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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  76 reviews
An ancient fairy tale, a contemporary heroine – and cracking good read.

One day, without warning, Jasmyn’s husband died of an aneurysm.

Since then, everything has been different.

Wrapped up in her grief, Jasmyn is trapped in a world without colour, without flavour – without Liam. But even through the haze of misery she begins to notice strange events. Even with Liam gone, thi
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Gollancz
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  436 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Molly Blue
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Excellent, but very poorly executed premise. An extremely annoying heroine, hardly bearable writing. Not engaging at all storytelling.
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"You have never heard a story quite like this one."

Start a book with a sentence like this, and you've given yourself a tall order to fill. However, Alex Bell doesn't disappoint. Jasmyn is something special indeed, putting me under its spell in a way that only a few books a year ever do.

Our heroine, Jasmyn, is devastated when her beloved husband Liam dies suddenly, just a year after their marriage. Then, at his funeral, things really start getting weird: five black swans fall dead from the sky
After reading the novel twice in two days I have to say that the very high expectations I had of "Jasmyn" were not only met but surpassed and this one will be most likely a #1 or co-#1 mainstream fantastic for 2009. It is just a magical book, another fairy tale for adults in the vein of my top 08 book "Memoirs of a Master Forger", but this time with real princesses, knights and faeries.

From my full FBC review:

"In contemporary England, Jasmyn Gracey, 27 years old is burying her husband Liam. They
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A very easy to read book with a very intriguing plot. The ending is quite guessable though. After reading the book, I really want to visit "Neuschwanstein".
Goddess Of Blah
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
YouTube Book trailer:


It's a fairy-tale adventure for those who love beautiful landscapes, a combination of fantasy and romance and action.

The story moves to many different locations, The Caribbean, the UK, Paris, Bavaria are combined with an Enchanted Forest, Fairies, Castles, Swan Princesses... providing a sophisticated setting combined with old school magic....

Schloss Neuschwanst
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
4 Stars

This is a dark adult fairy tale that itself is based around a fairy tale. You have a deeply depressed widow, Jasmyn as the main protagonist. She is a broken woman of 27 years of age that loses her husband after only a year of marriage. She quickly finds things to be “Off” and not quite right. First she is plagued by weird and strange feelings, like being followed. Then the dead black swans, black roses, mysterious men, and piles of bones all turn up and her life heads into the unknown and
Trupti Dorge
Jul 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.25 rounded to 4

Jasmyn is a story built around a fairy tale that involves castles and swans and a certain secret something that makes the entire story revolve around itself. And that certain something is very unique and mystical.

The book jumps into action immediately, without wasting any time, at the end of the first chapter itself. At the end of Jasmyn’s husband’s funeral, 5 black swans fall from the sky. Everyone dismisses them as a consequence of some natural disaster or a disease (?
Lorin \u0026#x1f52e;
I’ve sat down to write this review a few times, and I simply can’t make my mind up about how I felt about this book.

Jasmyn feels like a thriller book but with folklore and fairy tale woven through it. It’s fast paced and the settings are wonderful - Ice Hotels, castles, forests, lakes. It relies heavily on Germanic fairy tales, as one would expect, particularly the folklore around swans.

It is very easy to read - you can read upwards of 100 pages at a time. My problem was that it didn’t grip me
Loved the imagination, and all the elements behind this fairy tale/nightmare story.

Unfortunately the writing _for me _ wasn't as good as it could have been.

I would also have appreciated, more interaction and a little more development between the characters due to the nature of the story. Because in the end it just felt like something was missing.

But even so, i found the story so addictive that i have to give it a solid four stars.
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Nom nom good book, loved.

(Reviewed elsewhere:
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Top marks for originality. This book really didn't go where I expected. But I wasn't really fussed about any of the characters.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
This was a nice bit of escapism for me. An enchanting and unique plot and an unusual tie-in to a fable/legend/fairy tale I had never heard of. Thanks, Scott, for the recommendation!
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised when I read this.
I remember feeling so bad for Jasmyn suddenly becoming a widow then all these unusual things start happening around her.
Through twists and turns, legends and things to be found, I was very much hooked until the very ending.
There was one point (If you've read it you know what I mean) when I had to put the book down for a good few minutes to process what I had read.
I would recommend this book for those who enjoy reading fantasy and mys
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Last summer I stumbled across a book titled “The Ninth Circle”, and although this is not review of that book they do in fact share the same author.  “The Ninth Circle” was actually my favorite book last year.  Sadly in an effort to share her genius I suggested that someone read it and they either chose not to return the book or agreed with me in my assumption of genius and greedily chose to not return the book.  Why this is relevant, well someone asked me for a referral and I immediately started ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Jasmyn is about a young woman, named Jasmyn, who has recently lost her husband Liam. She is completely devastated by the his death, so devastated that she can barely cope. On top of this, for some reason, her mother-in-law can't seem to stand Jasmyn, and her brother-in-law (Ben) doesn't seem to like her much either. Everytime she speaks with him he treats her like...doodoo. Jasmyn is already self-concious because of her looks (she looks different than other people), so this is especially hard fo ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fantasy
This will definitely not be the last book I read by Alex Bell. I really like the way she tells her stories.

I picked it up on Friday afternoon because I wanted to read the first chapter, just to get a taste of the story. I ended up stopping after 80 pages, and only because I had to. I got swept away in Jasmyn's story so deeply that I all I wanted to do was keep reading.

