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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Fairy Tale Re-Telling
What an enchanting read! I love a well written fairy tale re-telling and Diane has done a wonderful job with her story of Meriel and her brothers whom are all turned into swans. I really enjoyed being swept away with the classic fairytale aspect of this story. There's magic, danger, a lovely, well written innocent romance, witches and fey lore. Plus I love that it takes a...
Published on March 6, 2012 by Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids ...

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I'm not really crazy about this book by DZ, compared to her A True Princess and The Thirteenth Princess this one didn't really work out that well for me. It helps that if you're familiar with the author and her taste and talent then you can be at least guaranteed if to a certain extent that any unread material made by the same author would be at least good. If I hadn't...
Published 21 months ago by MJ Stevens


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Fairy Tale Re-Telling, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Princess of the Wild Swans (Hardcover)
What an enchanting read! I love a well written fairy tale re-telling and Diane has done a wonderful job with her story of Meriel and her brothers whom are all turned into swans. I really enjoyed being swept away with the classic fairytale aspect of this story. There's magic, danger, a lovely, well written innocent romance, witches and fey lore. Plus I love that it takes a Princess and good hearted towns people to bring down a wicked, evil witch.

Princess Meriel is a fabulously written, strong young female heroine who will everything she can to save her father the King, her brothers and their kingdom from the evil Queen. I loved the transformation she has through out the story. She starts off being a little spoiled, and very stubborn (which I also admired about her) and becomes a fearlessness, courageous Princess who will stop at nothing to help her family. I also admired the fact that she felt she had the right to do whatever her brothers were doing. It's that feistiness that helps Meriel accomplish a nearly impossible task to save her brothers.

Aside from Meriel, I really loved the characters in this story. Liam and Riona, the brother and sister duo who aid Meriel in her quest to save her brothers and break the evil Queen's spell were two of my favorites. I found them to be just as strong as Meriel. I also enjoyed getting to know Mistress Tuileach. I thoroughly enjoyed Diane's exciting story line which is full of surprising twists and turns that kept me guessing what was going to happen next. This is a fabulous read for middle grade readers and for fans of MG books. If you're a fan of fairy tale re-tellings I highly recommend picking up this charming read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Adaptation, April 8, 2014
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Zahler does a magnificent job of reworking this classic tale with a strong female lead. Her language is evocative and poetic, and the story moves along at a rapid clip. I recently read this book to my three children (ages 6, 8 and 11), and received three thumbs up. Better yet, I enjoyed it myself. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meriel Saves Her Brothers, February 25, 2012
By 
Kate Coombs (Utah, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Princess of the Wild Swans (Hardcover)
With this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans," Zahler is becoming the go-to author for middle grade fairy tale retellings. (Well, Zahler and Jessica Day George!) Her previous outings include a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" called The Thirteenth Princess and a retelling of Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea" called A True Princess.

As in the other two books, our heroine is a tween, this time 12-year-old Meriel. She and her five older brothers are surprised when the king their father comes home from a journey with a new queen, coldhearted Lady Orianna. The lady is surprised, as well--in the course of her whirlwind (read: calculating) romance, she had not realized her new husband had five sons. This puts a cramp in her plans to have a son and put him on the throne. Orianna transforms the five princes into wild swans, and it is up to Meriel to save them. As you may recall from the original tale, this means Meriel must weave five shirts out of nettles before it's too late. (It's eleven brothers and shirts in Andersen's story, but this is a minor change.) In addition, Meriel must not speak a word while she makes the shirts.

Rather than sending the princess to a foreign land and introducing her to a prince who wants to wed her, as in the original story, the author keeps Meriel around to continue challenging the witchy queen. Fortunately, there are other, nicer witches (or half-witches) around, and they help Meriel. She'll need all the help she can get, especially since the author introduces a new threat--apparently Orianna has been wheeler-dealing with the fay. The ending may be a foregone conclusion, but it's nice to see how Meriel's struggle with the evil queen plays out.

