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The Swan Kingdom

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,787 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Shadows have fallen across the beautiful and lush Kingdom. The queen was attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger - a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving h ...more
Hardcover, 1st U.S. ed., 258 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published March 5th 2007)
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Tigress No. It's a retelling of The Wild Swans. …moreNo. It's a retelling of The Wild Swans. (less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  4,787 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: retellings
This book gets off on the wrong foot and never quite recovers. It ends on the wrong foot, too.

The opening lines of Chapter 1: "You probably know me already. In every story you've ever been told, someone like me exists. A figure in the background, barely noticed by the main players. A talentless, unwanted child. The ugly one. The ugly one only gets in the way. She is as out of place as a sparrow in a clutch of swans."

From those opening lines, I expected to hear more about what made her the ugly,
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't know the whole swan retelling so I can't judge the book and state whether or not the book did a good job at retelling it.

Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed this book.

Reasons to read:
-It's a YA fantasy stand alone.
-Likeable and flawed MC: Alexandra is described as plain, ugly, and bland. She's not a normal pretty princess.
-Very fast paced.
-Cute romance: Though there isn't much romance development, it was still likeable.
-Evil step-mom.
-Heroine doesn't lust after the love interest
enqi ♡
The Swan Kingdom was lyrical and enchanting and a fairy tale through and through, with all the signature elements such as evil stepmother, enchanted gardens, animal transformations, and a disgraced, unwanted princess-protagonist named Alexandra. There was danger, darkness, and an evil villain/enemy, and most importantly, a happy ending. I can't really figure out how to rate it, so I'm just going to make a list of my likes and dislikes about the book. After thinking about it I decided on 3 star ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
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 r
3.5 stars, this book has the potential to become a four stars read but in the middle of the story, I realize the characters aren't shaped up enough (though most of them do have their moments), resulting in this retelling of The Wild Swans losing its depth (and the plot twist about (view spoiler) is very cheesy), still the ending is nice and I'm glad to see the author has wisely kept the romance low-keyed and made her heroine focusing ...more
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. An awesome retelling. Marriott's writing was very clear and intricate. I was impress how easily she described and related magical situations and feelings that are normally difficult to understand and imagine. ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book I liked it as much as "Shadows on the Moon". ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is comfort & home to me - I love it SO SO SO much!

I cannot EVER reread books, It’s just never as good the 2nd time round and that’s so sad but this book is one of my exceptions. I’ve read it soooooo many times I literally couldn’t even guess at a number.
It's so hard for me not to compare any retelling that even touches on swans (The Wild Swans, The Six Swans, doesn't matter) without comparing it to Daughter of the Forest , so I was really worried going in that I would unconsciously (or even consciously) be setting The Swan Kingdom up to fail. But it amazed me how little I felt myself needing to compare. This isn't to say I didn't compare, because I definitely did, especially when it comes to the depth of the story (in which case I compared i ...more
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fun light romance and magic. Alexandra, the main character, has the gift to work with the power of the earth. She knows about healing herbs and works small magics that her mother taught her. When her mother is killed by a wild beast, and her father is enchanted and tricked into marrying the evil being that killed her mother, Alexandra is on her own. Her 3 loving brothers have also been banished, but she can't quite remember what happened to them. She must learn who she is and what her powers are ...more
I adore fairy tale retellings and the synopsis of The Swan Kingdom held enough promise to get me well and truly excited, but unfortunately the story never really gets off the ground. Much could have been forgiven regarding the rather flat story, awkward dialogue and melodramatic prose if our heroine, Alexandra, had only been more likable, or her romance (one of the key points of any fairy tale!) was better developed. But it failed on both these points, and what was left was a rather forgettable ...more
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I am such a sucker for pretty covers. I swear, it's like I don't even read the premise and just dive in. Well, I at least knew it was a fairy tale retelling and I love those, so I couldn't pass this one up. I've never read the original tale this is based on but I would like to, I just need to find the time to get to them, so keep that in mind.

The first half of this book (or part one) was excruciating to get through. The beginning of the book was so melodramatic and filled with lots of; my father
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairy tale fans, incurable romantics
Shelves: teen
I really enjoyed this poetic retelling of the Six Swans fairy tale. Alexandra, youngest child of the king, is an ugly little thing, but useful. She can use the enaid, the power of the land, to do little things like healing and talking to the beasts and creatures of the land. Her mother's ability to wield the enaid is greater and soaks through the kingdom, bringing lush growth and bountiful crops. Alexandra's three brothers, David, Hugh and Robin, posses little of the gift, but have their own str ...more
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I think this book would have worked better had it broken completely from the fairy tale (six swans—or any of the other many versions by which it’s known) since the connection to the original was so thin. I liked the magical kingdom, with its matriarchal, druid feel. However, I was frequently confused by setting, as I was constantly being surprised by more advanced technologies than I expected in the area. I was disappointed that the nettles played so little a role in the book and that the proble ...more
Anne Osterlund
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Alexandra isn’t special. At least not to her father. Her mother tells her about the special magic of the Enaid—that one day Alexandra will be the one protect the source that nurtures the land and the animals of the Kingdom.

But when the true test comes, her mother is no longer there.

Alexandra’s father rides into the forest to battle the evil responsible and returns with a woman named Zella who reeks of blood.

