The Swan Harp

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Pub Date Apr 02 2024 | Archive Date May 08 2024

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The enthralling, suspenseful, and magical first book in the Wings of Valenia fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and Robin McKinley.

I was Father's heir now, and one day I'd be queen. But when I looked at Mother, Adana, and Orla and imagined flying, somehow the thought of being queen didn't comfort me.

As next in line to the throne, Kiar will be responsible for protecting the human kingdom of Valenia. The middle of three daughters of King Tir and Queen Tianis, a woman of the swanfolk, Kiar is devastated when her sisters are able to take swan form and she is not.

When three young swanfolk arrive to be fostered in the royal family, her friendship with spirited Willow and growing feelings for tall, thoughtful Tuan make her feel even more different. Her inability to change shape is not the only problem Kiar faces; the king of neighboring Noermark is determined to bring Valenia under his rule, either by force or by guile. He send his son to ask for her hand in marriage.

Facing down a human enemy is one thing, but when dark magic threatens the kingdom and tragedy pulls the family apart, it's up to Kiar and her swanfolk friends to defeat the supernatural forces before Valenia falls.

The enthralling, suspenseful, and magical first book in the Wings of Valenia fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and Robin McKinley.

I was Father's heir now, and one day...

Advance Praise

"""A spellbinding fantasy romance... The human and swanfolk cultures united in harmony through the marriage of King Tir and Queen Tianis created an intriguing foundation for worldbuilding within the story's introduction. I loved diving into the swanfolk's culture and seeing how the transformative magic intertwined with Kiar's story, creating tension and suspense... Princess Kiar bears the weight of the kingdom on her young shoulders. With many lessons to learn, Kiar has to prove that she has the strength to rule and make difficult decisions, especially when the most ominous threat comes from the least expected place. 

I recommend The Swan Harp to readers who enjoy slow burn fantasy romance, shapeshifting magic, medieval fantasy settings, and subtle political intrigue."" — Reedsy Discovery"

"""A spellbinding fantasy romance... The human and swanfolk cultures united in harmony through the marriage of King Tir and Queen Tianis created an intriguing foundation for worldbuilding within the...

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ISBN 9798987830963
PRICE $9.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 93 members

Featured Reviews

From a slow burn to a compelling read. I really enjoyed this tale of swanfolk and humans, kings and queens, sisters and rivalries. It was a slow start as the narrator (Kiar) built the story and background, leading us to our surprising and (heartbreaking) main antagonist, of which a few could have been the main one. I enjoyed the family dynamics and the subtlety of the magic interwoven, but not overriding the story. It felt normal that humnas could become swans. I enjoyed the friendship between Kiar, Willow and Tuan as it evolved as Kiar came more into her role of Valenias heir.

I would be intriqued to know more of the other kingdoms beyond Noermark - Valenias main enemy - and also to know what became of Othar who I felt had more to give in the story.

Overall a lovely, well crafted story and I would be keen to see more of what happens.

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This has a fairytale feel to it with more action and heart break moments than a typical Disney princess movie but within similar scope
And as an adult Disney fan I ate it up.
The writing was easy to follow and read.

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When you are the middle daughter of a human king and his swan-shifting Queen, you'd think things would be easier, but Kiar has it tough: while her older sister shifts easily into swan form, and her younger sister shifts AND has off-the-charts magic, Kiar is stuck on the ground. But she's royal and her father tasks her with becoming the next ruler: she has to learn to fight with sword and arrows, and she has to learn about governance and the responsibilities of the role.

In this first volume of a proposed trilogy, Kiar faces, threats of invasion, friendship, a budding love, and betrayal. It's hard work, but Creith makes the struggle believable and the characters cheer-worthy. The vaguely middle-agey setting is given depth for being scaled down and given specificity: this is a small kingdom, and this is hands-on ruling. The novel will be a good fit for fans of fantasy who aren't looking for gratuitous adult content, but want characters who develop along a reasonable arc up or down.

