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The Wild Swans

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This very beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale 'The Wild Swans' by Hans Christian Andersen is the much anticipated companion to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. With strong characterization of the heroine and also with more rounded characterisation of the wicked stepmother than in the original version, and with delicate watercolor paintings throughout ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Frances Lincoln Children's Books
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  90 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Who Enjoy Novelized Fairy-Tale Retellings / Jackie Morris Fans
Eliza and her eleven elder brothers lived happily with their mother and father, the king and queen of a little kingdom beside a forest, until the day that the queen died. Grief-stricken for some time, the king eventually remarried, taking as his bride the daughter of the strange forest-woman he encountered while out hunting. Not sure that he could trust this new wife, he kept his children a secret, hiding them away in a tower guarded by a great maze. This action had terrible consequences, leadin ...more
Looks like Jackie Morris can't resist either changing the original fairy tales or adding superfluous external elements, but at least this time she's not overdone it or gone too far that the original's point is missed. Still, not an author worth following for me in spite of her lovely watercolour artwork. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've always been a fan of fairy tales. Princesses. Wicked stepmothers. Clueless fathers. Brothers who need tending. The dark and mysterious forest. Magic spells.

This story has all of these things. It's an old folktale, though you probably know best the version by Hans Christian Andersen.

I won't be surprised if this is your new favorite version of the story.

Jackie Morris has taken the short story and expanded it into a 175 page tale, complete with rich characters and a magnificent setting.

Jennifer Kirkwood (Levac)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Stop by the blog tour Oct 29 on Genuine Jenn

This is such a beautiful book. I fell in love with the watercolor pictures throughout this book. It is an amazing story of love, silence, magic, and courage. Eliza and her brothers are put through so much in their lives, losing their mother, then being locked into a tower with a maze outside, ultimately losing their father to another women because he didn't trust her with the children. T
Michael Earp
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tales
Stunning (as always), Jackie Morris has done it again. Her illustration style is so suited to fairy tales that I sometimes forget that her writing is just as perfectly matched for the lyrical and engaging story-telling style of fairy tales.

If she were to do 'The Snow Queen' in this format, I would be beside myself with joy as wild as these swans.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of fairy tale adaptations and this is a beautiful one with lovely illustrations. There is much hardship in the tale of the sister who attempts a seemingly impossible task to rescue her enspelled brothers, but also much bravery and truth.

In today's moment, I felt an even deeper level. She must accomplish her task of making nettle shirts (painful enough) without saying a word. She just wants to do her work in peace, but a powerful man tries to force himself upon her. When she refuses hi
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Wild Swans is a pretty basic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name, but Morris’s gorgeous illustrations and lyrical writing helps breathe beauty and richness into it. There were moments when I did grow a little annoyed with the writing, but all together the effect is quite pretty and helps make the retelling memorable.

I did like how the white queen gets a bit of a more complex motive than in the original fairytale. There was the implication throughout the novel t
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book, beautifully illustrated, that retells Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Wild Swans. The story is retold sympathetically by Jackie Morris, whose illustrations fit the story as told by her very well. I was interested to see that she described a rather more likeable version of the stepmother than Andersen did, at least in the version in our copy of Andersen's Fairy Tales. This stepmother did not ask to marry the widowed king, but did come to love him. The terrible transforma ...more
Alissa J. Zavalianos
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This was probably one of the best fairytales I have ever read. I loved birds and nature and all things whimsical, and this was so well-written and portrayed. I loved Eliza's character and all the characters, really. Just so so good.

I would definitely read this book again. That being said, I want more of Jackie Morris' books.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful beautiful story
Alex Boon
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I lap up everything by Jackie Morris but this was a particular stunner. Wonderful writing style and stunning illustrations. Another winner by Jackie for anyone who loves fairy tales.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant illustration and a fresh narration of Andersen's tale, the Wild Swans. Very enjoyable, I feel lucky to have discovered Morris' books. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Stunning animations and thoughtful, gentle adaptation of the story. I especially loved the amoral reworking of the queen, and the brother who was happy to have been a swan.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love all versions of this story. This was no different!
May 27, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a lovely book, all around. The illustrations and designs were beautiful. The writing style was poetic and wonderful. I absolutely loved this retelling.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous little book, filled with Jackie Morris's wonderful illustrations; it would make a beautiful gift or keepsake, even just to have sitting on your bookshelf! The story itself however is also lovely, with all the familiar elements from the original fairy tale plus her own unique elements. I love how she makes the characters seem so real; they have proper motives and reactions, unlike in traditional fairy tales where the characters' actions are often left unexplained. For example, ...more
Based on the original Hans Christian Anderson story of a girl with 11 brothers who become swans, this one will have great appeal for middle graders. All is perfect in Eliza's world until her mother dies. Under some sort of enchantment, her father marries a mysterious woman who wears white. The king chooses to keep secret the fact that he has 12 children who are hidden in a castle in the forest, and a seed of doubt is planted in the new queen's heart as she watches him head out into the forest da ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I served on ENFYA we frequently talked about trim size, and one of my favorite books is a Bloomsbury edition of Julian Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot which, I confess, I bought solely based on trim size! Here we have a small size book, one that could be taller and thinner but then it would be less bijoux and have less impact. The story is a familiar one ("The Wild Swans") but the combination of size, illustration and text in sepia tint just make this version special. ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Stunning. Everything about this book is beautiful. I have never read the original Hans Christian Anderson fairytale that this story is inspired by so I can't make any comparisons, which I think is a good thing because I was able to enjoy this as a work of art in its own right, as it deserves. Jackie Morris is a new favourite of mine. That is two out of two pieces of her work I have utterly loved. ...more
Brenda Kahn
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, how I loved this little book! I usually tend toward preferring an over-sized trim size but the smaller is just perfect for this lyrical retelling of the tale. And the illustrations! So beautiful. I fell into this and did not want to leave.
Beautiful story. Beautiful illustrations. Beautiful book.
Best birthday present <3
Susanna Bullmam
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Wild Swans makes me deeply uncomfortable for reasons I will address in my review but as far as retellings go, this is pretty ace.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2015
Kristen Harvey
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Nov 27, 2015
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Mar 04, 2017
Pangur Ban
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May 17, 2019
Jen Lamb
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Dec 10, 2019
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Jackie Morris lives in a small house on the Welsh coast. She wanted to be an artist from the earliest she could remember. After studying art at Hereford and Bath Academy she went on to illustrate for magazines and newspapers. She began her first book for children the week after her first child, Thomas was born and has gone on to illustrate and write many books.

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