Publishing Info: May 31, 2013 by Ever On Word
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 4, 2013
Catching her leg in a bear trap proves the least of Sula’s worries. Haunted by an enchanted monster from a past she dare not reveal, and hounded by the perilously perceptive young village doctor, Villem Deere, the headstrong girl of the woods gambles with fate by binding hers to that of Sigmund, the captivating orphan boy with mysterious nightly business of his own.
Firstly, thank you to Danielle Shipley for providing me with a copy of THE SWAN PRINCE to review! If you guys don’t know Danielle, you should totally say hello on Twitter because she’s pretty awesome and just a lovely person!
Okay, now down to the review. THE SWAN PRINCE is a young adult fantasy/fairy tale novella that starts off with the young doctor Villem Deere and the mystery of a teenaged Sula who is found in the woods with her leg stuck in a bear trap. Deere feels she’s a nice enough girl, but he knows something is amiss since her skinny leg wasn’t immediately destroyed by the trap. We then get into the story of Sula, Sigmund, and Villem and how their stories intertwine and mesh with one another.
I’ve got to say… I love fairy tales, fairy tale retellings, and new invented fairy tales so THE SWAN PRINCE was right up my alley. THE SWAN PRINCE has all of your typical fairy tale “must-haves”: princes, princesses, witches, spells, mysteries, and romance. Danielle Shipley did a fantastic job of creating a fairy tale world and the characters in it. At first, I had a hard time with Sula because she was such a stubborn girl, but I realized that’s how she’s supposed to be and she needs to find a way to make a transformation… In more ways than one. I loved the insight and detective work from Villem Deere as well as sympathy and patience. And I loved the interactions between Sigmund and Sula (which I don’t want to say too much about because I don’t want to give any big plot points away)!
Danielle’s writing is beautiful — it has the sense of age with it, like this fairy tale has already been told thousands and thousands of times already and is already near and dear to so many people’s hearts. Each plot point, each twist, each word is carefully thought out and strategically placed and yet everything just flows together so lovely, lyrically, and naturally. I honestly felt like I was reading an old fairy tale that’s been in existence for years and years already. It was quite a pleasure to read!
I also really enjoyed that The Wilderhark Tales are a collection of novellas. I could have easily read Danielle’s work for many, many more pages, but the story neatly sums up in the proper amount of pages and Danielle doesn’t push to make the story longer just to make it a “proper” full-length novel. THE SWAN PRINCE is something you could easily read in one sitting and spend the rest of the day dreaming about.
Kept Me Hooked On: Original fairy tales. I do love a good fairy tale retelling, but I love how Danielle Shipley invents her own. It’s not just a fantasy story and truly embodies everything that a good fairy tale should be.
Left Me Wanting More: Pages! Haha, no, but really. I will gobble up anything Danielle Shipley writes, but I’m actually glad that the book wasn’t stretched out to its limits by trying to add more words. The length is perfect and I will just have to get my fairy tale fix by reading the next book in The Wilderhark Tales, THE STONE KINGDOM!
If you’re a fan of fantasy, fairy tales, or fairy tale retellings, this is the perfect novella for you! You will easily gobble it up and the soft, lyrical writing will leave you yearning for more!