Thanks to NetGalley and Type Eighteen Books for the chance to share my unfettered opinion in exchange for a free eARC.

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4/5 Stars!
This was a really good read! The family dynamic + the romance and even the writing style reminded me of Little Women in a magical setting (almost like Practical Magic).

The story follows Kiar and her royal family of a land called Valenia, where her and her two sisters, Adana and Orla, are half human-half swan(folk). At first, only Kiar's sisters had the ability to shift into their swan shape, which made her extremely jealous/angry/sad, but eventually she had gotten her powers as well (I would have liked the moment that Kiar got her shifting abilities to be more of a event, it felt like not much of a big deal when it did happen, or least I thought it would happen later into the story).

Kiar is meant to be the heir to the throne and has to make some very difficult and sometimes heartbreaking decisions, from beginning to end, because of it.

Honestly, if this was a stand-alone novel, I would not be mad at howe this ended at all. But, because I know that this series is going to be a trilogy, I am excited for what is in store for Kiar and the land of Valenia!

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I read this as an ARC from Netgalley. I loved the story, it was not what I normally read, but it looked interesting and I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did, I really liked it!

This is the first book in a series called Wings of Valenia by Elizabeth Creith and is published by Type Eighteen Books and it comes out April 2.

This young adult book is about Kiar, who is heir to the throne of Valenia. She’s the middle of three daughters, her father a human and her mother a “swanfolk”, which means she can go from human form to swan form and back again.

Kiar is put in a bind when three young swanfolk arrive to be fostered in the royal family, and because she can’t take swan form like her sisters, she feels left out and different. Plus, the king of a neighboring country called Noermark is determined to join Valenia and his country by marrying Kiar off to one of his sons.

Then dark magic comes into play, and Kiar is suddenly taking it from all sides. She has to defend humans, swanfolk and her own life all at once. Can she save everyone?

I’m highly recommending this book and looking forward to book two already! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

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Thank you to the author & publisher via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A YA fantasy that has shapeshifting magic, medieval settings, and a super pretty cover.

The story starts off a bit slow, with a large majority of the book in a calming and relaxed pace. It developed both the mc and her allies. However, I felt all the characters didn’t feel unique, and some I wondered what point they were providing to the story. Perhaps a bit more showing and not telling regarding emotions & actions could help bring them to life more.

Some of the words repeated quite often, and there were still some very apparent grammatical mistakes that made the read a bit hard to get through. It also worsened the pacing which felt off.

The story also felt a bit jumbled and honestly a mess. There were some discrepancies, others made no sense, and the direction was just all over the place.

Overall, the premise was something I really wanted to enjoy, but the execution just wasn’t quite right.

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I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was very well done and the plot was well thought out. I would recommend this book!

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I’m the type that goes in blind and judges a book by its cover. The cover was gorgeous. And this book to me was amazing! I just loved it.

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This was a bunch of fun
Great world building and Kiar was a protagonist that I liked a lot.
The romance was a bit on the slow burn side. The magic system was cool and hooked me.
I recommend this if you like shapeshifter and romantasies in mediaeval settings.

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This book was so much fun! I haven't read anything quite like it in a while. The world building was interesting and it was easy to fall in love (and sympathize) with the characters. I can't wait to see where this series goes! I loved the magic system, it was so unique!

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I am not going to lie I requested this book because I was drawn to the cover. And thankfully the cover did manage to live up to its hype because the book was just as good. I loved the world building and how it remained consistent throughout. It was superb. The romance is a little slow-burn but sooo good.

Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for giving me an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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A very enjoyable YA novel. The world building and writing starts off strong and while it doesn't get stronger it stays consistent. I love the swanfolk so far and I'm invested in reading about how the different countries treat them.

I absolutely love the main character though and I feel like Kiar has a lot of room to grow. The fact that she's making such difficult decisions is a good read for anyone. I do wish that some of the other characters had a little bit more to them. Especially the other swanfolk that spend so much time with Kiar. We've barely got a glimpse of them other than one is joyful and a little bit bratty and the other is stoic. And the third we've got no real information on at all as he was quickly shafted to the side.

