Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: The Swan Prince (The Wilderhark Tales, Book 1)

Catching her leg in a bear trap proves the least of Sula’s worries. Haunted by an enchanted monster from a past she dare not reveal, and hounded by the perilously perceptive young village doctor, Villem Deere, the headstrong girl of the woods gambles with fate by binding hers to that of Sigmund, the captivating orphan boy with mysterious nightly business of his own.
No Spoilers

Wow, this was a wonderful read! My only real complaint was that it was so short! I enjoyed the lyrical language that Shipley used in the book. It was very fairytale-esque which I think fit the story perfectly and sets the mood. I do like the idea of enchanted royalty but wished that there had been a little more background as to why they were enchanted. Especially at the end, there was no explanation but I suppose it didn't need to be tied up. Still it was a fairly satisfying ending although I did want more.

Now there were some elements in the story where I was able to predict and others I weren't. This is probably due to my inhalation of books of the similar genre but I definitely didn't see the ending coming so that was a huge plus. It also seemed like the ending was cut short but that could be because it's a novella so things were a bit rushed. The relationship also seemed a bit hurried but now I can see the reasoning as to why and I'll leave it at that.

I really enjoyed the characters, they all had their own voice in the story. Sula with her slightly aggressive but clever nature, Sigmund graceful and cautious, then Villem a mystery-loving doctor who gets all mixed up in their business. They were all fun to read about. I'd have to say Villem is my favorite character! lol

I do find that Sula can be rather bratty at times but that's just part of her nature but she does learn to act more compassionate. I wish it was emphasized a bit more. I did wonder as to why Villem would distance himself from others but it makes sense since he is a doctor so getting unemotionally attached makes sense. I also thought it was to protect himself from others once we learn his background. Sigmund did seem like a mystery for me, never did fully understand him until the end. Ohhh tricky, tricky, tricky, Ms. Shipley! (Hey that rhymed!)

Therefore, without giving away any more lest I spoil it for you I heartily recommend you picking up this novella. It's a short and quick read but one that is sweet and well written. Looks like there might be a second book so I'm looking forward to seeing more!

4 out of 5 rating for me!

(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

This post is in part of the Book Blogger Fair so if you want to learn more about it check out the July 2013 directory for more authors/books, giveaways, events, and more!

About the Author:


Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com.

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