This is a book about shapeshifters, kingdoms in trouble and placing others above yourself. The overall plot is pretty similar to many other fantasy books I’ve read of late ‘father dies, girl learns things about father, girl must save Kingdom etc’ but actually beneath that this book has a lot of unique story points and some nice twists and turns that make it very good.
The stand out points of this story for me is the originality of the plot (baring in mind what I just said), it surrounds a kingdom ruled by people who can transform into birds and if you can’t then you’re nothing. The descriptions are beautiful, as is the development of the main character ‘Aderyn’ who is on a quest to find out who murdered her mother, while dealing with the internal trauma of her mother being killed and her father recently dying. I like characterisation that shows the characters as being ‘real’ and you get that with ‘Aderyn’ especially in how she deals with the trauma surrounding her parents deaths.
My only negative point about ‘A Throne of Swans’ is the romance aspect (I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible). The lead character and another characters (see, spoiler free!) romance goes from 0 to 100 in the space of a few pages with very little build up surrounding it. It very much redeems itself towards the end of the book, but it just seems a little hurried which isn’t to my taste.
Overall, I would highly recommend ‘A Throne of Swans’ to all you fantasy/young adult/fairytale type fans. It’s very beautifully written with some excellent realistic character development, while the plot is familiar to fans of the genre it has a very unique take.
I’m very excited for the sequel next year.