Will Alexandra’s own powers ever be strong enough to defend the Kingdom against the beast
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The Swan Kingdom is a creditable debut, but it doesn't quite stand on its own strengths so much as the author's potential to write much better books. The narration has a strong, clear voice, and the heroine Alexandra undergoes a great deal of growth throughout the story (based on the fairy tale The Wild Swans). I especially like how even the people who seem purely good or evil to Alexandra at first often turn out to have unexpected qualities. I wouldn't exactly call it depth, since they're not w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexandra is youngest child and only daughter of the King & Queen and has always felt like an ugly duckling amongst her family. She loves spending time with her mother and brothers but doesn't get on so well with her father who finds her a disappointment because she isn't pretty enough. She loves learning about the healing properties of plants and how to use the magic of the earth from her mother and has become a skilled healer. Alexandra's life changes dramatically when her mother is killed by ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: retellings, fantasy
It was a good book but I couldn't truly love it. The story line in general was enjoyable. I guess it wasn't what I was expecting. It was expecting adventure, enchantment, disguise, romance, and action. It did have all the other things, just not to the level I'd expected.

The beginning I thought was slow. Alexandra tells us that she is ugly and I think "Alright sounds good it'll give her more depth as a princess." But alas she is just plain and I can't sympathies too much with a just plain prince
Aug 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I am being extra cranky about books at the moment, so I think this one gets three stars purely because I didn't grumble at it and I read it in record time. It's a relatively straightforward retelling of the fairytale about the girl whose brothers are turned into swans; it of course has an evil stepmother, and a love interest. I actually confess to being kind of interested in Gabriel, but his storyline didn't really come to much other than love interest -- though it's better than if he got all th ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
3.25 out of 5

Good, but not on the same level as her later novels. Clearly a debut, Marriott demonstrates a lot of the same skills (strong female character, unique magic, compelling storytelling) that she will continue to mature in her later work.

A bit simplistic, a bit too easily resolved at the end, still, The Swan Kingdom was entertaining and creative. A fun read, if an easy one.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well... I haven't cried like that in a long time.

Wow, I can't say anything. No, really, I can't think of a word. These sentences were written minutes apart from each other. (Okay, I couldn't even understand what I meant, sorry.)

Just read it. Do I have to do everything around here?
Weaving Fiction ( Sj )
2.5 stars.
I wish I had loved this, I wish I did more than just push through so I could be finished. This had an interesting premise that followed the idea of the evil step mother, and yet the plot and characters failed to pull through. The writing was beautiful, if a bit too flowery at times, and there was real potential. But the beginning and end lacked enough energy to get me invested so I only kept reading so I could put this book down and find something else to read
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fairy-tales, blog
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings of all time. I love it. Zoë has taken the old tale, The Wild Swans and made it completely her own. She wrote us an absolutely lovely guest post that talks about the book far better than I could, so I'm going to link it here.

Alexandra is the young daughter of a distant and disappointing father and a warm, loving and magical mother. Her father is disint
Mr Pink ink

I can only describe this book as the love child of Swan Lake and Snow White.

New author for me, didn't disappoint; I love the writing style and the beautiful imagery she she creates.

Some parts are brilliant but other parts seem a little lacking... Love the MC and I feel that she was written exceptionally well!

Really enjoyable short read, but there's just something missing, though...
Amanda Winkworth
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely retelling of the fairy tale,I enjoyed this.
Jade Walker
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rated-a
Original review at http://inkscratchers.blogspot.com/

That's what the blurb says and I have to admit, after first reading that, it sounded like every other magical fantasy out there. I bought it though, simply for the fact that the cover art was absoloutely stunning. Let's put it like this though. I started the book on the car ride home and I had finished it two hours later. This title is the one that showed me that a book can be beautiful.

Everything about this book is gorgeous, from the way tha
Brindy Dean
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-books-11-20
Alexandra seems to have nothing special about her. Growing up as a princess with a wise Queen for a mother, a dominant King for her father, and three brothers each specializing in weapons, swordsmanship, intellect, kindness and bravery, Alexandra doesn't seem to mind being on the outskirts of events. That is until her 15th birthday when her mother takes her to a sacred place in the woods and she discovers a hidden power inside her that has been lying dormant. However, on the way home, Alexandra' ...more
Brooke Elden
This book was not great. It was boring. I completely agree with another reviewer on here that said you can see the potential for where this author was going (Shadows on the Moon) but she just wasn't there yet. This book was way different than the aforementioned, and I enjoyed it much less. When I did actually read a brief synopsis of the fairy tale off which this is based (The Wild Swans) the things that happened in the book that seemed silly while I was reading it made much more sense. I didn't ...more
Kimberly Hirsh
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
After Princess Alexandra's mother is killed, her father marries a woman who charms the kingdom. Alexandra and her brothers, however, believe that this woman is a shape-shifter, the beast who killed their mother in human form. After an ill-fated attempt to prove this goes awry, Alexandra is banished and her brothers disappear. As she lives with her aunt, Alexandra begins to understand the nature of her own magical power.

I can't say much more without giving away details of the plot that I think re
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Zoë has known that she wanted to be a writer since she read 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton at age eight. She's never changed her mind in all the years since then.

She completed her first manuscript - a truly embarrassing romance novel - at age sixteen, and kept on writing books and submitting them until she had collected rejections from nearly very publisher in the UK and two in Australia.

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