Wednesday 8 November 2017

THE ENCHANTED SWANS by Christy Nicholas

Amazon UK £4.45
Amazon US $5.82

Fantasy / Celtic Legend


The Enchanted Swans is a version of the Irish legend of The Children of Lir. It starts with a less than happy event, the death of the main character’s mother. This main character is Fionnuala, a fae princess from whose point the story is told. Chapter One begins in 460 BCE and the whole story ends in 450 AD.

Why the sweeping saga? First of all, Fionnuala’s people live many winters, while the newcomers to the land, the Milesians, have shorter lives. However, the Milesians have stolen the land so Fionnuala and her family have to move below the hills, add to this, Fionnuala and her brothers Aed, and the twins Fiachra and Conn are enchanted and become swans. They are cursed to spend three-hundred years in three different lakes before the curse is lifted.

The book is divided into four parts and is a story about family and love, but also a story about jealousy and betrayal. The lives of the four children are depicted both before and after the curse with Magic being a very important element and present through the story, while by the end, religion has started to dominate as the “new god” appears.

The names are obviously Irish and thus sometimes a bit difficult to read and remember, but the pronunciation guide and glossary at the end help with this, but the story as a whole transports the reader to Ireland and the mystical lives of these fascinating characters, so pronunciation of the characters’ names soon becomes irrelevent.

The cover, too is most attractive, giving a very good 'feel' for the enchanted swans.

The author’s style is very descriptive and makes the reader feel like they are where the story is happening. All this makes the novel an interesting retelling of a well-known legend, full of emotion and very hard to put down.

© Kaja Korent

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