Princess of the Wild Swans

( 11 )

Overview

Princess Meriel's beloved brothers have been cursed by their conniving stepmother. Transformed into swans, they now swim sadly on the heart-shaped lake that lies just beyond the castle walls.

With help from her new friends Riona and Liam?a pretty half-witch and her clever brother?Meriel vows to break the enchantment. But she must act quickly. If Heart Lake freezes, the swan princes will be forced to fly south or perish?and all will be lost.

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Overview

Princess Meriel's beloved brothers have been cursed by their conniving stepmother. Transformed into swans, they now swim sadly on the heart-shaped lake that lies just beyond the castle walls.

With help from her new friends Riona and Liam—a pretty half-witch and her clever brother—Meriel vows to break the enchantment. But she must act quickly. If Heart Lake freezes, the swan princes will be forced to fly south or perish—and all will be lost.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Fans of Jessica Day George and Gail Carson Levine will enjoy Zahler’s light, lyrical prose, as well as her stalwart and true heroine and strong secondary characters, all of which make this fairly straightforward retelling of Grimm’s “The Six Swans” fun to read.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“As with her other fairy-tale interpretations, Zahler shines in her ability to set an exquisite scene.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“As with her other fairy-tale interpretations, Zahler shines in her ability to set an exquisite scene.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“As with her other fairy-tale interpretations, Zahler shines in her ability to set an exquisite scene.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“As with her other fairy-tale interpretations, Zahler shines in her ability to set an exquisite scene.”
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Traditionally, every story teller who has a repertoire of stories has adapted many of them from folktales or fairy tales. The essence of folk literature is passing along stories that have had wide audience appeal for generations. This story is a fictionalized adaptation of two similar fairy tales; Hans Christian Andersen's Wild Swans and Grimms' Six Swans. The princess Meriel is the youngest child of her widowed father. She has five older brothers, whom she loves, particularly her brother Cullen. As the only daughter in the family, she has been indulged a great deal so when her father comes home from a long trip bringing with him his new wife, Meriel and her brothers are not pleased. The new queen is equally displeased when she learns of the existence of the princes, since she hoped to produce a son who would inherit the kingdom. One day Meriel awakes to discover that her brothers have disappeared—sent away to school, according to the servants. Suspicious, Meriel soon discovers that her brothers have been enchanted and turned into swans by the new queen. Meriel will need all of her courage and ingenuity as well as help from the townspeople to break the enchantment and defeat the evil queen. Meriel is a believable young woman and readers will have a hard time putting the book down before reaching the exciting conclusion. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Zahler uses Andersen's "Wild Swans" and the Grimms' "Six Swans" as a departure point for the story of Princess Meriel, whose five brothers are turned into swans by her evil stepmother, the Witch-Queen Orianna. Meriel is helped by Liam and his sister Riona, a good witch in love with one of her brothers. She explains that to free her brothers, Meriel must sew five shirts out of nettles while remaining mute until the garments are completed. As Meriel's task nears completion, the danger from the Queen increases, and Meriel is hidden in the village, thus putting the townspeople at risk. At the same time, the swans are in danger from the impending winter and from an entrance to the Land of Faerie at one end of the enchanted lake they swim in. A suspenseful climax leads to a happy conclusion. Although the brothers' characters are undeveloped, the main characters and plotting are successful. Meriel's relationship with Liam, in particular, has a contemporary feel. There is a touch of Irish fairy tales in the Gaelic names and the Queen's connections to the monster onchu. Zahler softens the original stories: the effects of the nettles are temporary, as Meriel soaks the stinging substance out of the nettles, and her muteness is greatly tempered by her ability to communicate telepathically with the people who are helping her. Fans of Gail Carson Levine's "Princess Tales" series (HarperCollins) are ready for something longer and more novelistic will love this tale.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
In her third fairy-tale novelization, Zahler (The Thirteenth Princess, 2010, and A True Princess, 2011) dips into Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" and mixes in a bit of Celtic folklore. Twelve-year-old Princess Meriel often vies for the attention of her five older brothers and envies them for their schooling and sports, rebelling against the royal traditions of her day. When her father arrives home at Castle Rua unexpectedly with the beautiful and silken-voiced Lady Orianna, his new queen (the king was widowed 10 years earlier), Princess Meriel is alarmed, and two mornings later her brothers are gone.... A terrible enchantment, powerful spells, Faerie folk (most of whom live below ground, except for good and bad witches) and a mysterious spring set the scene for what turns out to be a much larger battle between good and evil. Riona, a young half-witch herbalist and her brother Liam, an animal healer, also play an important role in this suspenseful, ultimately romantic tale in which Princess Meriel must rescue her brothers, who have been transformed into swans. To break the spell, the princess needs to sew five shirts from stinging nettles without speaking aloud, while eluding the wicked queen who is hot on her trail. Though largely plot-driven, a story that tends to skate on the surface, it is nonetheless engaging and entertaining, especially appropriate for younger middle-grade readers. A pleasant magical outing. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062004956
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 626,714
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Zahler is the author of The Thirteenth Princess, A True Princess, and Princess of the Wild Swans. Her books have been praised for their "delicious descriptions" (Kirkus Reviews) and their "gratifying depth" (Publishers Weekly). Diane lives with her husband in New York's Harlem Valley, in an old farmhouse held together by magic spells and duct tape.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    IM LOVIN IT!!!

    If you've already read A Thirteenth Princess, and A True Princess, then you have to read this next because they are by the same author. But if you are going to read these books you have to read them in this order. THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER

    P.S. Im so awesome because Im the first one to post anything in this book!!!! YAY!!!!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Swan Princess

    This is awesome!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Hi.

    My name is Anina.(ua-NE-nua)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was a great retelling of the Six Swans, filled with gr

    This book was a great retelling of the Six Swans, filled with great characters that grab your attention and interest and keep you reading till the end.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Good book, but...

    Good book, but I think that there is a little bit too much magic and witchcraft in it. I love the story plot, though. Good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Wow

    I love her books my favroit one is a true princess**********:)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    I LOVE THESE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I read the 13th princess and a true princess and i cant wait to read this one! But read the first ones first.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Chvffjvffghrfhkkmjhghhhhhjyituvkiyugkblufufjvliui

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Amazing.

    Zahler IS good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Hans Christian Anderson

    In his story, she has to knit shirts made of thistleweed and lay it on her swan/brother

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Nice!!!!!!!!

    Too much witchcraft but good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

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