I know that this is going to be a trilogy so I say give a little bit of grace room for the low characterization for side characters at the moment because who knows what would be in the following two. All in all a definite recommendation for my library's YA section and to my friends who also enjoy YA.

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When I first heard about this book, I found it interesting. The story takes place in the medieval world of Valenia, where humans and swanfolk live in harmony. However, they are always at odds with their northern neighbours. The story is told from Kiar's perspective. She is the middle daughter and heir to the king and queen. Once Kiar is chosen as the heir, her father starts training her to defend and rule the kingdom. Meanwhile, her sisters Adana and Orla, who can turn into swans, learn about the swanfolk from their mother. Kiar feels left out, especially when some of the swanfolk agree to live with them, and she becomes friends with Willow and Tiar. The King of Noermark tries to get one of the girls to marry one of his sons to take over the land, which he is also raiding constantly.

I liked this book. I enjoyed it a lot. The story was slow-paced with a lot of build-up. When the great reveal occurred, it was not what I expected, and it was brilliant because you are really waiting for something different to happen. I am going to rate it with 4 out of 5 stars because some parts felt very slow. You're waiting for something to happen, and you feel like it's almost there, but you keep waiting and waiting. That didn't work for me at all. However, Kiar is a strong main character, she understands and accepts her duties incredibly well. The story includes a romance, but it's a slow-burning one, and it's not the main focus. Willow's character annoyed me because she lacked common sense, but it's probably justified because her culture is different.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. It's a refreshing read with different expectations from the all-powerful main character, and the world is just delightful. This book is coming out in April 2024, so keep an eye out for it.

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In case you’re wondering: YES - the beauty of this story lives up to its pretty cover!

Young Kiar is the feisty middle daughter of the King of Valenia; but she’s also the daughter of the Princess of the Swanfolk. As Kiar learns to navigate womanhood and its complexities - friendships, relationships, family - she must also integrate two precious and significant pieces of her world: the humans and the Swanfolk. Not only that, but Kiar is destined to become Queen of Valenia, which brings about challenges of its own.

This was such a treat to read. I felt immersed in the culture, the simple complexities of the Swanfolk, the uniquely captivating intricacies of Kiar’s challenges. Kiar is a fierce and lovable protagonist who is easy to root for. Getting to grow with Kiar was such a joy.

The culture of the Swanfolk is both well-formulated and unique; it was clearly meticulous world-building on the author’s part, and throughout each day’s breaks from reading I found myself longing to revisit the peaceful world that exists on these pages.

My sole complaint is that the ending felt a bit rushed; the first 3/4 of the book was so calming, making the hurriedness of the final portion a bit jarring. But perhaps, this is an echo, a parallel to the harshness of growing up: it happens very slowly, and then all at once. Because this book is, at its core, an exploration of growing up; becoming one’s own person in the midst of the forces that pull and push you one way or another. It’s a fabulous coming-of-age novel in which our protagonist must explore questions such as:
Who am I?
Who can I trust?
What is important to me?
How do I fight for what I love?
What happens when two things I love are at war with each other?

I’ll leave it to you to discover the beauty of these answers along with Kiar. If you are looking for a coming-of-age fantasy with Spinning Silver vibes, this is for you!

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Starts out quite slow, but some really beautiful world building 😍
Love how relatable our main character is, defo recommend!!
Also, the cover is just 👌

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“The Swan Harp,” by Elizabeth Creith

Kiar is the heir of the human kingdom. She somehow did not get the ability to turn into a swan when she should have. The neighboring kingdom of Noermark is also causing trouble and hunting the swan people. But the son of the Noermark king is asking for her hand in marriage that could potentially help keep the human kingdom safe.

