In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly…
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.
- Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
- Pages: 279
- Edition: Hot Key Books, Kindle (December 2019)
[Published January 2020 | Source: Goodreads]
This book isn’t on my January TBR so I wasn’t really expecting to read it anytime soon. Thankfully, amazon suggested it to me along with 5$ Kindle credit so I decided to give this a try… and wow!
It just exceeded my expectations! The first book in a YA fantasy duology, I was introduced into a world of shapeshifting royals (all of them can change into birds), classism, and intense political tension. In this world, society is divided into two: Those who can fly and the flightless. The rulers and the ruled. The rich and the poor. This division is not just a figurative way of separating classes, it is very literal in a sense that nobles are untouchable to the ordinary people. They get their skins burned if they dare touch one.
Despite being inspired by Swan Lake, this has been a very unique read. This magical world the authors have built is very fresh to me. It is colorful and full of life. And I was guided very well as I navigate the whole kingdom and its hierarchy.
I read through this with ease. Each scene just flowed into me naturally, as if I’m watching a movie in my head. There are a lot of foreshadowing so I kind of guessed some of the twists and revelations but… I’m not complaining.
Characters are very important for me when it comes to rating books. I personally love an antihero MC, someone cunning and logical, and isn’t ruled by his/her emotions. Aderyn—our MC in this book—is a perfect balance of logic and emotions, plus she is feisty and sassy, so I didn’t find it hard to root for her.
All the other characters (special mention to my raven boy, Lucien) are well-written and dimensional. Throughout the story, you would not only see Aderyn’s growth but also of those who are around her. This made the story more engaging and personal.
I was initially planning to rate this 4.5 stars but after thinking about it thoroughly, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t give it a full 5. I enjoyed reading every page of this book, I couldn’t put it down, and I could easily finish this within a day—if only work and life didn’t get in the way.
All in all, this has been a really great and remarkable read, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
‘History books don’t lie, my lady.’
I want to point out that surely that depends on who is writing them.—Aderyn, A Throne of Swans by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr
5 / 5