When this book fell through my letterbox I became instantly obsessed; I was carrying it around with me before I’d even started to read it & I stayed up late on work nights because I was so enthralled by the story. My obsession with this book reminds me of my obsession with Shadow Frost, & I can’t wait for the sequel to come out!
⚠️ This book contains the deaths of parents, drug use (one scene), discrimination towards “the flightless”, violence – including torture – & murder ⚠️
When Aderyn was a child she witnessed her mother’s murder & was permanently injured during the attack; years later, her father passes away leaving her the Protector of Atratys. As a Protector, Aderyn is expected to visit her uncle, the King, at court & during her visit Aderyn takes it upon herself to investigate who murdered her mother & left her disabled. The problem? Aderyn is a swan shifter, who hasn’t been able to shift (or, fly) since the attack & if her uncle finds out she’s flightless, she’ll lose everything. Add in a court full of people who Aderyn can’t trust, a less than delightful Page who just loves bossing her around, & emotions that she’s never experienced before, & Aderyn is left facing one big challenge.
Okay, I seriously loved this book, which is why I want to get my only criticism out of the way before I rant about how incredible the story was. As a disabled reader it can be really hard to find fantasies with disabled characters – often you have to make a choice between contemporary stories with rep, or fantasy stories without it. When I learnt that Aderyn was left with extensive scars, & unable to shift, after an attack, I thought that I may have found a disabled protagonist in a fantasy novel – & I kinda’ did, but Katharine & Elizabeth could’ve done so much more with it. Whenever Aderyn tries to shift, she experiences severe pain, but that’s the only time the scars on her back & the nerve damage to her spine bother her & I was a little disappointed that the Corr sisters didn’t use their platform to give someone like me some fantastic disabled representation. However, I do want to highlight that there is another main character in the story with a disability, which in itself makes me want to thank the authors.
Okay! That’s the negative bit out of the way – now for the positive! The second I touched this book I had a feeling that I would fall in love, & I absolutely did. There was a moment at the start of the book when I worried that the whole book would be predictable, however, for me, that was the only predictable part, & to make things even better, Aderyn made the prediction with me. The writing throughout the book was really enchanting & I stayed up late on work nights (which I generally don’t do because of pain) because I was just so desperate to stay with Aderyn. When I did sleep, I dreamt of swans & I think I probably will continue to do so until 2021.
Whilst Aderyn is at court, she starts to develop feelings for someone – I’m not going to provide any details about who because there are a couple of people it could be & I don’t want to spoil it. However, I do want to say that I ended up falling in love too (with three characters actually, oops) & I would’ve loved a certain intimate scene to go into more detail (yes, I know it’s YA, but I need more sex scenes, okay). Aderyn builds up more than one relationship whilst she’s visiting her uncle’s castle though, & I adored her cousins Odette & Aron. I loved that the further into the story I went, the more of the real Odette & Aron I got to see, & their personalities really blossomed at the end of the book. I’m really hoping we get to see even more of Odette & Aron in A Crown of Talons, because I desperately want to know more about them. I also adored Letya & I’m praying we see more of her in book two as well – I would love a novella about Letya’s life, & one about Lucien would be amazing too.
The pacing in A Throne of Swans was cranked up magnificently at the end of the story, & I loved how quickly (& messily) everything was revealed. At the start of the book, the plot felt fairly straight forward – privileged girl wants revenge – but it developed into the beginning of something much bigger, & Elizabeth & Katharine revealed dozens of twists in the most perfect of ways. One minute the story was only a little complex, & the next it was total & utter mayhem (in a good way, of course). Overall, the story was much more than it originally appeared to be & I think it’s fair to say that I’ve fallen back in love with these kinds of stories – the ones with royalty, courts, diplomats, etc. – if I’m honest, I thought I’d experienced all the royalty stories possible, but apparently not! The wait for A Crown of Talons will be a very painful wait, indeed.
This is one of those books that I want to scream about whilst stood on top of a library; I’m desperately hoping that the Corr sisters will be at YALC later this year because I would love to get my copy signed & to thank them for writing an incredible story (with more than one disabled character!). Join me with my obsession with swans using one of the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery
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