A Throne of Swans is the first book in Katharine and Elizabeth Corr’s new marvelous YA fantasy duology inspired by Swan Lake, but with its own incredible world building, intrigues and amazing characters. I’m so in love with this book! I couldn’t agree more with the quote on the cover, that this is “A dark and glittering fairytale to make your heart take flight”. This amazing fantasy tale is full to the brim with mysteries, royal and political intrigues, love, friendship and betrayal, trauma, loss and hope. It draws you in from the very first page and is completely unputdownable until the very end.
The world building in this book is so rich, detailed and unique. I love the whole concept of the royal descendants and nobility being able to transform into birds of their heritage, and the wonderful and well-written characters. I immediately rooted for the compelling protagonist, Alderyn. Still suffering from the trauma after witnessing the death of her mother she hasn’t been able to transform into her swan shape for many years. When also her father dies just before her eighteenth birthday, she inherits the throne and role as Protector of Atratys. To protect her kingdom and keep her subjects safe, she must keep her flightless status a secret, and fight for her right at the corrupt royal court. The only advice she has to guide her in the new and secretive world full of hidden agendas, whispers and rumors, is from her clerk, Lucien, to “not trust anyone”. Not even him. An advice harder to follow than could be expected… Every time Alderyn was on her own without Lucien I was so nervous for the consequences of her decisions. Katharine and Elizabeth Corr sure put Alderyn through so much hardship, sorrows and tough choices! My heart ached for her so many times. But her character development was amazing; from an innocent, sheltered and naive teen, to a strong, mature and thoughtful ruler willing to make sacrifices for her subjects and for finding out the truth of her mother’s death. I also loved Alderyn’s compassion and empathy for the flightless and the way her relationships with her clerk Lucien and her cousins Odette and Aron developed into friendship and mutal respect (and something more for one person…) during the story.
This story is wonderfully dark, much more than I first expected, and does not shy away from difficult topics such as trauma, abuse, betrayal and grief, but always in a hopeful and compassionate way. It’s such a suspenseful story, with layer upon layer of deceit and unexpected twists and turns, that everything felt on a knife edge from start to finish. On the same time, it’s a fast paced and humorous story with a sweet, lovely romance that gets you so invested. I cannot wait to find out how the story thickens and what happens to Aderyn, Odette, Lucien and Aron, but at the same time I’m so scared to get my heart broken and what hardship the authors have in mind for my favorite OTP…
All in all, this is a breathtakingly wonderful YA fantasy book, with strong and loveable characters, a unique world building, intrigues, secrets and betrayals, and forbidden love, that I recommend with all my heart!
Find out more about the book and the authors here: The Corr Sisters