“Feathered” Swan Maiden 1 by Rachel Wollaston

Okay, try to follow me, here. Fantasy seems easy to write, because of the magic. Your characters can do almost anything you want them to, and the magic explains it. But it’s not that easy. Fantasy can be all sorts of other genres as well. Fantasy Romance, Fantasy Adventure, Fantasy Murder Mystery. And when you write one of those, you are restricted by the conventions of the other genre as well.
This means that when you write Fantasy Spy Fiction, you have to get your intrigue chops straight. If the main character is pretending to be a princess and somebody catches on to one of her mistakes, she better have a very good story to calm his suspicions. And if her excuse is so lame that no one could believe it, but he does, then it’s either poor writing, or…wait a minute…maybe he’s just pretending to believe her, and later…
But if her excuse is so lame that there’s no way he could believe it, then how is she so naïve as to believe that he believes it, (Do you follow me?) and it’s beginning to look much more like sloppy spy fiction.
And I’m afraid that’s the case in this book. The complexity of the situation – girl changes to swan and alternates between avatar of herself and swan that becomes human for one hour of the day, but avatar starts developing a personality – is unfortunately not matched by a corresponding clever turn of plot from the author, and we find ourselves simply not believing. In Fantasy that is Not A Good Thing.
And all of this is very unfortunate, because this is great Fantasy. The main character is fascinating, the romantic plotline is complicated but completely believable, and –it does take a while – eventually we become entranced in the conflict, and can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Which we don’t, because this is a to-be-continued serial novel. Nonetheless…
Recommended for fans of Not-So-Fairy Tale Princess stories who are willing to stretch their suspension of disbelief a bit further than normal.
(4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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