The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott

Rating: 6 out of 10
Summary: Shadows fall across the beautiful, lush kingdom after the queen is attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her.

Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger, a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land.

But Alexandra has more gifts than she realizes as she confronts magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces, and is unflinchingly brave as she struggles to reclaim what is rightfully hers.

Commentary: I could not help but make constant comparisons to Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest. Mariott’s The Swan Kingdom, as a result, seemed like a slightly watered-down version aimed at much younger readers. It was just okay all the way through–okay characters, okay plot, okay story.

One thing I had trouble with is how easy the quest seemed to be for the protagonist in The Swan Kingdom. It didn’t seem like she had to do all that much in order to gain the reward and set her brothers free. She had constant, friendly, almost deus-ex-machina type of help all the way throughout the story.

On the other hand, I thought Mariott’s villain was very well done, added a bit more depth to the novel. Cool backstory, gave me a pleasant surprise.

Nothign especially spectacular as a book.