I loved this book so much. It made the girl in me that loved The Swan Princess movies so happy. The swan people aspect is unique type of shifters. I loved the main character and her development in the story. This is a book I’m definitely going to be rereading. 5 out of 5 stars.

-Swan Shifters

Thank you for the ARC, Netgalley.

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4.5 stars⭐️

Thank you so much to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the e-arc for this book! This was such an amazing first book of a new series. I love a ya fantasy book. However, I do feel like it was a bit slow and a bit of political drama that made the story quite confusing at times.

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I did enjoy this book. the world that was built as well as the magic surounding the main family. I did have a few issues with the pacing and felt like it went left and right and time jumped alot. I didn't get a chance to really spend time with the characters in the main part of the story I felt. I really enjoyed the connection of the sisters but it felt like the story jumped around to much for me. That being said I would recomend his book as a fantastic world and if it's a serise then I do plan to continue and hope that it slows down a bit in the pacing so we can really enjoy the moments.

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I give this book 4 stars because I really loved the plot but there were things that I didn't quite understood. But it's an amazing book.

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This was such a good read! I was immediately sucked into the story and could not get enough of the characters. I went on a full emotional journey with these characters and I really enjoyed it. The book was easy to read and kept a good pace where I was never bored. I will be recommending this book to all of my friends and family.

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Following the point of view of Kiar, you are thrust into a world alike to The Swan Princess - only this one has magic and wonderful worldbuilding. Its a slower paced story that immerses you into the world of princesses, swans, castles, love, and magic. While Kiar has always wanted to be a swanling, a human who can shift into a swan at will, it seemed that she might never get the privilege. Her sister Adana, the eldest daughter, made the change. And when her young sister, Orla made the change as well, Kiar was sure she would be doomed to never become a swanling.

For most of the book, I believed this would be about a massive territory battle between Kiar's territory and Noermark's want to steal the territory by any means necessary. Subtly, there was an even more interesting underlying plot that centered around the sisters and their lives. When things got to the crisis point, I was thoroughly invested in the turnout of the story. Rooting for Kiar, while also hoping there was an open ending that could hint at a second book. But it does seem that this story is well ended and answers all the questions readers might have.

If you're looking for a cozy, slower paced book with sisterly bonds, love, risk and reward, this is an amazing book to pick up in April 2024.

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The book and the story were lovely and it read like an embrace. It almost has more old timey fairy tale qualities to it. The writing does consistently feel like a babbling creek even at moments you expect the story maybe to be more stormy ocean. That might not be for everyone but I enjoyed it. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the next in the series.

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This was such an unexpectedly amazing read!! With no boring moments or chapters, I am now looking forward to the rest of the story as well. Thank you for my advance copy!!

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4 stars

The Swan Harp was reminiscent of East by Edith Pattou. A coming of age story of the heir of the throne of Valenia.

Part human, part swanfolk, Princess Kiar learns through trials and tribulations what it will take to one day rule the kingdom. I enjoyed the simplicity of the swanfolk kingdom, and the magic that lingered in the background throughout the novel.

The plot is filled with unwavering loyalty, fierce friends, and character growth. I teared up between the relationship between Kiar and her father, and loved the king and queens devotion to each other. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Language: mild, a few uses of H
Spice: one kiss
Content warning: death

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It feels like re-reading one of those fairy tales of yesteryear! Is it normal for me to get a Barbie in Swan Lake vibe?

I don't know, but I liked that fantasy feel of an old story you might have been read as a child, but in a broader context.

We find ourselves in a realm where the characters can become swans. You see the connection with my previous reference. In this kingdom we find three princesses of which two can turn into swans, while the middle one Kiar cannot, this makes her envious and sad because she feels excluded from her family.
But in addition, because of this condition she is groomed as the heiress of her kingdom, where she must learn to fight and strategy.

The magic subtly woven into the pages comes to life as the story builds with the passing of the pages.

It wasn't until the end of the story that I learned that it was not a self-conclusive but a trilogy, so I understand why they left the ending at such a shocking point.