Zahler's retellings are reader-friendly books for the 8-12 crowd with feisty tween heroines whose friends and pluck help them combat the forces of evil. There's a hint of romance for the younger crowd in each one, along with a more serious romance between an older prince or princess and a potential mate (often a worthy commoner). Recommended for fairy tale-mad middle graders, as well as for teens who prefer their retellings without violence and sex.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, September 6, 2012
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Met all my expectations for a fantastical read. Loved the heroine even more when I realized she was only 12 years of age. As a mother of three children, I loved the strom and drang of sibling rivalry/love. So true-to-life. Love really does conquer all. What a lesson-in-life relationship between siblings, yet when evil enters, love always prevails!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful storytelling filled with adventure and heart. A fairytale for all ages!, August 11, 2012
This review is from: Princess of the Wild Swans (Hardcover)
Full Review Originally Posted at my site There's A Book:

An adventurous princess trapped by the bounds placed upon her by her title is freed to become the person she'd always dreamed about, but is the cost too high? Princess Meriel's father, the King, returns from a recent trip with a new wife at his side. With her brothers and father entranced by the new Queen it's up to Meriel to dispel the mystery surrounding Lady Orianna and prevent a disaster from befalling not only her family but the kingdom she loves.

My first experience reading Diane Zahler's work came with her book A True Princess and I absolutely loved it. Well, I'm not sure it's possible but I think I may have enjoyed Princess of the Wild Swans even more. Zahler has a way with words that pull her characters off the page and into reality. In both books I was astounded at this not only because it's done so seamlessly, but also because it's done in a relatively short span of pages. In quite a few instances readers tend to think of middle grade fiction as being "easier" or "more basic", but that's not the case at all and in the case of Diane Zahler's writing you'd be sorely mistaken for thinking that. Yes, the story is shorter and the action fast paced, but the depth you'd expect within the pages of a young adult or perhaps an adult novel is clearly there within these pages. There's no "easier" about it, Princess of the Wild Swans is simply excellent storytelling that readers young and old will be enchanted by.

Princess of the Wild Swans is based loosely on the story told by Hans Christian Anderson called The Wild Swans. Now, I'd actually never heard this fairytale before and if you haven't before I'm not sure I'd suggest reading it before reading Zahler's book. Not that they are the same, because they aren't much at all, it's just that I'm the type that doesn't like spoilers of any sort. It did lay a nice foundation for a story I appreciate even more than the classic it's based off of.

Again, as she did with A True Princess, Zahler creates a world and characters that you're instantly taken in by. Within pages you are irritated with Meriel's behavior, eager to see her become the adventurer she longs for and concerned for her family's well-being. It's amazing because if you'd asked me only two pages in if I was going to like Meriel I would have said no, but ask me on page ten and I would have given you a completely different answer. She was feisty but warm and kind. Her friends Riona and Liam only made her a better person and their willingness to help her became a trait she soon acquired herself. It wasn't merely the characters but the depth of the story, from a world with witches and royalty to fairies and a magical lake, it all created an entire portrait that felt alive as you read through it's pages.

Diane Zahler knows how to write a classic fairytale that readers today will immediately fall in love with. Princess of the Wild Swans is filled with stunningly realistic characters, an exciting adventure and mystery as well as lessons to be learned. Princess Meriel is a princess I'd be excited to have my children look up to and am eager to share with them, as her heart and passion rest with the welfare of those around her. Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler is a story I thoroughly enjoyed and one I'd highly recommend to other readers who love a brilliant fairytale retelling or simply an excellent story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fairytale for young readers, April 25, 2012
By 
S. Power (Austin, Texas, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Princess of the Wild Swans (Hardcover)
Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler is a retelling of the Six Swans. The story follows Meriel the only daughter in the kings household. She adores her brothers and when her father comes home with a new wife who seems to resent their existence Meriel becomes worried. After the new Queen sends her brothers to school Meriel is suspicious. When she finds a new group of swans on the lake that seem like her brothers she knows that something is wrong. She soon finds out that they've been enchanted and she must make them shirts out of stinging nettles and remain silent until the task is done.

