A Throne of Swans by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr – REVIEW
When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn’s ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother – ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors.
With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.
Written in rich detail and evocative language, this is the start of an irresistible, soaring duology about courage, broken loyalties and fighting for your place in the world.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hot Key Books.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“We can’t any of us out-fly fate.”
I’m taking part in the bookstagram tour for A Throne of Swans over on my instagram today so thought I’d share my full review here. This was my first book by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m really pleased that I ended up adoring the story. Inspired by Swan Lake, the narrative evoked a fairytale-esque atmosphere. In a country where the elite can shapeshift into ancestral birds, society is divided into those with the ability to fly and those without. Status depends purely on this one characteristic and it was thought-provoking to explore the effects of segregation and the ruthless treatment often visited upon the flightless.
“He was a good man. But a good man can still do terrible things.”
I loved the political intrigue and deadly games woven throughout the story. It was never obvious who could be trusted and who was spinning a web of lies. The pacing was perfect and kept me engaged from beginning to end. In fact, I ended up reading this in almost one sitting as I found it too engrossing to put down. Aderyn is the main character, a member of the ruling elite who is unable to shapeshift due to physical and psychological trauma. Aderyn was stubborn, passionate and naïve but I loved her because of her flawed yet bold personality. Her interactions with the arrogant and handsome Lucien developed into a romantic relationship that had me fully invested (however, the ending of this book has me so worried for them!).
“I’m not going to run, and I’m not going to hide. I’m going to fight.”
Aron was probably my other favourite character. As a prince who loses his ability to fly, his status is very ambiguous. I’d have loved some chapters from his point of view, simply because of his unique persepctive. I’m looking forward to seeing how his storyline progresses in the final book of this duology. A Throne of Swans conjures a story of courtly intrigue, romance, and shapeshifting, whilst also exploring issues such as segregation and trauma, all while keeping the reader engaged from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend this book unreservedly to any fantasy fan. With the scene set for the rebellion of the flightless, and the unresolved relationship of Aderyn and Lucien, A Crown of Talons looks set to be one of my most-anticipated books of 2021.