I must say that the story has a slow build up, not only of the world but also of the characters, some of them leave much to be desired, but since there will be more books of this world, surely there will be more development and maybe some of them will be less annoying.

There's a hinted romance without going deep, so if you're looking for a potential romantasy, let me tell you to wait and see if the next ones have more, because with the first one you won't have that as a focal point.

Do I recommend this story? Yeah, sure. It's a fairly easy going fantasy and the touch of classic story makes it all the more gripping.

Thank you Netgalley for this advanced copy and putting me on to a story I might not have read otherwise.

#TheSwanHarp #NetGalley

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The Swap Harp is a wonderful slow burn romance about swanfolk and humans, with a fairy tale feeling to the story. We are placed in a story where the world is well built and the reader can really feel connected to the story and the characters. It was such a unique twist on shifters. I felt like I could really connect to Kiar and the different emotions she felt connected with the differing relations she has with her family.

A lovely story and I really enjoyed this read. Thank you NetGalley and the author for this ARC!

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The Swan Harp by Elizabeth Creith had an interesting fantasy premise that delivered. With that said it was slow to start, but once I hit the half way point I couldn't put it down. The novel follows Kiar, the middle daughter of the King of Valenia and his wife who is a swan shifter. As she discovers who she is and what it takes to rule a kingdom, she has to watch as her sisters gain their swan wings while she still waits. Paired with an unexpected plot twist that reveals who the real villian of the story is Kiar proves herself to be a strong female heroine character. Add in a touch of slow burn romance and you have a beautifully written story.

Young Adult
Themes of jealousy, self discovery, and overcoming obstacles.
Romance with no spice

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This was a strong start to the Wings of Valenia series, I enjoyed getting introduced to this world and thought it worked in the genre. It had the suspenseful feel that I was looking for. I enjoyed how good the characters worked with this world and enjoyed the overall feel of them. Elizabeth Creith writes a strong story and characters and glad it was a strong overall feel to the world.

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This was a refreshing fantasy read that felt very unique and was able to focus on family dynamics with just a little romance thrown in. LOVED that the main characters were swan shifters (maybe because I'm a Barbie Swan Lake fan??) It's cozy yet sometimes eerie. The ending really surprised me and there's going to be a book two that hopefully expands the world into the swan kingdom.

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4 stars - a slow start leads to an explosive finale that kept me on the edge of my seat, The Swan Harp has the makings of a brilliant series. There are some pacing issues, with the first 70% having no real action other than world-building, relationship set up and a couple of crucial points set in, the remaining 30% was gripping. It was a book of 2 halves but I really enjoyed it. The twist was fairly obvious but I enjoyed the ride getting there, with well developed characters.

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Thank you to netgalley and Elizabeth for giving me early access to this book in exchange for a honest review.

I was originally going to give it 2 stars, maybe 3 at a push, as it was a very slow start with a lot of time jumps between festivals throughout the year, and it felt like a lot of filler with nothing really happening. However, from around the midway point, it really picks up and I couldn't put it down, which really boosted my rating for this story.

This book follows three sisters; Adana, Kiar and Orla. It's told entirely from Kiar's POV, and follows her journey in training to become queen, as her older sister is to rule the swan-folk, and younger sister to become a wise-woman.
There's a lot of political intrigue in this book, and I really liked how it was handled, and seeing Kiar's journey from the middle child to being ready to become queen of her kingdom, even if it wasn't what she initially wanted. The "filler" that I criticised from the start of the book was definitely relevant when the villain is revealed, and all that's been put in place whilst they cook up their plan. I liked the villain, even if it was a little bit predictable. I liked how many steps were needed to defeat the villain too.
Overall, it's a decent enough story, and I think it could have been fleshed out a little bit more, just to give some more character development to other characters - I feel like Willow and Taun only existed to shadow Kiar, but who are they really?

