself settling into a new life at Blessingwood, a community where intelligent women teach her how to play music, tend plants, and perform surgery. But no matter how much she reinvents or remanes herself, Gwenore is still trapped by her past. For as the years pass, Rhiamon continues the search for her. It will take all of Gwenore's strength, and the magic she barely understands inside of her, to trul...more
Terrible. This book doesn't actually "begin" it feels like it is just going and lets you watch for a while, and then drops you back off at the end. If you didn't read the blurb on the back of the book, you wouldn't know what the plot was until the last 30 pages of the book. The main character is so nebulous, and changing that you never feel a sense of connection with her, and sometimes I even forgot what her name was. I just didn't like it at all.
I did enjoy this book as a solid three stars until the last fifty or so pages. There were things I hadn't been enjoying, but overall I thought the main character was interesting, I was invested in the secondary characters and the plot seemed an interesting mix of fables and myths and I wanted to see how the author resolved it all.

Unfortunately, I don't think it was done well. I'll talk about the conclusion of the book at the end of this review.

Some things I didn't enjoy throughout the novel inc...more
Don't bother with this one. It is so full of plot that the story never gets told. It's just a long list of happenings with shreds of weak character thrown in here and there. And (spoiler) the antagonist who is so fearful and wicked and powerful ... yeah, she dies by falling down the stairs.
The black bird on this book's cover is *adorable.* It's crouching all bashful-like and its eyes are so shiny and forgiving.

(The book itself was pretty unimpressive, though. I guess it had its moments of being clever and amusing, but it was kind of hollow.)
I really liked this book, up until the anticlimatic ending. It felt like the heroine had no part in the ending, but should have, because it was that type of book, ya know what I mean?
Gwenore’s mother is a witch – the evil and powerful Rhiamon. Her whole life has been lived in fear of her mother’s power. Until now, when she must escape. Aided by friends – and fairy folk – Gwenore is hidden in an abbey, until her health recovers, then to a community of women. Gwenore is renamed Mary, then Singer. In the community, Gwenore learns new skills – that of healing and of song. But, still she must run. This time to Ireland. However, fate – or greater powers – intervene and she is land...more
Too much plot in too little words. The Children of Lir was not given as much attention and respect as it deserved. It felt like an afterthought.
I read this book in 5th or 6th grade and loved it.
Neill Smith
In this expanded retelling of the Irish legend of the Children of Lir, a girl who has been enchanted from birth is rescued from her abusive mother, the witch Rhiannon, by a her maid and a priest. She is placed in a women's healing community where she is trained in the use of her powers. When the community comes under siege from her mother she is moved to the other-worldly castle of Lir where she must confront her mother's powers.
Bwenore is the daughter of the evil witch Rhianon, who abused her as a child. Gwenore escapes with the help of friends, Father Caddaric, slave Brennan, Tom, and her white dog Striker. Gwenore finds shelter in a convent and at Blessingwood, but she lives in fear of discovery by her mother. Gwenore must follow her destiny to save four royal children and face her mother if she will ever be free.
Jessica J
This story, based on an old fairy tale, but excellent. I would recommend it for ages 14 and up since it has some harsh moments. It is always nice to see a character who has been through so much to rise above it all. I could only wish for a little more of a love story. The female characters were especially strong.
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This is a retelling of the fairy tale about the children being turned into swans. I thought the story meandered a lot - and it took a long time to get to the action. Then when the climax came, the main characters kept running back and forth between problems.
Similar to the previous novel I read, the story also took a while to connect and really start to get interesting. However, the second half of the story was very fast-paced and magical and much more interesting.
I would actually rate this just under a four (maybe a 3.75 or so). The ending and a few irritating things knocked it back for me.
Eventually I will get around to reviewing it.
There were parts of this novel that I liked and parts that I didn't. I can't really say whether I liked it or not.
Renee Sustarich
Good story line. The ending wasn't what I'd thought it be but it was still overa all a good book.
Thérèse ♡
It wasn't really interesting: found myself falling asleep reading it.
Amandy Q
liked it but not enough for it to help my recommendations
This book was so dumb.....
the ending is bad.
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"My mother taught me to read before I started school, but I had to wait to be six before I could have a library card."[ Author's quote from her website.]
"In 25 years, I wrote 40 books. Most of them came out under my own name, but a few were published under the name T.J. Bradstreet."
[ Author's quote from her website.]
She lives in Washington State, and is a member of The Authors Guild and the Societ...more
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