Customer Reviews for

The Swan Maiden

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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  • Posted December 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome story based on the old Irish myth!

    Deidre's free spirit and Naisi's longing for purpose are indredible. This is a must read for anyone that longs for freedom and adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Phenomenal Storyteller

    Jules Watson is a modern bard with her version of the Irish "Helen of Troy": "Deirdre of the Sorrows". Her retelling of this ancient Irish tale from Deirdre's point of view is a piece of genius. Most stories have shown Deirdre as a spoiled princess who is given everything, but still resists her marriage to the most powerful king at the time: Connor mac Nessa. This gives the reader the impression that she deliberately chooses to destroy the fighting force of the Red Branch.

    Until now, no one has focused on Connor and his motivations: pride of possession of "the most beautiful woman in the world", lust for a girl less than half his age, his inferiority complex with the men of the Red Branch (he is a thinker, not a warrior, a rare thing for a king to be in Ireland) which he hopes to quell by marrying Deirdre, who he considers only a possession that will grant him status and relieve his desire to feel young and strong once again, and finally, that he will be the one strong enough to overcome a prophesy of the Druids. Watson turns the tale inside out, showing how it is Connor himself who destroys his kindom and the Red Branch by his obsessive, continuous search for Deirdre.

    Watson also skillfully describes Deirdre's beauty: it is not simply physical. It is her personality, her spiritual knowledge, and her ability to connect with the Otherworld. Yes, her face and form are exquisite, but something else shines through her and it is that something that Connor cannot understand. She is unsure of herself, as is any other teenaged girl, but through love, practice, intelligence, and kindness, she frees herself of Connor's mental shackles: she frees herself of the idea that she is only a possession, with beauty as her only value.

    This is not only the love story of Deirdre and Naisi--it is the story of Deirdre gaining a family, growing to understand forgiveness, devotion, protectiveness, and the love that comes in many forms, all of which form strong bonds, whether between siblings, friends, or lovers--bonds that cannot be broken, and that you will defend with your dying breath. Watson opens a door to the past for us, allowing us to follow Deirdre from child to maiden to passionate, protective, intelligent woman, making one think that "Deirdre of the Sorrows" is not the proper name for the woman of this tale.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    swan maiden book

    i loved it. it is based on one of the grimm fairy tales. 'put the guilty one is a barrel full of nails and have the offender be dragged through the streets led by 4 white horses'. mind you i love grimm fairy tales. in fact, fairy tales in general. but this one was one of the best takes on a classic fairy tale that i have read in a long while.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2009

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