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The Wild Swans

(Timeless Fairy Tales #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,590 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Elise is the foster-daughter of the King of Arcainia, a mathematician, and the country’s treasurer. She is not a hero. But when her step-mother, a wicked witch, curses Elise’s seven foster-brothers—the princes of Arcainia—and turns them into swans, Elise is the only one who can save them.

To break the curse, she must knit seven shirts made of stinging nettles, but there’s a
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published April 26th 2014 by Take Out the Trash
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  2,590 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Wait. What the actual fuck?? What kind of book has 2 alternative endings????

So through the course of this book, I have jumped from 3 stars to 4 stars to 2.5 stars. The ending was such a cop-out. Like it made everything feel insincere if Elise could so easily interchange between the two love interests. I get the appeal of readers choosing the one they want, but in my opinion, it does not work here. RPG games? Yes, definitely. Those cool “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Yes. [You know those boo
This was the second book in a series but it read like it was written several years before Beauty and the Beast. Or maybe it was a rough draft or unedited or something. I can't really say it was less cohesive. The story did flow well. was like it was written in two different eras. You had some historical fairytale elements and dialogue, but then, in the same sentence, there was dialogue that would have been better fitted to a modern setting. The writing style confused me. And I didn't li ...more
Jan 01, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (1/1/2020)! 🎁
This book was so...lackluster.

I mean, the story was okay, but I thought we'd do something other than strangely paced knitting, and I suppose I should be happy about Elise's character development, but honestly I didn't care much about her. There was something flat and uninteresting about the book in general. I liked Falk's character, but the poor guy was thoroughly tossed about in this otome-game-style plot.

Speaking of which, that ending. Sigh. Mild spoiler: The author writes two endings so you
Aug 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
I said I was only going to review one book in this series, but then I remembered all the wrongs this book committed against me and I'm here to save the unsuspecting reader.

This book is not completely to blame for it's asininity (to use a word the author loves lololol). The story it's based off of isn't exactly that interesting. A girl has to be silent for a year and knit shirts. Ok. It did make the story a bit...uneventful. But she tried to spice things up, she did the best she could. Whatev
1/26/20 - Re-read - I did remember reading this, but it was 5 years ago so I had forgotten most of the details. Very enjoyable read. Once again, I wasn't a huge fan choose your own ending, which prince brother she ends up with.

I just am loving K.M. Shea's books. I love how she portrayed the women in this book to be strong and capable, not simpering, blubbering girls. I'm not a feminist in anyway, but I like women to be graceful, yet strong.

Wasn't too keen about the was one o
Intisar Khanani
I wanted to love this story, and I did love the heroine, but UGH the love interests. I do applaud Shea for taking an unusual approach to this, and frankly, I would have been on board, except - EXCEPT - for the reveal of some truly unacceptable bullying that went on in the past as part of their "we're jealous and want to keep our Love for ourselves, so you can't be friends with her" thing. I'm sorry but NO. You don't know what love is, and you don't deserve this heroine, and WHY is she lecturing ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Wow I can't believe both of the love interests are low-key terrible. Also, I can't believe this is basically a choose your ending sort of story. I really didn't end up believing in either relationship because the author tried to show both, but alas, an effort was made?
Phoebe Prince
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Wild Swans (Timeless Fairytales #2) by K.M. Shea

The Wild Swans isn't a retelling I come across often, although it had always been a secret favorite story of mine. The strength of this fairytale is that it relies on the family relationships over romantic relationships, which is a sweet spot for me and not done often enough in fairytale retellings. Elise is the princess, and King Henrik adopted her into the royal family with seven brothers. Elise runs the treasury and is a business whiz, and I
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Evil spells, a greedy step-mother, a crazy king, and a protagonist strong enough to defeat them.

This is the second book in the Timeless Fairytales series, and could be read independently. Princess Elise and her brothers notice their father is acting strangely, but they don't realize how bad things are until he brings home a woman and announces that he is marrying her. A new mother wouldn't be so bad, except this one seems to have their father under a spell, and she wants them dead. Before she at
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok

I know that is almost unfair to compare any retelling of "The Six Swans" to Juliet Marillier's masterpiece Daughter of the Forest. But seriously - this wasn't a well-written retelling even without the comparison with DotF.

+ the heroine was likeable enough AND she was an economist XD
+ the brothers had personalities, they were memorable enough
+ character of Brida, the Captain of the Guard (yay for more sympathetic female characters!)
+ events and characters from the
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't know what it is about this author but I love it. It's like she writes just for me. I have always loved fairy-tale retellings and these are quickly becoming some of my favorites. They have a lightness that not alot of fairy-tales have and I just love the fun play romances and this one was the best. The ending left me laughing and amazed at this author. I will not tell what happens because I loved being surprised by it. The characters are just great, if I had one bad thing to say it would ...more
The UHQ Nasanta
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-books-2016
Dislike the ending. Knew I would based on reading the reviews.
4+ Stars
After reading some of the negative reviews out there I wasn't really sure if I wanted to read this one or not. But I am so glad I took the chance, because I really enjoyed this one. I think it is best to go into this story not focused on the romantic facets but on the story itself. The themes of love, sacrifice, love overcoming, family, and loyalty more than add up to a great story in and of itself.

I enjoyed seeing the different aspects of the relationships between Elise and her foster
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Well now that was different!

The ending at least and how the romance is handled, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Elise was THE COOLEST. Now its no secret DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST by Juliet Marillier is a favorite of mine. Based on the same fairy tale, its steeped in Irish history and lore, so while magic happens its the magic of the Fae not the dark magic present here. What endears DAUGHTER to me is Sorcha. Her relentless pursuit of freeing her brothers is touching.

