Cover Image: The Sorcerer and The Swan Princess

The Sorcerer and The Swan Princess

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Member Reviews


“One where the hero and villain, destined to either be defeated or die at the other’s hands, instead wrote a new ending together.”

I believe this quote speaks for all of the retellings that give a HEA to the villain and I think this novel shouldn't be an exception , as it also belongs in the "A Villain's Ever After" series. In this story we have the classic fairytale of Swan Lake/Princess , but with a twist. The bad guy in this scenario is Lina, Ava's twin sister who hires the sorcerer, Dietrich Von Rothbart, to turn Ava into a swan, in order to take her place. Ava struggles a lot, but in the meantime she gets to know that Dietrich isn't who everyone thought to be. 

On one hand, he was a sorcerer with a feared reputation who was commissioned by the wealthy to do questionable, if not terrible things, and was my abductor. On the other, he used the acquired funds to run this school, and had spared me from his contractor’s death sentence. Half devious, half noble, all confounding. What would I consider such a person?”

I really love this tale. In fact it's one of my favorites and I was so ecstatic when I found out this book in Netgalley. I really enjoyed the twist in this one and how everything seemed to fit perfectly well , even with the original tale or the Black swan referance. I loved Dietrich's character and he was a joy to read. However Ava took her sweet time until she grew on me. Plus she seemed a bit too immature for my taste, even near the end. I felt like this book had the potential to be even better, but it was still a pleasant story to pass my time. 

“Men like me don’t get to be with women like you. We don’t get the princess and the happy ending. We get killed by the prince and become a cautionary tale for anyone who dares to reach beyond their lot in life, let alone dream of winning a love that defines eras.”

<i>ARC copy was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Tempest creates a captivating retelling of the Swan Lake story in The Sorcerer and the Swan Princess (or a wonderful retelling of the Swan Princess films, for those of us who remember those movies more than the intended source material). By giving Rothbart a unique backstory and making our lead princess a twin, the story becomes captivating on its own while still maintaining the feel of the original story. 

Personally, I do wish a few more aspects of the story were fleshed out, but then again, that may have detracted from the original story or changed it enough to make it less recognizable, which is clearly not the intention. Rothbart's motives still felt a at times, but he grew more likable as the story progressed. I was a fan of our lead Ava, however, and enjoyed her perspective. I also enjoyed the poetic fate of our villainous characters. 

(Also, any time a book uses the term petrichor, I find myself growing fonder of it right then and there. It’s one of the first vocab words I teach my freshmen in the second semester when we start our poetry and nature unit).
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First of all, I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for sending me an arc of The Sorcerer and The Swan Princess

I really like the tale it's based on. Especially since the swan princess was one of my favourites animated movies growing up. 
I really enjoy the story and the characters. I found the writing great and pleasant. However, I found that something was lacking... and it annoys me so much to not be able to find what it is. 

In the end, I would give that book 3.5/5 stars. 

Ps: Now I wanna rewatch the movies... and I have the soundtrack stuck in my head.
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I got this as a Read Now option on Netgalley because I loved the cover, and the synopsis sounded fun! Basically, what if the sorcerer and the princess, who was cursed by said sorcerer into a swan, somehow fell in love? Before I even read it, I looked up the author's other work and came across two different series of fairytale retellings that, after reading this one, I'll definitely be checking out! Sorcerer and the Swan is part of Lucy Tempest's Villain's Ever After series, and I loved it. I loved our princess, Ava. She is rightfully terrified and angry with our sorcerer, Dietrich, at first, but I loved the growth she goes through, even if it is in such a short period. I loved her history with dancing and ballet and how that's factored into the story. Dietrich is definitely a book boyfriend. He seems almost too good to be true, but it works for the book. Their relationship does feel a bit rushed, but it's a short read and there is a lot going on. Overall, I really enjoyed Ava and Dietrich's story and can't wait to check out more from this author!

Thank you Netgalley for the eARC to read and review!
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This book was alright-nothing to run home to tell mama about. It’s a retelling of the Swan Princess, all except it’s enemies to lovers and a princess with a disability, thanks to a ballet accident. It does have her sister pretending to be her, and the reveal of the supposed prince that got kicked out and is looking for someone to pretty much give him money so he can do whatever the hell he wants with it, and that just made me trickle the stars down from five to four.