I think the synopsis is a little misleading; I don't feel Kiar was struggling with her growing feelings for Tuan - it wasn't something she thought about much other than finding comfort in him, and there's nothing romantic about their relationship until the end. I feel like it's being pushed into marketing it as a romantasy, and I do feel that's a mistake just because not every book needs romance. This book has a lot of romantic drama without looking into Kiar's and Taun's relationships. The synopsis also states Kiar's "inability to change shape", which is only an issue for a very small section of the book, so again, feels irrelevant to the whole story...

I think it's interesting that it's made clear there will be at least a sequel, as all the ends seem well tied, but ok, sure? It felt like a standalone to me.
I liked it, it felt cozy, however, I'm not sure about a sequel...

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Blending themes of identity, loyalty and bravery with a background of political intrigue and family relations. I really enjoyed the first novel in Elizabeth Creith's upcoming trilogy. I found the characters interesting with each one having their own unique personalities and voices that make them feel three-dimensional. I also loved the world-building and I hope the next two books will expand more on the Kingdoms of Valenia and Noermark. My only issue with The Swan Harp is that the pacing is a bit uneven at points.

Overall, The Swan Harp was an interesting read that melds its themes and plot very well. I can't wait to read the rest of The Wings of Valenia Trilogy. Highly recommend if you love a fantasy series on par with Sarah J. Maas, Rebecca Ross or Holly Black.

Thank you, NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to Net Galley, Elizabeth Creith and Type Eighteen Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

King Tir, a human, and Queen Tianis of the Swanfolk are married to form an alliance between the Kingdom of Valenia and the Swanfolk. As their three daughters reach adulthood, they are hoping to be able to transform into swans like their mother and the other Swanfolk. Kair, the eldest is devastated when her younger sisters are able to transform before her. The story tells of the politics and alliances that form as a result of each daughters’ magic, as well as the conflicts that they also cause.

I really liked the premise of this book. The idea of the Swanfolk was an intriguing and unique concept. Each character had their own unique voice and interesting plot line. The politics and family relationships were complex, but readable and the world building constructed a unique setting around them.

The pacing felt a little inconsistent. The first 60% of the book felt slow and the world was constructed around the characters and I felt like I was waiting for the plot to happen. But the ending was fast paced and worth the patience.

It was a great YA fantasy, with an interesting concept, shapeshifting magic, interesting politics and likeable characters.

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This is the first book in a new trilogy and aimed right at my sweet spot of fantasy favorites! The first half is a bit slow, but does pick up around the end and makes us intrigued for more. It's definitely YA and "clean." I could've dealt with a little more action and pacing in the first half but have fingers crossed that the series will continue to improve. Gorgeous cover and very intriguing blurb, so it may depend on the reader's most recent read and current mood as to how greatly they'll enjoy it.

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Can I start for how happy I am to read this book as an ARC??? This exactly one of the reasons my love for fantasies exists. I grew up being a Swan Princess lover and the movie was one of my favorites but this Swan Princess I've read would been at the time my guide because Kiar was such a strong and well developed character that I'm beyond words after I finished this book.
First it was the fact that she was the "I don't fit here" and "If I'm not good at this I need something else to prove myself" and this is not a book where the romance is the main thing, but yes her relationship with the world and family and also her as a girl and a future queen.
I don't want to spoiler because I myself hardly read or I am convinced with reviews normally covers are more than enough and this one really got into me, this is definitly a book that I'm going to buy for my daughter. Wonderful job.

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I honestly picked this ARC solely for the cover (yes, ik! Don’t come at me for that!) but overall, i liked the story! Just the small point is, i felt like some of the characters building was missing.

A swan-human was an introduction element to the book, the story plot is quite catchy and interesting. There is a kingdom politics and a strong FMC. Strong FMCs are just my thing for real now. Plus the dark magic part of it, i was reallyyy spooked out at one point!

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A whole new world of characters that are powerful, vulnerable and utterly stunning. A thrilling journey, you put it down and start from the beginning again. Truly sensational.

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