Similarly Elise's quest endeared
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
While the story was enjoyable and I liked Elise as the main character, the "choose your own ending" thing was stupid and I hope it never comes up again in other K.M. Shea's books.
Darque  Dreamer
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-reads
The Wild Swans is a story full of grace and beauty. It has heart, humor, and love. For those who love a bit of childhood nostalgia paired with an enchanting tale, and moral, look now further.

The Wild Swans captivated my heart from page one. I found it fascinating and enchanting. It reminded me of the faerie tales from my childhood, but paired well with the adult faerie tale lover in me. It was whimsical, humorous, and elegant. It was very well written and offered a beautiful lesson.

I adored the
Alexis Samson
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay... I have to be honest. This book was my least favourite one in the series (just to be clear, I've already read the whole series. I didn't just read the second book and be like 'well, this sucked'. I'm rereading it now to refresh my memory)
Now, just because it was my least favourite, didn't mean it was bad by any means. No, it was really very good. The rest of the series, however, is extraordinary. Hence my reservations when it came to this book.
Elise is the foster daughter of the King of A
Hélène Louise
I rather like the first one of the series, and I'm found of fairy tales retellings, so I decided to read this one, as a snack-read (no offense meant - I like those ! I just wouldn't compare this book with my beloved Daughter of the Forest, a brillant fantasy based on the same tale).
But I lost interest very soon.

The story was continuously stating contradictory facts: the heroin is loved but she's also neglected (by her family; her employees just adooore her); she's clever, good in her work, every
Jamie (The Kansan Reader)
My edition: Kindle Unlimited


Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #2

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: This one was just as good as the first book. Elise was just wanting to be included in the family. Her foster brothers expected her to be perfect and to do her duty as a royal. She even has a nickname of "perfect Princess". When the king brings in her step mother no one was expecting or very welcoming to. Clotilde was a greedy and hateful character.

Clotilde didn't like that her new found step children did
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I enjoyed The Wild Swans much more than the first book in this series. The characters were much better, with distinct personalities and their own conflicts. I enjoyed Elise's character and her struggles much more than Elle's struggles in the first book. I have never read the fairy tale that this book is based on so I didn't really know what to expect. The story was very interesting, I enjoyed reading about the adventures that the royal family had while they were trying to save their country.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounding up half a star. I broke down and read this even though I skipped it originally when reading the series. I read it after Puss in Boots, and because the two stories cross reference so much, I wanted to get the complete story. I had avoided this particular book based on the fact that it contains a love triangle. Furthermore two prongs of the triangle are brothers. It has a choose your own ending epilogue so you get to chose the person you think she should end up with.

As expected, I didn't
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Um, I'm obsessed with this??

After reading K.M. Shea's first "Timeless Fairy Tales #1 - Beauty and the Beast", I wanted to continue despite not being familiar with -or even having ever heard of- this fairytale, "Wild Swans". I did a quick wikipedia search for a brief overview to have an idea of what to expect. Even though this was my first official reading of The Wild Swans fairytale, it was such a fun ride!

"The Wild Swans" is an adventurous story of a curse, a princess, seven foster brothers, s
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I like this book. The retelling of this fairytale was done really well. This book is more serious when compared to others in the series. This might be due to the fact that the challenges in which Elise has to go through (knitting shirts from thorny materials is definitely not easy or without pain).
In this book, we get to explore Arcainia and we get to see how different things work in different countries. This is one of the reasons that makes this series so interesting.
The characterization is o
Teya Teya
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Interesting to say the least. Now having read what others said about it I had a good idea ahead of time which, in turn gave me a different perspective. Fascinating view on the swan princess by the way to totally loved it! So knowing she had a choice at the end of the book. Literally, if you think she chose this person click here if you think she chose this person click here.
Having known the choice a head of time I watched the interchange with each. Saw the development of each. So when I got to
Very nice twist from the original story, I liked it, but my only problem is the ending. The author made two options on how the story ends and we get to choose the one we prefer. My ending was not satisfying to me at all. I was disappointed. The other ending which I also read had a better scenario, but then I wasn't rooting for it so it kinda ruined it for me. I still liked the book. The first book was way better though.
The two different endings didn't bother me like it appears to bother some people. Some movies have alternate endings and i never had an issue with that. It did solidify my belief that she should end with with Falk. Out of all of them, he seemed to love her the most and in ways that Rune did not. I never believed Rune really truly loved her. And while the romance is a bit thin in this book in general, I just thought how Falk was with her was better than how Rune was.
Siv Therese
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairytale
I think i could have loved this book, but since Ive read juliets sevenwaters series, it couldnt quite live up to it, emotionally and otherwise for me.

And im sorry, but the ending just pissed me off.

Still its not a bad read, and quite entertaining.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked it, though it wasn't as good as the first book in the series and I was kind of dissapointed about the ending - spoiler alert, do-not-read further- maybe because I liked Falk and I think it would be better if Elise choose only him in the end...
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K.M. Shea is going progressively bald from pulling all of her hair out when she writes.

She has a BA in Print Journalism and a minor in Japanese. She's worked as a freelance reporter, a librarian, a blogger, and an author. She lives in the country with Perfect Dog.

Other books in the series

Timeless Fairy Tales (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Timeless Fairy Tales, #1)
  • Cinderella and the Colonel (Timeless Fairy Tales, #3)
  • Rumpelstiltskin (Timeless Fairy Tales, #4)
  • The Little Selkie (Timeless Fairy Tales, #5)
  • Puss in Boots (Timeless Fairy Tales, #6)
  • Swan Lake (Timeless Fairy Tales, #7)
  • Sleeping Beauty (Timeless Fairy Tales, #8)
  • The Frog Prince (Timeless Fairy Tales, #9)
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses  (Timeless Fairy Tales, #10)
  • Snow White (Timeless Fairy Tales, #11)

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