But let’s talk about the characters. Aventina is crowned the Grand Duchess of Oopona, and when she’s kidnapped and turned into a swan, she really, really hated Dietrich Morgenstern. She thought that he was bad, he treated people horribly, and he only does evil shit. Instead, as she says at the Mondosee School of Magic…she sees that he’s caring, sometimes strict, and he can also turn into a barn owl.

A barn owl.


When she went to see the students’ rehearsal of a winter play they were going to put on, she went and actually performed a little dance when she could do ballet. Dietrich did help her with his magic, turning her arms into swan feathers, and then they flew together. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read, and I cried. There was that once instance before all of this that she did fly away to see if she can go back home-and she did. Only for the love her life to try and kill her, which sucked.

But I’m glad that she fell in love with the big, bad sorcerer who took care of her, got mad when she told him that her leg never healed, and that the castle never gave her rehabilitation for her leg, thus leaving her limping and with a disability for the rest of her life, which sucked but I understand, including Dietrich, who turns out was like Sebastian de Poitiers from Reign: he was the son of a dancer, concubine, something like that, and the queen didn’t like him so she banned magic and also kicked his father’s son out while giving his other two sons titles and all of that, which was terrible by the way, so I hate this queen now. But at least they went to the wedding and exposed the two liars and turned both of them into swans, which was very good and smart of them, by the way.

At the end, Aventina got her crown back, the winter recital was a success, and on top of that she threatened her man to marry her. Jokenly. But other than that, I liked it, it was really good and I wish there was more, but hey, at least it was good and enjoyable.
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I liked this book.  I really enjoyed the different viewpoint from the traditional fairytales.  I finished this book quickly and have already recommended it to a friend.  This could be used to help students learn to evaluate how everyone has different reasons for their actions and that no one is all good or all bad.
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Cute Retelling of the Swan Princess.

I did like the premise and the changes the author made to the story, it was very unique. However, the Romance went a bit fast, and I would love have learnt more about day to day of the school. It all felt a bit too rushed, and seemed like it lacked a bit of character development.

Perhaps I am just not in the age target for this book - just can't help being a sucker for Retellings lol -  but I can see someone younger enjoying it more :)
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So this had something going for it, in that it's a retelling of Swan Lake, and that doesn't happen very often, and that we had the twist that Rothbart is the romantic interest in the end, but it suffered heavily from poor writing, both in prose and some plot/characterization. 

Overall, I'm not upset I read it but I can never see myself coming back to it.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the author for this copy.

This was an incredibly quick read and I read it in one sitting. I think this was well written and I liked the way the story unfolded. I also liked the changes from the original story. Putting a spin on the villain was a nice touch. Villains are almost always my favorite characters. I like how the character’s motivations are slowly revealed throughout the story. Even though this is short, I do feel like the characters did have complete arcs.

With this being a short story, I feel like some things were brushed over and the plot felt rushed. I don’t feel like we really get to know the characters because the story is so short. I would have liked to see them as more fully formed characters. I wish that this had been a full length novel because I think it would have been even more amazing.

I would definitely read something else by this author. I will be picking up the rest of her retellings too. I’m excited to see what additional spins she adds to the original stories.
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Swan Princess was always one of my favorite tales, but this was so much better!! In telling a beautiful story in a magical way, Lucy has outdone herself and you will feel as if it is the first time you are hearing this story. This story pulled many surprises out of me, but I am amazed at how well everything turned out. The speed at which I fell in love with this was certainly a surprise to me, but I'm 100% certain that you will fall in love as much as I have with Ava and Rothbart!
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This is an incredibly well written, easy to follow, easy to get lost in story. There is just enough fantasy, magic and romance.

I really liked Aventina as a character, I felt for her and the betrayal she suffered at the hands of her twin.

The writing was lovely and lyrical, descriptive and not overly complicated - just right.

Dietrich was the perfect villain to begin with, and I loved the progression of his and Aventina's relationship. As the story unfolded, I found myself more and more fond of him and I was very happy to see his growth.