Imagine that the love of your life just up and dies one afternoon? No warning, and certainly no time to say goodbye. Well, that'
Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
‘Jasmyn’ by Alex Bell is a beautiful book. You have to read it!!
The story is not any kind of retelling, but it definitely revolves around a myth/fairytale, which I won’t disclose here as I am afraid, that will lead to spoilers.

Jasmyn is a widow of 27 year old and has recently lost her husband Liam. The story starts into action right from the first chapter. During Liam’s funeral, some black swans fall from the sky on the ground. Since then, one after the other, strange things start happening. She
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: easy-reads, fantasy
You have never heard a story quite like this one. I can hear you protesting already but, the fact is, it doesn't matter how old you are, how many books you've read, how many things you've seen... this story will be new to you.

Well, of course, in the most literal sense I have not heard this story before. But in fact, it does matter how many books you've read. A statement like this should be made very carefully, even when it is the protagonist talking and not the author. Because when this is the
Alison Paley
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I almost gave this book 4 rather than 3 stars, but I'm going to to stick with the 3... Heres why:

I definately really enjoyed this book, and loved the concept and the story development - it was a fantastic idea by Alex Bell, well done! The execution however was where I feel it lacked quite a bit. Jasmyn's character really frustrated me at times, and I find myself wanting to slap her around more than I wanted her to succeed. She comes across as very naive and complainy alot. And incredibly repeati
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it

It starts with the death of her husband. Liam has been Jasmyn's best friend since childhood, and suddenly, he's gone and she's all alone.

And then strange things start to happen. Black swans drop dead from the sky at Liam's funeral. Her house gets ransacked while she's away for a few days. A black horse keeps appearing and disappearing at the oddest times. Liam's brother, Ben, seems to understand more than he's willing to tell Jasmyn about the whole thing. And sooner or later, Jasmyn is going to
Liat Gvan Dijk
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
My heart wants to give this book 5 stars, but my brain knows I can't. I know this book had some problems. The writing style wasn't perfect, the myth behind the story and the fantastical elements were not as developed as I hoped they would be and did not feel like an integral part of the story, the main characters were a little frustrating at times and their interactions felt a little repetitive. And the biggest problem, that should have bothered me most, especially in a book that's considered a ...more
L.C. Lavado
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook
What a good surprise!

I pick this book because it mentioned king Ludwing and after my visit to Germany this summer I must confess that this king won it's place in my imaginary. (For those who don't know him, Google it! You must!)

For me, the most curious thing about this book was the extraordinary resemblance that I found between Alex Bell way of telling stories and my own books.
The writing it's completely different because the book was written in the first person with Jasmyn telling the story, bu
Feb 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This just didn't work for me. It sounded intriguing from the synopsis I read (although my library had classed it as sci-fi, which was interesting) but from the start there was a lot I found irritating about it.

I don't understand why the prologue includes words along the lines of 'don't start this book unless you intend to finish it' ... why else would you start a book? Besides I couldn't finish it, I had about three chapters to go and I abandoned it.

I didn't think the book was particularly well
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Loved the way the many elements of this book (fairy tale, real life, supernatural, mythical, historical..) slowly came together with a very delicate structure that somehow managed to hold. This story touched on that balance between fairy-tale and real-life romance, which in my opinion is my favourite part about this story.

There were many moments throughout this book where I was totally creeped out by what was happening (cue horror movie flashbacks... remember the photos scene?) -I probably shoul
Fantasy Literature
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"You have never heard a story quite like this one."

Start a book with a sentence like this, and you've given yourself a tall order to fill. However, Alex Bell doesn't disappoint. Jasmyn is something special indeed, putting me under its spell in a way that only a few books a year ever do.

Our heroine, Jasmyn, is devastated when her beloved husband Liam dies suddenly, just a year after their marriage. Then, at his funeral, things really start getting weird: five black swans fall dead from the sky du
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Jasmyn's husband dies it's bad enough but that's only the beginning of the strangeness that starts up, black swans fall dead into his grave to start with. Jasmyn is an albino, though without some of the light problems some albinos have. She then learns that he has secrets and things spiral out of control. As the story develops there begins to be magic and things happen that can't be explained by rational science. In order to defeat evil this magic has to be embraced and it has costs.

It's an
Nov 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting book and concept generally, although I figured out part of the surprise quite early on. The language was mostly benign (although there was a section of extremity in which the f-bomb got dropped a handful of times) and absolutely nothing sexual. It caught my attention, I read it more or less straight through, neglecting to feed my kids dinner last night.

It isn't quite a variation on Swan Lake, but it does deal with swans, transformation, faery, Mad King Ludwig, and Neuschwanstein Cast
One day, without warning, Jasmyn's husband Liam dies of an aneurysm. Wrapped up in her grief, Jasmyn is trapped in a world without color, without flavor, without Liam. But even through the haze of misery she begins to notice strange events—things are not as they should be, and eventually Jasmyn begins to explore the mysteries that have sprung up after her husband's death. The mysteries turn out to be deeper than Jasmyn expects, and she quickly finds herself immersed in a magical story of swans, ...more
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Alex Bell was born in 1986. She always wanted to be a writer but had several different back-up plans to ensure she didn’t end up in the poor house first. For some years these ranged from dolphin trainer to animal shelter vet but then, at fifteen, she had an epiphany involving John and Robert Kennedy and decided to become a lawyer instead.

To that end she eagerly started a Law Degree only to find it
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“I'm not sure that there's anything much more dangerous when it comes to faeryland than a magic mirror.” 11 likes
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