REVIEW: The Six Swans by Annabeth Leong

***This book was originally reviewed for My Secret Romance.***


The young King Evan struggles to become a man and ruler amid the choking influence of his mother’s spies and machinations. When he meets a silent, beautiful woman in the woods, he can’t resist the pure, honest sensuality of her touch. Bringing her to the castle as his wife and queen is Evan’s declaration of independence. The king’s hard-won happiness falls apart, however, when his mother accuses his new wife of murdering their first-born child. Evan believes that the private, physical language he shares with his queen tells him everything he needs to know, but as tragedy strikes again and again, his love and faith are tested to the breaking point. "The Six Swans" retells an old fairy tale of a princess who must take a vow of silence to save her brothers from a curse, the king who falls in love with her despite the seeming insanity of the curse conditions, and the sexual connection that’s strong enough to overcome the isolating power of the princess’ vow.


There were some awkward parts to this story, both in content and structure. For instance, there are no chapter breakdowns of any kind, just one long story. However, that doesn’t take away from the emotional impact of the book. Clandestine meetings, a little magic, and political machinations make it exciting, but the real drama is between Evan and his wife.

Be prepared for a heartwrenching read. It’s devastating to read about the birth and immediate death of a child, and to watch the struggle between the couple as they go forth in hopes of finding a way to survive the horribleness that seems to linger around them.

I wish we could have seen justice done instead of just have it implied that it would be carried out, but the ending was still satisfying none the less. Overall, the story is emotionally provocative and compelling, even if it is a little predictable.