I would have liked a little more insight into Aventina's relationship with her sister, and I also thought everything resolved slightly too quickly at the end. I get that Lina was jealous and she did end up punished, I simply thought the motive wasn't quite enough and that it wouldn't be as easy for Ava to regain her place in her life.

This is a short and pleasant book; I think possibly it could have been a little longer to go into more detail in certain parts though.
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This is a very fascinating story that's a more nuanced version of the swan princess fairy tale. Instead of a 100% good princess and a 100% evil antagonist, the story shows everyone has their good and bad sides. Some people aren't the villains you think they are, however other people can still be irredeemable. I loved the serious family drama aspect of it, disney movies never emphasize how familial betrayal feels. The geopolitical discussions between the characters were fun to read and show a lot of effort into the world building of this fantasy novel. I really loved the romance and adventure aspects to it and how the characters were built. Overall, it's a fun novel to read and nothing really bothered me about it.
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I loved this retelling of the Swan Princess. It was an interesting twist on one of my favorite fairy tales as a kid. And a lesser known one at that.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Lucy Tempest for providing me with a free copy of this book.

The Sorcerer and the Swan Princess is a very cute and funny fantasy romance, that's charming when you read it but is utterly forgettable after you close the last page. I had fun reading this, the romance is cute, the characters funny, and the world magical - it sort of felt like a Barbie movie to me! That being said, it didn't leave a lasting impression. I already don't remember the names of the characters.
If you're looking for something quick and fun to read, or for a pallet cleanser after more hefty books, I say - give it a try!
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I have loved Lucy's other books, so I'm not surprised that I really enjoyed this book as well. It is a fun and quick, clean fairy tale read. The pacing is quite fast and it only took a couple of hours to read through. I really liked the characters and it was a fun spin on The Swan Princess. Not the greatest literary piece I have read, but entertaining and it provided a nice break. It can be read as a standalone and has a happy ending as well
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A thrilling retelling of the Sean Princess. On the day of her coronation as crown princess of Opona, Ava is abducted and turned into a swan by a sorcerer at the behest of her twin sister who has posed herself to take her place. But under the hospitality of the sorcerer, Ava comes to realize some hard truths about the world and her place in it. Will she remain caged by fear or will she spread her wings and soar into the future she creates for herself! I absolutely loved this retelling! My sister turned me into this author and I couldnt be happier!
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I have fine memories of the movie The Swan Princess. I think that I may like this version more?  The dark and twisty version of the Sorcerer juxtaposed with the secret heart of gold is a winner. The distress of betrayal and the time to really believe in the truth of it felt very realistic. 
Overall a good read.

*copy via Netgalley*
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This was such a sweet and entertaining story to read. I'll admit, I'm not familiar with the story of Swan Lake, but nonetheless loved this retelling. I think if I had to go and read the original story now, it would pale in comparison. 
The typical stereotype of the evil sorcerer is pretty common in most fairy tales, and at the start, this seems to be no exception. But as Ava, and us readers, get to know him, we see hidden depths to him, and that he's not really evil. Morally gray, sure, but we are shown goodness in him. Its a really nice change that the real villain(s) of the story are punished, and that had to be my favourite scene of the book.
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Firstly thank you so much to the publishers for the free e-book on Netgalley.

I absolutely loved this book. I had no idea it was a series so I will definitely be reading the others. Thankfully you can read this as a standalone.

The Sorcerer and the Swan Princess is a retelling of the Swan Princess, or Swan Lake with a twist. The sorcerer turns out to be the good guy and our heroine struggles to hate him after he shows her nothing but kindness. Wronged by her twin sister, jealous of her accomplishments as the crown princess, Ava discovers true betrayal and doesn't know how to deal with her pain. She lashes out, understandably, and in her grief comes to discover the kind heart of her kidnapper cum saviour.
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I generally know of the Swan Princess tale but this is my first real introduction to the premise of the tale. Honestly, it was just a fun, magical read that you need in life sometimes. As a twin, I definitely related to some of the sisterly tensions and underlying issues that can come up at times. But relationships are not black and white and I think this book did a pretty good job of showing that.
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