This is a wonderful retelling. Zahler does a fantastic job with these retellings in a way that makes them perfect for the middle grade readers who love princesses but have no desire to read a romantic story. This book is full of magic, suspense and girl power. I finished the book quickly and had a huge smile on my face when it was over.

Appropriateness: This is a fantastic middle grade book that is also great for younger advanced readers. The story is fun and interesting full of evil queens and princesses without the usual romance that you would find in fairytale retellings. There is some nice vocabulary the lexile is 819. I would recommend this book to readers 9-13 with the book being short and interesting enough for a read aloud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, May 7, 2013
I'm not really crazy about this book by DZ, compared to her A True Princess and The Thirteenth Princess this one didn't really work out that well for me. It helps that if you're familiar with the author and her taste and talent then you can be at least guaranteed if to a certain extent that any unread material made by the same author would be at least good. If I hadn't read her other two novels I would not have been her fan at all.

Princess of the Wild Swans involves weaving, which wouldn't sound too exciting for someone who doesn't find the activity interesting, especially when in almost half the book it tells you that it's all there is that's needed to patch up the plot's predicament.

Also there are the monsters and something about opening a restricted area of villain characters, I didn't really read this part anymore coz I found it just too dragging. I had my eyebrows raised on the introduction to this slight twist in the plot, and I didn't bother to enlighten myself about it, it's a totally dispensable part that the author could have just chopped down the block. However the book is just ok in that I was convinced on pursuing to read through to the end.

There is a similarity on having more than just a handful of next-to-major characters between The Thirteenth Princess and PWS. The Thirteenth Princess worked for me because the story revolved around the main character as the thirteenth child, however this PWS involves 5 or so brothers and the story revolves around rescuing them- for me the brothers were being too many a group to rescue, and in the beginning were just lukewarm to the girl-rescuer, not too affectionate but not cold either, the idea is just boring. Plus the fact that not one nor two or three but a real handful of brothers needed rescuing, really now. And their being males are supposed to be their qualification to be future kings or whatever. Helpless princes as future kings- ugh! This too, raised my eyebrows.

The stars I'm giving it goes to her beautiful style of writing, to the author's talent in telling a good story and the good feeling that you have after reading it that's just like spending a simple but relaxing day with a good friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My nieces and I always love Ms. Zahler's books!, March 25, 2013
By 
L. Herb "L. Herb" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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My nieces and I have read all of Diane Zahler's "Princess" books and we love them - including Princess of the Wild Swans. The books are so well written and the characters have such charm that they allow both the young adult and the adult to enjoy the books together. We can't wait for Ms. Zahler's next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Super Fun, Cute Read, February 19, 2012
This review is from: Princess of the Wild Swans (Hardcover)
Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler was a super cute, fast read. I had so much fun reading and am excited to check out Diane Zahler's other books after this.

The beginning was a bit disjointed for me, and I didn't really get into Princess of the Wild Swans until probably a third of the way in. Then I was super invested in it, and didn't want to put it down. I loved trying to figure out what would happen next. I wish this one had been a bit longer, as I would have loved to know what happened just a bit beyond the conclusion of the book.

The characters were a lot of fun. I just loved Liam and Riona - both were such good hearted people. Meriel was such a strong character and I loved seeing her grow over the course of the book.

I just love this cover of this one - it is such a image and it fits the book so well. I would recommend Princess of the Wild Swans to people who love fairy tales retellings, because this one had such charm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, May 10, 2014
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loved the book! literally could not put it down :-) totally worth reading............that's all I can think of cause the book speak s for itself
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Princess of the Wild Swans
Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler (Hardcover - January 31, 2012)
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