The Enchanted Swans

New Adult

HISTORICAL/FAIRYTALE:  Princess Nualla, daughter of King Lir of the faery folk, is no stranger to tragedy. Only ten years old when her mother dies in childbirth, the young girl must fulfill her duty as the new lady of her house, especially since her father has fallen into a drunken widower’s grief which seemingly knows no end. Although her father eventually weds again, to their mother’s own sister, Nualla and her three younger brothers only serve to stoke the fires of envy in their aunt/stepmother. Consumed by jealousy and madness, she curses all four children to live as swans for 900 years. With the aid of the magic which blesses their People, will Nualla and her brothers break the curse and return home before everyone they’ve ever known has disappeared from their world?


Ms. Nicholas’ novel is a complex reworking of an ancient Irish fairytale, full of enchanting characters and lovely imagery. The author’s extensive research and attention to detail regarding Irish lore is evident throughout. The text, however, is in need of a good editor to correct many instances of missing words and a distracting shift from past to present tense, which may leave readers correcting inside their heads instead of enjoying the story and its characters. The narrative did drag in a few places and the formal language and/or dialogue failed to remain consistent at times. Otherwise, most readers will find the tale hauntingly beautiful, one which reminds the reader that, true to life, fate does not promise the world’s children a perfectly happy existence—a refreshing deviation from the norm.


Claudette Melanson